Poppy Private Robert Bruce (alias Black) Poppy


Robert Bruce was born in Glasgow around 1890, a son of farmer James Bruce and his wife Agnes (née Black). By 1915 he was living at 9 Salamanca Street, Glasgow and working as a bread salesman. On 18 June that year he married laundry maid Sarah Lochhead according to the forms of the United Free Church of Scotland. Their son John was born the following year.

Bruce enlisted or was called up (under the name Robert Black) in 1916 or 1917. He was posted to the North Irish Horse at Antrim between 30 October and 14 November 1917 (Corps of Hussars number 71985).

While at Antrim, however, Bruce contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. He was discharged as medically unfit on 3 July 1918 and granted a pension, the disease being attributed to his military service. He returned to Glasgow where he lived with his wife at 20 Grier Street, Parkhead, and worked as a milk salesman. He died there as a result of the disease on 1 May 1921.


At the time of his death, Bruce was not officially identified as a casualty of the war. Following my identification of his case, a submission has been made to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission through the In From the Cold Project, proposing that he be included on its roll of honour.