KINGSBURY, Bruce Steel

Service Number: VX19139
Enlisted: 16 May 1940, Caulfield, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, 29 May 1918
Home Town: Preston, Darebin, Victoria
Schooling: Windsor State School & Melbourne Technical College
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in action, Isurava, Papua New Guinea, 29 August 1942, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
Grave Ref. C 6 E 1
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

16 May 1940: Enlisted Caulfield, Victoria
29 May 1940: Involvement Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW2
29 May 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion
29 May 1940: Involvement Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion
25 Nov 1940: Involvement Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion, Middle East / Mediterranean Theatre
29 Aug 1942: Involvement Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion, Kokoda - Papua New Guinea
Date unknown: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN VX19139, 2nd/14th Infantry Battalion

Article from the Newcastle Herald & Miners Advocate -1oth Feb. 1943

Second V.C. for Heroism in New Guinea

CANBERRA, Tuesday.-The Victoria Cross has been awarded posthumously to Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury VX19139. of West Preston, Victoria, for most conspicuous bravery in operation, in New Guinea. This is the second V.C. to be awarded in the New Guinea campaign and the eleventh to be won by Australians in the present war. "This second V.C.," said tile Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin)." is an indication to the world of the deathless heroism of all the men who have taken part in the New Guinea campaign.

The family of the late Private Kingsbury will, I am sure, find solace in the knowledge that all Australians join with them in their proud grief." Advice that the King had approved the award was received by the Governor-General (Lord Gowrie) today. Firing a Bren gun from the hip, Kingsbury, during a counter-attack, rushed the enemy under terrific machine-gun fire, cleared a path through the enemy for his platoon, and was continuing to sweep the enemy position when he was shot dead by a sniper hiding in the woods. The citation giving details of this heroic action says Kingsbury's battalion had been holding a position in the Isurava area for two days against continuous and fierce enemy attack. On August 29, 1942, the enemy attacked in such force that they broke through the battalion's right flank, creating a serious threat to the battalion and its headquarters. To prevent the situation becoming more desperate it was essential to regain this lost ground. Immediately Kingsbury, one of the few survivors of a platoon which had been over- run by the enemy, immediately volunteered to join another platoon which had been ordered to counter- attack.

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Bruce Steel KINGSBURY was born on 8th January, 1918 in Melbourne, Victoria

His parents were Philip Blencowe KINGSBURY and Florence Annie STEEL who were from England

Bruce worked in NSW and Victoria before enlisting in May, 1940.  Embarking with the 2/14th Battalian from Sydney.  He served in Palestine and Egypt and took part in the invasion of Syria.  He returned to Australia with the Battalion in March, 1942

In August the 2/14th moved to Port Moresby, hoping to halt the Japanese on the Kokoda trail.  His platoon had been holding a position for two days against continual enemy attacks and several losses when he made the heroic assault that cost him his life.  On his own initiative he charged with a Bren gun, shooting from the hip against intense enemy machine gun fire causing many casualties.  Alone, he continued to sweep the enemy with his fire until he fell, shot by a sniper.  A senior officer said that Kingsburys valour had inspired the battalion over the succeeding weeks and demonstrated that the previously undefeatd Japanese could be beaten.  

He was killed in action on 29th August, 1942 and is buried in Port Moresby (Bomana) War cemetery - he is also commemorated on the Australian War Memorial & the Roll of Honour in Northcote, Victoria

Bruce was posthumusly awarded the Victoria Cross which was presented to his Father in a ceremony - see links for futher information about all his medals & stories of his war exploits ( ( ( ( ( ( ( (,%20BRUCE%20STEEL ( ( ( ( (