Sutherland, Robert Bruce (Bruce)

  • Township: North Oxford
  • Rank: Captain
  • Rank: Flight Commander
  • Branch: Canadian Expeditionary Forces, 96th Lake Superior Regiment; Royal Flying Corps
  • Date of birth: May 3, 1896
  • Where born: Ingersoll, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
  • Date of death: November 1, 1975
  • Wars Served: World War I
    World War II
  • Years of service: August 1914 - January 1919; 1939 - 1947
  • Country enlisted with: Canada


Bruce Sutherland was born May 3, 1896 and was the eldest son of Senator the Honourable Donald and Mrs Minnie Hossack Sutherland. He attended Dickson’s School and the Ingersoll Collegiate Institute.
While attending cadet camp in Port Arthur, Ontario, he enlisted with the 96th Lake Superior Regiment when war was declared in August 1914. After training at Val Cartier, Quebec, Bruce went overseas with the 2nd Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineer with the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
After further training at Lark Hill, Salisbury Plain, he saw active service in France and Belgium in 1915 and 1916, before being invalided home after contacting typhoid fever. Once he was well again, he returned to England, and joined the Royal Flying Corps, qualified as a pilot and in December 1916 he was sent to Egypt. He served in Palestine and the Sinai from1917 to October 1918. Bruce was promoted to Captain in the field and made a Flight Commander shortly before the capture of Jerusalem. He was patrolling the air above when General Allenby made his historic entry into the city. He was twice mentioned in dispatches to the War Office by General Allenby. In February 1918 Bruce was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was in Salonika when the Armistice was signed.
He was demobilized in January 1919 at Salisbury Plain. Bruce remained with the R.A.F. after World War 1, serving in the Middle East and the Balkans. When World War II broke out in 1939 he returned to England from India. As Group Captain he saw service in India, the Mediterranean and Middle East Command. Bruce retired to Brushford, Somerset, England in 1947, and died there November 1, 1975.

Bruce's Canadian Expeditionery Papers show his enlistment with the CEF as January 14, 1915 and that he was of the Presbyterian faith.

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