Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury VC

Bruce Steel Kingsbury. 100112 Bruce Steel Kingsbury.

Date of birth: 8 January 1918
Place of birth: Melbourne, VIC
Date of death: 29 August 1942
Place of death: Isurava, Papua

Melbourne-born Bruce Kingsbury worked in New South Wales and Victoria before enlisting in May 1940. Embarking with the 2/14th Battalion 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. Kingsbury's platoon had been holding a position for two days against continual enemy attacks and severe 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 Kingsbury's valour had inspired the battalion over the succeeding weeks, and demonstrated that the previously undefeated Japanese could be beaten. Kingsbury was buried in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery.

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