Biography

Birth date: 08 January 1918
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death date: 29 August 1942
Death place: New Guinea: Papua New Guinea, Papua, Isurava
Final rank: Private
Service number: VX19139 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Unit: 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion

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.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of Death: 29 August 1942
  • Unit: 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Photograph

014333

PORTRAIT OF VX19139 PRIVATE BRUCE STEEL KINGSBURY VC, 2/14TH INFANTRY BATTALION. PRIVATE KINGSBURY WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR ACTION IN THE ISUVARA AREA, NEW GUINEA. FROM 1942-08-09 AN INFANTRY BATTALION WAS HOLDING THE ISURAVA AREA AGAINST THE ENEMY WHO WERE ATTACKING FIERCLY...

014333

100112

PORTRAIT OF VX19139 PRIVATE BRUCE STEEL KINGSBURY VC, 2/14TH INFANTRY BATTALION. HE IS WEARING A MIXTURE OF CIVILIAN DRESS AND MILITARY UNIFORM, FAIRLY COMMON DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF THE WAR. PRIVATE KINGSBURY WAS AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS POSTHUMOUSLY FOR ACTION IN THE ISUVARA AREA, NEW GUINEA....

100112

Timeline

Date of birth 1918-01-08
Date of death 1942-08-29