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.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of Death: 29 August 1942
  • Unit: 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: Second World War, 1939-1945

Collection Items

Timeline

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