Name: Bruce Paterson


Birth Date: 18 October, 1885 Where: Swan Reach, Queensland
Died: 10 October, 1918 Where: Melbourne
Place of Enlistment: Victoria Age: 30
Serial Number: Battalion: 27th
Rank on Enlistment: 2nd Lieutenant Rank on Discharge/Death: Captain

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal,


Photograph paterson

Service Details:



28 January

1915                      Enlisted

28 Jan. - 11 May

1915                      School of Instruction, Broadmeadows

27 August

1915                      Promoted Lieutenant

4 September

1915                      Gallipoli

10 January

1916                      Disembarked, Alexandria

21 March

1916                      France

10 April

1916                      Promoted Captain

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

24 June

1916                      Embarked for England (neurasthenia)

24 September

1916                      Returned to Australia

30 June

1916                      Appointment terminated

10 October

1918                      Died in Melbourne





Biographical Details:

Robert Bruce Paterson was bornto Robert and Isabelle Paterson at Swan Reach, Victoria, on 18th October 1885.  His father was Head teacher at Malmsbury State School, just prior to Bruce’s enlistment.  Although christened Robert he preferred to use Bruce, the name shown on his enlistment papers. He had one sibling, James, born in 1887.
Bruce was schooled in Malmsbury but because of the distance to a satisfactory secondary school he finished his schooling with two years of private tuition.  When he enlisted in January 1915 Bruce was an Auctioneer in the stock and station business in the northern districts of Victoria, where he also had a reputation as an all-round sportsman.
Although he enlisted as a private, and without the experience of Cadet training at a secondary school, Bruce was quickly singled out for three months officer instruction at Broadmeadows. He was subsequently promoted 2nd Lieutenant and in August appointed Lieutenant.
Bruce’s Battalion, the 27th, was with the 2nd Division when it embarked from Alexandria for Gallipoli in September 1915.
In November 1915 when he was made a Temporary Captain Bruce had achieved the extraordinary feat of rising from Private to Captain in less than 12 months.  His Captaincy was made substantive in April 1916. During the evacuation from Gallipoli Bruce was given charge of a section.
On returning to Egypt Bruce was appointed to HQ staff but elected to rejoin his Battalion as adjutant when it left for France in March 1916. Soon after arriving in France he was appointed Officer in Charge (O.C.) of a company.
An entry in the 27th Battalion War Diary for May 1916 indicates that Capt Paterson was appointed O.C. of the planned June 5/6th raiding party.  He was actually appointed back-up O.C. Attack, possibly because he was being considered as O.C. Assault of another trench raid planned for June 14th.  The experience would have been invaluable.
Bruce Paterson was not required to take over the role of Officer in Command of Attack for either of the two nights of the June 6/7th raid. The raid he was to have led on June 14th was postponed and ultimately took place on June 18/19th.  That raid was abandoned before the raiders reached the German trenches. Bruce was criticised by the O.C. Attack for failing to push forward despite the entry point coming under heavy cross fire from two enemy machine guns.
Following the June 18/19th raid, Captain Paterson was hospitalised.  His medical records state that he was Twice blown up and after this he became mentally depressed & nervy. He was diagnosed as suffering from Neurasthenia and mental symptoms.
Robert Bruce Paterson was returned to Australia where in October 1916 his appointment was terminated.  He died in October 1918.
His family included the following in his death notice:
None but those who love can tell
The sadness of a last farewell.
If thou should’st call me resign
What most I prize, it ne’er was mine,
I only yield Thee what is Thine.
Thy will be done.
Our ANZAC boy at rest.