Bruce Hale PUCKLE [1891-1970] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Bruce Hale PUCKLE [1891-1970]

Bruce Hale
Birthplace (town, state): 
Bishops Castle, Shropshire
Birthplace (country): 
c.1970-12-31 (Month, Day are approximate)

Barbara Anslow: In 1941, Mr Puckle was Director of ARP (Air Raid Prevention).


Photos that show this person



B H Puckle's ARP badge
B H Puckle's ARP badge, by Duncan Robertson

Obituary of Bruce Hale Puckle
(by Molly Puckle, his sister)

Born 10th November 1891 at Bishops Castle, Shropshire

Educated at the Craig, Windermere and Uppingham, The School House

In 1910 went as Premium Apprentice to the London North Western railway Works at Crewe. During this period he had diphtheria and typhoid fever.

In 1913 whilst convalescing at home, he restarted and was Scoutmaster to the Boys Scouts and joined the Shropshire Yeomanry.

In 1914 he went to Edinburgh University to read Engineering and was there when war broke out on August 4th. He immediately joined Kitchener’s Army and was commissioned into the 9th Welch Regiment in Sept 1914.

In May 1915 he went to France as Brigade Machine Gun Officer with the rank of Captain – 37 Brigade, 19 Division – and fought in the battle of Loos. In Dec 1915 he was transferred to the newly formed Machine Gun Corps and returned to England.

In Feb 1916 he was back in France in command of 112 Company MGC 37th Division and promoted to Major. He fought in the Battle of the Somme. In Oct 1916 he returned to England and served on the Training Staff at Machine Gun Headquarters at Grantham.

He returned to the Somme in Jan 1917 in command of 175 Company MGC. He was awarded the DSO on 1 January 1917 and was mentioned in despatches later in the month. He was invalided home in July with knee trouble and spent several months in the American Women’s Hospital for Officers at Lancaster Gate in great luxury. He later convalesced at Eaton Hall, Cheshire. In Dec 1917 he was 2nd in command of 4th reserve battalion MGC and President Regimental institutes in charge of all feeding arrangements and the general well being of battalion at Clipsham Camp, Notts.

He returned to France on July 14 1918 and was 2nd in command of 16 Company, 57 Battalion, MGC. He was still in France when war ended on 11 Nov 1918 and he went into Germany with the army of occupation. He demobilised Oct 1919(?)

He spent 2 months in 1919 working with Shell Co and then joined Whittals Co Ltd in London. After 2 months he was sent out to China travelling via Canada and the Rockies. He worked for this firm for 5 years in Tientsin where he also commanded the Tientsin British municipal volunteers.

In 1925 he joined Jardine Engineering Corporation and worked in Tientsin, Mukden, Peking and Shanghai until 1939.

In Sept 1937 he married his first cousin, Leslie Isabella Bremner.

In Jan 1940 he was made Deputy Director of Air Raid Precautions in Hong Kong and in Oct was promoted Director in Command ARP Division. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese in December 1941 and was interned in Stanley Camp until August 15 1945. He arrived back in England on Nov 30 1945 on the aircraft carrier Indomitable.

Since then he lived at the Ivy House, Churchstoke.

Served on:       Parish Council, Forden Rural District Council, County Council, Parochial District Council, School Manager of Churchstoke and Mellington Schools, Churchwarden for 3 years, Secretary and Treasurer of the Village Hall, Secretary of the Flower Show

I've just read the obituary of Mr B H Puckle, I had no idea that he had had such an impressive war 1 career. He was a lovely boss.

After my Dad died, the Puckles asked if we Redwoods had a spare room for them as lodgers, at that time they were I think still living in the Repulse Bay Hotel, whereas our flat was only about 200 yards from ARP HQ in Happy Valley:  but unfortunately we already had a lodger by that time.