ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories

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WWI Stories – Bruce Howard Stanley Murcutt


Raelene Strong shares the story of her grandfather, Bruce Howard Stanley Murcutt.

When Mr and Mrs WJ Murcutt  said goodbye to their son Harold at the beginning of World War One, they had no idea that bidding farewell to their sons would soon become a habit.

There were seven sons in the Murcutt family. Six of the brothers – Harold, Jack, Bruce, Francis, Charles and Joseph – served in World War One on the Western Front. The seventh brother, who was married and living in Nhill, was rejected for service because of his teeth. He was crestfallen at the rejection.

Mrs Murcutt spoke of her sons’ determination to serve:

The fighting spirit is in the family all right. I must say I never tried to dissuade them from going, but I am sure they would have overcome my objections if I had. They were determined to enlist.

One brother was awarded a military medal, and another received a medal for distinguished conduct. Incredibly, all six brothers returned from the war. However, the effects of the war took its toll on the brothers, and all but one died at a young age.

The eldest brother, Joseph, had served with distinction in the South African war with the second Victorian contingent under Colonel T Price. He returned as one of the specially selected body guard for the Duke and Duchess of York at the opening of the Federal Parliament, and during the Commonwealth celebrations in May 1901. Subsequently he returned to Africa and served with the Marquis of Tullabardine’s Horse until peace was declared.