New development will be named after four Wisbech brothers who died in the Second World War

A Wisbech man’s long campaign to gain recognition for his four wartime hero uncles is coming to a successful conclusion.

Colin Malkin, of West Parade, has been told by Fenland District Council, that a new housing development will be named in honour of the four Bruce brothers.

The new homes being built off Railway Road by M.T. Properties will be known as Bruce Close.

Mr Malkin has been campaigning for years to have the sacrifice of the Bruce family recognised. Bruce is the only surname to appear on Wisbech War Memorial four times – remembering the deaths in action of Arthur (known as Jock), George, Reginald and Thomas (known as Jack).

The campaign was stepped up after November’s Remembrance Day service when the council’s vice chairman, Councillor Michael Humphrey, was asked to take particular note of the Bruce names on the memorial at the time of wreath laying.

He took up the cause and Mr Malkin has thanked him for managing to secure a deserved honour for the brothers.

Thomas, a married man, was killed at Dunkirk in June 1940, his brothers Arthur and Reginald were killed in Normandy in 1944 and George died on HMS Jaguar in 1942 after it was hit by U-Boat torpedoes.

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Arthur, a corporal in the 1st Royal Norfolk Regiment was killed in 1944, aged 21, in Normandy and is remembered in La Delivrance War Cemetery, Douvres, Calvados, France. He was married with a son.

George, Leading Cook on board HMS Jaguar, died in 1942, age 36, and is commemorated at Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent. He was married and had three daughters and a son.

Reginald, a married man, was a sergeant in the 1st Royal Norfolk Regiment and died in 1944 in Normandy and is buried in Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery, Calvados, France.

Thomas, an Able Seaman aboard HMS Worcester died in 1940 aged 29 and is commemorated in Dover (St James’s) Cemetery. His widow remarried another brother, Eric, after the war. She was said to have fallen for him because he looked so much like Thomas.

They were members of a large Wisbech family who lived in Russell Street, the sons of George and Ada Bruce, who had three other sons and two daughters.

Mr Malkin says there were very few families to have lost four sons during the war and he had long thought there should be some kind of permanent memorial to the Bruce brothers.

He has visited his uncles’ graves in France and said: “I remember playing with them when I was a very young boy and I also remember the effect news of the deaths had on my grandmother – she never got over the shock.

“I am pleased that this is going to happen because it has taken so many years to get anything done. All my granny got was a telegram, nobody ever came to see her.”

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