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Evan Bruce-Gardyne

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Evan Bruce-Gardyne
Born(1885-04-02)2 April 1885
Died24 July 1949(1949-07-24) (aged 64)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Battles/warsWorld War I
 • Battle of Jutland
 • Bombardment of Zeebrugge
AwardsDistinguished Service Order

Captain Evan Bruce-Gardyne, DSO, 13th Laird of Middleton, (21 April 1885 – 24 July 1949) was an officer of the British Royal Navy. He was a member of the well-known Scottish landowning family of Gardyne who have been based in the county of Angus since 1008 AD. He was the son of David Greenhill Bruce-Gardyne and Azemia Sellar.


His father, David Greenhill Bruce-Gardyne, was the son of Major William Bruce-Gardyne of Middleton and his wife Catherine Cameron Macpherson daughter of Lt-Col Donald Macpherson of Kingston Canada, illegitimate son of Ewen MacPherson of Cluny chief of the Clan Macpherson. David Greenhill Bruce-Gardyne was a cousin of Sir John Alexander Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, and his wife Azemia Sellar was a granddaughter of the notorious Patrick Sellar.

Bruce-Gardyne's brother Lieutenant Ian Bruce-Gardyne, was a professional soldier in the Black Watch and won the Military Cross during the First World War. He was also Alfred Anderson's commanding officer.

Military career[edit]

Bruce-Gardyne was educated at HMS Britannia, from which he joined the Navy. On 20 October 1905 he was confirmed in the rank of sub-lieutenant, dating from 15 July 1904,[1] and on 8 June 1906 he was promoted to lieutenant, dating from 15 October 1905.[2] In June 1906 he was in command of Torpedo Boat No. 73 in the Sheerness-Chatham flotilla,[3] and was serving as a lieutenant aboard Queen in 1908.[4]

He served as gunnery officer of the battleship Tiger during the battle of Jutland, on 31 May–1 June 1916, where the ship was badly damaged. Some blamed Tiger's poor performance on Bruce-Gardyne, and he was court martialled, but found not guilty. Many believed he was made a scapegoat and that the real problems lay elsewhere.

Bruce-Gardyne was re-instated, and on 20 July 1917 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for bravery at the bombardment of Zeebrugge on 11–12 May 1917, and of Ostend on 4–5 June 1917.[5] When junior officers were awarded the DSO it was an acknowledgement that the officer had only just missed out on receiving the Victoria Cross.

After the war Bruce-Gardyne became the officer in charge of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, before retiring to his estate in Scotland. He died on 24 July 1949 aged 64.

Personal life[edit]

Bruce-Gardyne married Joan McLaren, daughter of Charles Edward McLaren of Rosehall and barrister-at-law, on 10 February 1926. The couple had three sons:

1. Charles Bruce-Gardyne, 14th Laird of Middleton. Born 15 February 1927. Charles Bruce-Gardyne is a member of the Royal Company of Archers and a member of the Sovereign's Bodyguard in Scotland. He married Dorothy Margaret Blair-Imrie, daughter of Lt.-Col. Hew Angus Christopher Blair-Imrie (killed in action), on 16 April 1966. Charles Bruce-Gardyne's son Hew is married to Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne.

2. John Bruce-Gardyne, Baron Bruce-Gardyne. Conservative MP. Born 12 April 1930. He married Sarah Louisa Mary Maitland, daughter of Commander Sir John Maitland (Conservative politician) in 1959. He died of a brain tumour in Kensington and Chelsea at the age of 60.

3. Lt.-Cdr. Kenneth Patrick Bruce-Gardyne, of Nettlebed House, Droxford, Hampshire. Born 13 November 1933. He married Angela Pauline Fane, daughter of Charles William Fane and Pauline Margaret Blackie, on 11 April 1964. Charles William Fane was a son of Colonel William Vere Reeve King-Fane of Fulbeck Hall and Pauline Blackie was a daughter of Ernest Morell Blackie, Dean of Rochester and Honorary Chaplain to the King.

Joan Bruce-Gardyne is a Patroness of the Royal Caledonian Ball.[6]


  1. "No. 27847". The London Gazette. 24 October 1905. p. 7099.
  2. "No. 27921". The London Gazette. 12 June 1906. p. 4076.
  3. Svonavec, Stephen. "The Royal Navy June 1906: Torpedo Boats in Home Waters". fleetorganization.com. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. "Royal Navy List". worldnavalships.com. 1908. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  5. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30194/supplement/7423
  6. "Patronesses". Royal Caledonian Ball.

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