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Bruce-Gardyne MC was a member of the well-known Scottish landowning Gardyne who have been based in the county of Angus since 1008 AD. Born on the 12 July 1895 he was the second 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, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC (Can) first Prime Minister of Canada, and his wife Azemia Sellar was a granddaughter of the notorious Patrick Sellar.
Bruce-Gardyne was educated at Eton from where he went on to become a professional soldier in the Black Watch. Bruce-Gardyne was platoon commander to Alfred Anderson with whom he would often go out at night into no-man's land to listen for enemy activity such as tunnelling or troop movements. For this he was Mentioned in Dispatches, In the 1915 Birthday Honours, Bruce-Gardyne was awarded the Military Cross.
After the war Bruce-Gardyne entered the Sudanese Political Service.