Interesting people I never knew about - Dominic Bruce, 'the medium sized man'. Jumped three times out of aircraft. Landed twice

I was researching a local Lancaster crash site. As I noticed that all but one of the crew are still with the wreck, Fliss and I thought we would attend the memorial service on 9th January. Not just for the flypast by the BBMF Lancaster (weather permitting it does this every year).

Interesting but not what I was writing about. The crashed Lancaster belonged to 9 Squadron. It has local connections so I looked them up and noticed Dominic Bruce as one of their famous members.

As I have the enlisted equivalent of one of his gongs my eye was drawn to an anomaly. He not only had the Air Force Medal (enlisted) but also the Military Cross (officers). So he was clearly promoted from the ranks as he had a medal normally given to ground forces officers as well as a medal for enlisted airmen.

No other person has ever been awarded these two medals the MC and the AFM. Later for his service as a civilian he was knighted by the Pope.

I read up on him. If you do yourselves, and I recommend it, you may not appreciate that the Lascelles referred to in the ‘medium sized man’ story went on to be personal secretary to our Queen and previously to her father King George. Lascelles was a very tall Guards Officer and a very bright hyper intelligent man. Dominic was sharper to pull the wool over his eyes in a joke that 5’3" Bruce was medium sized, therefore Lascelles was abnormally tall.

I am heartbroken to have missed the chance of hearing him speak by his death ten years ago. As I read about him I went from one level of respect/incredulity to another. Well worth reading about him on line. Wiki gives a good summary - Dominic Bruce - Wikipedia