CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3836
TitleRobert Bruce, sinologist and diplomat and Helen Bruce, author: papers
Extent4 archive boxes: 2.31 linear metres
Creator NameRobert Bruce (1911 - 1999), sinologist and diplomat
Helen Bruce (nee Cran) (1912 - 2008)
Administrative HistoryRobert Bruce (1911 - 1999) - sinologist and diplomat

Born in Fraserburgh 10th August 1911. Parents Henry George Bruce, of A. Bruce & Co. herring curers and Jeannie Roberta Gray. Educated at Fraserburgh Academy, then Aberdeen University. Graduated with a 1st class honours degree in Political Economy and History, 1933. Made an OBE in 1963. After graduation he worked firstly for the Malaysian Civil, having trained at Wadham College, Oxford. Once in Malaya his abilities led him to a two year appointment in Canton to study Cantonese and to be a inspector of chinese schools. Ill health and partial blindness caused him to return to Scotland in 1937. For a period of WWII he lived in Inverness working for censorship (1940-1942). Joined the British Council. Postings were as follows - Aberdeen (1943-1948); Hong Kong (1948-1950): Edinburgh (1950) and Glasgow. In 1952 during the Malayan Emergency he was seconded to work in Malaysia becoming head of a school of Chinese languages in the Cameron Highlands. The school was later transfered to Kuala Lumpur in 1953: Bangkok, Thailand (1955 - 1963); Hungary (1963-1965): Hong Kong (1965-1967): America (1967-1988). In 1968 he worked in the Department of Political Science at East Kentucky University, then he became Professor of Asian Studies at Prescott College, Arizona. He also published some of his research work, specifically a biography of Sun Yat-Sen (Clarendon Biographies, 1969). He retired to St. Andrews in 1989 where he lectured on Asian affairs for the Continuing Education Department at St. Andrews University. Married Helen Cran in 1940 but the marriage was dissolved in 1971. He married again in 1979 to Eleanor Lyon but she died in 1993. He remaried Helen Cran in 1996. He died 10th August 1999 and is buried at Kirkton Cemetery, Fraserburgh.

Helen Bruce (nee Cran) (1912 - 2008)

Born in Keith, 7th September 1912. Parents Robert Cran (served in the army and later became a postman) and Elsie Cran (dressmaker). Married Robert Bruce in 1940. Educated at Keith Grammar School and Aberdeen University 1930-1934 (MA 1934). In 1940-1942 lived in Inverness working for censorship. Taught English in Bangkok and tutored Ubon Ratana, the Thai King's daughter in English. Author of 'Nine Temples of Bangkok'. When her marriage broke up she returned to live and work in Edinburgh. On retiring she moved to Keith in 1979, then to England and finally St. Andrews in 1993. She remarried Robert Bruce in 1996. She died on 9th December 2008 and is buried with her husband in Kirkton Cemetery, Fraserburgh.
Custodial HistoryDeposited in October 2009 with some library books of which some were added to stock.
DescriptionTeaching and research material
Publications and memoirs
Ephemera - invitation lists, lecture tours publicity and material relating to Thai royal family
Access StatusOpen
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