Cumpston Research

The best products at the best prices!

Watson Cumpston death cert Trinity House Hull lloyds ship Voilier withernsea pier

[Howard] Bruce Cumpston


Dr. Bruce Cumpston  superintendent of Darwin Hospital,is driving the hospital's garbage cart during a strike of the hospital's lay staff.  His wife and other women have been washing hospital sheets at home. About 60 members of the lay staff have been on strike since Tuesday over wage claims, and  work is being done by the medical and nursing staff volunteers. Dr. Cumpston said at the week-end that thc hospital's laundry equipment had been sabotaged.


The Canberra Times  Tuesday 7 September 1948  


1957 Degree: Graduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Graduating Class Year: 1936

Degree: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

NATIONAL RULES TO-DAY'S TEAMS [football article]


Eastlake, which is undefeated, and, on the season's Australian football play, the most impressive of all teams, should have a strenuous engagement today, when it meets a strong Manuka side on the Kingston Oval. Eastlake.........

For various reasons Manuka's team will not be chosen until to-day. Maxwell is at present honeymooning  but Les Brodie, has returned to the fold. After a strenuous motor tour across

Australia he is rejuvenated and hopes to make his presence felt. Bruce Cumpston, who played with Wesley College in Melbourne two years ago, will also appear and it is likely that Tom Riley will be available.

The Canberra Times  Saturday 31 May 1930

PIC 3400 / 9 Soak and small rivulet on top of Mount Bimbini. Party lunching 3pm, Christmas 1930 or 1931. Left to right: Bruce, J.H.L Cumpston, Alan Cumpston, Ivan Lewis, John Cumpston (copies in back of album)  To be added as a photograph

Howard Bruce Cumpston

Birth 5 Jun 1911 Death 11 April 1982 Brisbane

Married Margaret Thomas McKay.  My 4th cousin 1 x removed

Child of Howard Bruce and Margaret


Cynthia Parkinson

I am grateful to Margaret [Cumpston] Spencer for this account about her brother.



[Howard] Bruce Cumpston was born 5 June 1911 in Perth, Western Australia. During his early life the family moved to Melbourne, to Brisbane, and then back to Melbourne. Bruce was very much an individual, somewhat of a rebel: even at the early age of two years he would escape from his cot and climb the garden fence to watch the trams go by. At the age of five years, while the family was living in Toorak, he attended the kindergarten at Lauriston School for Girls in Malvern.


From the age of seven he attended Wesley College in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne. In Sandringham, to which the family moved in 1920, Bruce joined John in building a massive fort out of a year's supply of firewood, from which they fought off Red Indians and other invaders. In the Cubs and Scouts the two boys learnt campcraft, also they went camping with their father to Healesville and Kangaroo Island, and were taught how to fish and shoot.


Bruce was especially fond of little sister Mary, nine months old at the time of the move to Sandringham: this relationship persisted throughout their lives. At Wesley College Bruce took up rowing and played Australian Rules football. The boys built a canvas canoe called Peanut, shaping the ribs and glueing on the canvas; when finished they paddled it out on Port Phillip Bay. They had bicycles upon which they 'dinked' their friends. Bruce took singing lessons and sang in a choir.


In 1928 Bruce began a medical course at the University of Melbourne. Compulsory military training was still in force (Until the end of 1929), and he joined the University Rifles. After he left the militia he continued range shooting. Unfortunately he failed at the end of his first year of study. He then transferred to the University of Sydney, where he found no difficulty in completing his degree courses. One of his tutors said of him, 'he is one of the best students in clinical diagnosis that I have ever had'. He played intercollegiate cricket and football and gained his University, Australian and Imperial Blues for rifle shooting. When he completed his medical courses he was selected for residency at Lewisham Hospital, Sydney. About 1939 Bruce was for a short time in the Indian Medical Service. About this time he attended a Colonial Service Course at the London School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Then he was posted to Dar-es-Salaam in the then Tanganyika Territory of British East Africa, from where he began a life of medical patrolling which continued until April 1945.


He married a Scottish nurse, Margaret McNay, in Dar-es-Salaam on 23 March 1945. They were transferred to Mauritius, where their daughter Cynthia was born on 8 April 1946. Leaving with baby Cynthia only two months old, they flew by stages to Perth and then on to Canberra, where they stayed with Bruce's parents for five months.


They then moved to Darwin, where Bruce took up a post as Medical Office at Darwin Hospital. In 1948 Bruce was posted to Brisbane as a Commonwealth Medical Officer. In 1954 when Queen Elizabeth arrived in Brisbane he was on duty as officer in charge of quarantine, and so saw the proceedings as well as having an integral role of his own. About this time he obtained permanency in the Public Service. In 1975 he was appointed Director of the Queensland Division of the Commonwealth Department of Public Health, retiring on 5 June 1976. He died 11 April 1982 and was buried in Brisbane.


See: Spencer M, John Howard Lidgett Cumpston, 1880-1954, a Biography, self¬published in a limited edition of 100 copies. I think the Wellcome Museum, London has a copy of this.