Topic: Subject or sitter

Is this the terracotta of Major Dunbreck MC [note the different spelling] (no 927) in Contemporary Sculpture 3 July - 4 September 1948, Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery? Who is this man, where did he win his medal, and was he attached to an Essex regiment? Is he the Major Dunbreck who attended Staff College in 1931?

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

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The Collection has commented: 'Chelmsford Museum acquired a collection of busts that Huxley-Jones was commissioned to do. We have no further information on the sitters. The museum also holds an incomplete database of soldiers who served with the Essex Regiment but have no record of a Major Dunbrich (or Dunbreck) having served’

Jacinto Regalado,

He could easily be in his seventies, meaning b. ca. 1870, if not earlier.

Bill Ellson,

I cannot find any Dunbrich or Dunbreck who was awarded the Military Cross.

Others will disagree, but a possible candidate is Thomas Sidney Dumbreck MC, born Lancashire 24 May 1877, died Hemel Hempstead 1 March 1948. Temporary Lieutenant Dumbreck of the King's Own Scottish Borderers attached to 46th battalion Royal Fusiliers appears as awarded the Military Cross in the London Gazette 3 Feb 1920. His medal card (War & Victory medals) shows that he served in East Africa. He was in the army 1915 - 1922. If it is Dumbreck the Major is erroneous. His service record in the National Archives WO 339/30498 may shed more light if anybody wants to pursue it. He was living in Tring, Herts at the time of his death.

I wonder if this might be a Dumbreck, with Scottish roots. Might be worth checking that surname spelling with records of a Military Cross, if Martin’s potential Russell-Cotes lead relates to this portrait.

Michael Hurman,

I would suggest that he is not the Dunbreck who attended the staff college in 1931. see:

which shows him as psc (passed staff college) and serving with The Royals a cavalry Regiment. He is appointed as Brigade Major to the 2nd Cavalry Brigade in 1935. He is later promoted above the rank of Major. I can not find that he had been awarded the MC.

Michael Hurman,

Re my previous suggestion. If the MC attribution is an error of transcription of his initials "SC" Sutherland Campbell. The dates fit in terms of his service for the sculpture in 1946, but his rank by 1947 is Brigadier which would mean a second error.
The age of the person depicted in the sculpture looks much older than the average serving Major, unless he by this time has retired and retained his military title as many did in those days. Then as a suggestion we should be looking for someone who was born circa 1870 making the sitters age circa 76.

His Brigadier rank shown in 1947:

Michael Hurman,

I see Jacinto has already suggested this. Apologies.

Bill, sorry I had not seen your message before I typed mine. I wondered if you had also considered Brigadier Sutherland Campbell Dumbreck (1897-1972). Maybe too young for this sculpture?

Jacinto Regalado,

I think someone b. 1897 would be too young, David. I can't imagine he would have aged that badly before he turned 50.

Michael Hurman,

Having suggested that the Dumbreck who attended the Staff College in 1931 was not the sitter, and having failed to find another possibility apart from TS Dunbreck MC who seems only to have reached the rank of Lieutenant, suggested by Bill Ellson. I would like to suggest that The sitter is Major General SC Dumbreck with the attribution errors of missing out General and changing his initials to MC. see the likeness in the attached jpeg.
Dumbreck had been given the 2 star rank for his post with the Allied Mission for the Greek elections in 1946. A common practice to bump up a rank when on overseas attachment. He was actually of Brigadier rank ( 1 Star).
I know this is all a stretch but I think the likeness and date make this suggestion a possibility.

Ref: General S C Dumbreck&f=false

Kieran Owens,

No person in England, Scotland and Wales of the name Dunbrich is listed in the official registration records as having been born, been married or died between the years 1830 and today. Also, the surname does not appear one single time in a search of the British Newspaper Archive. It should assumed that the surname in the title for this bust is definitely incorrect.

Kieran Owens,

If it features any of his own work in its near 100 illustrated pages, the bust might be included in Huxley-Jones's "Modelled Portrait Heads" (The Studio Publications, 1955 (published as The Studio How To Do It Series No. 60) and the revised edition from Alec Tiranti, London, 1968). Once the lifting of Covid restrictions allow, anyone with access to a good art library might care to check through it.

Jacinto Regalado,

Michael, since the dates are about the same for the bust and the photo you posted, the man is the photo is clearly much younger than the man depicted by the bust, which means (to me) that they might be related, but not the same person.