2nd Lieutenant, Arthur Lancelot Bonner (k/a Lance) Plunkett – Survived

Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Rifles

Cap Badge of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Rifles, similar to the one which would have been worn by Arthur (Lance) Plunkett.

Synopsis of Engineering Achievement Post World War One

Arthur Lancelot Bonner (Lance) Plunkett was a civil engineer involved in the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Between 1924 and 1926, on behalf of Sir Douglas Fox and Partners, Consulting Engineers, he took charge of the office in which the designs and erection schemes for Dorman Long & Co’s bridge contracts were prepared, he prepared 3 preliminary designs for the bridge. 

By the time it was under construction, Plunkett was involved in civil projects in Nassau, Bahamas. Plunkett never actually visited the bridge before he died in London of throat cancer on 13 August 1937.

Further Military and Civilian Research

© The Sphere Newspaper (12 June 1915)
  • 18 March 1890 – Arthur was born at Secunderabad, Madras, India.
  • 3 July 1890 – He was baptised at St Thomas Mount, Secunderabad, India, his family were resident at Shahabad, India at that time.
  • 1 April 1917 – He was given a temporary commission as 2nd Lieutenant into the 1/32nd Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Rifles as part of the Indian Defence Force.
  • 3 October 1933 – Arthur Plunkett appears in a court case at the High Court of Justice where his address is given as Hillerton Cross, near Bow, Devon and his business is shown as Furrier and Consulting Engineer, Parliament Mansions, Orchard Street, Westminster, London.
  • 13 August 1937 – He died at Pancras, London of Throat Cancer.

Devon and Exeter Gazette

The edition of the above newspaper dated 26 August 1932 gives the following article on Arthur, and although he is placed in the unfortunate position of having to sell his assets due to a misinformed business venture, it gives a background to his life and shows that he was a debtor who was willing to pay his debts by selling his assets.

“The statutory first meeting has been held by adjournment at London Bankruptcy Buildings of the creditors of Arthur Lancelot Bonner Plunkett, described as of Hillerton Cross, near Bow, Devon, and late of Orchard Street, Westminster, furrier and consulting engineer. Mr Ferrars Vyvyan (Official Receiver) presided.

It appears from statements the debtor has made that he was formerly a resident engineer, first in India and afterwards in Trinidad. In June, 1924, he joined a London firm of consulting engineers in charge of the bridges department, and remained with them until 1926. Afterwards, with others, he bought up a fur farm company, of which he acted as chairman until the end of last year. He holds 72,000 ordinary one-dollar shares in that company of no par value. While in England in 1930 he met another person who knew the fur trade, and a company was formed for the purpose of manufacturing fur coats. He, in reality, became the sole owner of the company, into which he put about £1,000, but it suffered a considerable loss, and was shut down in January last. He was responsible for its debts, rather more than half of which have been paid, but he was unable to find the remaining money, and the proceedings in bankruptcy ensued. The debtor, who attributes his failure to losses in two companies, estimates his liabilities at £2,000, and values his assets at £7, 373, of which £7, 250 is placed on lease of Hillerton Cross. A trustee of debtor’s estate was nominated.”


Arthur Lancelot Bonner Plunkett was born on 18th March, 1890 at Secunderabad, Madras, India. The following family information is taken from family ancestry trees.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – Arthur James O’Leary Plunkett, Station Master.
  • Mother – Alice Ellen Bonner or Plunkett.
  • Sister – Marguerite May St John, born c.1885, d.1955.
  • Sister – Mary Josephine, born c.1889.
  • Sister – Ellen Bonner, born 20 December 1891 at Chudderghat, India.
  • Brother – Havelock Arthur Terence, born 15 April 1896at Madras, India, d.7 January 1916.


  • His mothers address in 1926 was given as c/o Hilton, District Engineer, Sultan, Punjab, India.
  • His home address on 3 October 1933 was Hillerton Cross, near Bow, Devon and his business address was Parliament Mansions, Orchard Street, Westminster, London.


Arthur Lancelot Bonner Plunkett was awarded the, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Links to Additional Information


  • London Gazette – 31 October 1933, page 7092.
  • Medal Index Card.
  • England and Wales Register of Death.
  • British India Office Ecclesiastical Returns – Births and Baptisms.
  • Devon and Exeter Gazette dated 26 August 1932.
  • The Sphere Newspaper dated 12 June 1915.
  • London Gazette dated 15 November 1918, page 13509.


  • Vincent Stuart
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