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GEORGE NICHOLSON BRADFORD VC - Zeebrugge Raid

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 13 Apr 2008 13:37    Onderwerp: GEORGE NICHOLSON BRADFORD VC - Zeebrugge Raid Reageer met quote

George Bradford was BORN ON St George's Day 1887 and KILLED ON St George's Day in 1918

GEORGE NICHOLSON BRADFORD VC


Lieut-Commander H.M.S. "Iris II.", Royal Navy,
who died on Tuesday, 23rd April 1918. Age 31.

Citation

An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31236, dated 14th March, 1919, records the following:-

"For most conspicuous gallantry at Zeebrugge on the night of the 22nd-23rd April, 1918. This Officer was in command of the Naval Storming Parties embarked in Iris II. When Iris II proceeded alongside the Mole great difficulty was experienced in placing the parapet anchors owing to the motion of the ship. An attempt was made to land by the scaling ladders before the ship was secured. Lieutenant Claude E. K. Hawkings (late Erin) managed to get one ladder in position and actually reached the parapet, the ladder being crushed to pieces just as he stepped off it. This very gallant young officer was last seen defending himself with his revolver. He was killed on the parapet. Though securing the ship was not part of his duties, Lieut.-Commander Bradford climbed up the derrick, which carried a large parapet anchor and was rigged out over the port side; during this climb the ship was surging up and down and the derrick crashing on the Mole. Waiting his opportunity he jumped with the parapet anchor on to the Mole and placed it in position. Immediately after hooking on the parapet anchor Lieut.-Commander Bradford was riddled with bullets from machine guns and fell into the sea between the Mole and the ship. Attempts to recover his body failed. Lieut.-Commander Bradford's action was one of absolute self-sacrifice; without a moment's hesitation he went to certain death, recognising that in such action lay the only possible chance of securing Iris II and enabling her storming parties to land."

Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bradford, of Milbanke, Darlington.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery: BLANKENBERGHE TOWN CEMETERY, Blankenberghe, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Row A. Grave 5.



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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 21:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Vandaag op nagenoeg 8 km van mijn deur het graf bezocht van VC George Bradford. Zijn heldendaad op de IRIS II is algemeen bekend.

Aanleiding van dit bezoek, was een bezoek 3 dagen geleden aan het graf van zijn broer, VC Roland Boys Bradford, in Hermies, nabij Cambrai.
R.B. Bradford werd de jongste Brigadier-Generaal ooit. Hieronder een korte biografie en mijn foto.

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Roland Boys BradfordThe youngest and most remarkable of the “Fighting Bradfords” was Roland Boys Bradford. He was born on 23rd February 1892 at Witton Park, near Bishop Auckland. In August 1914, as the Great War began, he was a twenty-two year old Second Lieutenant serving with the 2nd Battalion DLI. The Battalion’s Adjutant, Francis Maughan, later remembered this young officer -
“From the day that Bradford joined the Battalion, I was conscious of his strong personality... From the beginning he was all keenness and enthusiasm in the right direction. He was ready to turn his hand to anything... and he would set to work with a calmness and often an originality of thought which brought success... He took a prominent part in all games, especially those with his men, organising and leading them... He was very keen when anything out of the common had to be done, when he had plenty of ideas and showed the courage of his convictions. I do not think that anyone who knew him in peace was surprised that he succeeded in war, even to the height he attained.”
2 DLI landed at St. Nazaire in France on 10th September 1914. Ten days later near Troyon, it fought its first action and suffered, in a few hours, nearly as many casualties as the Regiment had lost in the Boer War. In “D” Company, the only officer to survive was Roland Bradford. A few days later he was promoted to Lieutenant. By the end of the year, he was one of only four original officers of the Battalion to have escaped death or wounding. In February 1915, Lieutenant Bradford was awarded the newly-created Military Cross “for services rendered in connection with operations in the field” [Citation] and in May, was sent as Adjutant and Temporary Captain to the 7th Battalion DLI. There he was to learn exactly how a battalion worked.
At the beginning of May 1916, he was made Temporary Major and appointed as second in command to the 9th Battalion DLI, a Territorial unit from Gateshead. He took full command in August, though his permanent rank was still only Lieutenant and he was only twenty-four years old. During the next sixteen months, Roland Bradford was to turn this Battalion into one of the finest fighting units in the British Army and show that he was capable of even greater success.
On the Somme in July and August 1916, it had been Kitchener’s New Army that had born the brunt of the fighting. In September, it was the turn of the Territorials. On 15 September, Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Bradford was wounded as he led his 9th Durhams, as part of the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division, into battle for the first time against the German held trenches east of Martinpuich.
Then on 1 October, the 50th Division was ordered to capture Eaucourt l’Abbaye and the trenches east of Le Sars. The assault was timed for 3.15pm and was to be led on the right by the 6th Battalion DLI with 9 DLI close behind in support. As the Durhams waited in their trenches for the attack to begin, they came under heavy German artillery and machine gun fire and Major Wilkinson, commanding 6 DLI, was badly wounded in the arm. As he was going back to the casualty clearing station, he met Roland Bradford and asked him to take command of his Battalion. Major Wilkinson later remembered -
“I told him that it was imperative to have a senior officer up to control matters, as I had no one in my Battalion except Lieutenants and Second-Lieutenants.”
Once permission had been given by Brigade Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Bradford rushed forward from his Headquarters to the front line. Meanwhile, as the artillery barrage lifted from the German front line, the 6th Durhams attacked Flers Line. They were on the extreme right of the 50th Division and immediately came under withering machine-gun fire, as the Division on their right had been unable to get into position on time. The attack ground to a halt, as men desperately sought cover in shell holes from the flying bullets. At that critical moment, Roland Bradford arrived. Ignoring the dangers, he immediately went amongst the soldiers, encouraging, organising, giving new, clear orders. “By his fearless energy under fire of all descriptions, and his skilful leadership of the two Battalions, regardless of all danger, he succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and defended the objective and so secured the flank.” [Citation]
Though notification of the award of the Victoria Cross to Lieutenant (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) Roland Boys Bradford appeared in the London Gazette on 25 November 1916 - “For most conspicuous bravery and good leadership in attack” [Citation], he was too busy to go home. He had a battalion to run. He was finally presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V during an open air ceremony in Hyde Park on 2 June 1917.
On 10 November 1917, Bradford was given command of the 186th Brigade of the 62nd (West Riding) Division and, reluctantly, left his 9th Durhams. The career of Brigadier-General Roland Boys Bradford VC MC, however, lasted just twenty days. During the Battle of Cambrai on 30th November 1917, he was killed by a stray German shell near his Brigade Headquarters in Bourlon Wood and was buried in Hermies British Cemetery. He was twenty-five years old. Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief, wrote in late 1918 -
“I knew Bradford quite well and had personally followed his career with interest..... He was an officer of outstanding talent and personality..... exceptionally young but particularly capable. His death was a great loss to the Army and I and all who had known and served with him deeply deplore it.”
One evening in July 1917, whilst in reserve resting after the Battle of Arras, Roland Bradford had ordered his Battalion on parade. He then told the assembled soldiers -
“I want you to sing the hymn the band will now play, every night at retreat, whether you are in the trenches or in billets.”
The band then struck up “Abide with Me.” It became the Battalion’s hymn and was soon adopted by the entire Regiment. It is still the Regimental hymn.
In December 1917, just a few weeks after they had learnt of Bradford’s death, the 9th Durhams left the horrors of the Ypres Salient and moved into billets. That night, after “Last Post” was sounded, came “Abide with Me.” A soldier newly arrived in the Battalion sneered - “What’s this? A bloody Sunday School!” He was immediately punched to the ground by Private Bobby Davidson, a veteran soldier wearing the ribbon of the Military Medal, who told him -
“That hymn was taught to us by a better bloody soldier than you will ever be.”
When he died, aged still only twenty-five years old, Roland Bradford was the youngest Brigadier-General in the British Army. It is impossible to guess what higher rank he might have achieved by the end of the Great War had he lived. And what of the Second World War? In 1942, when General Montgomery took over the 8th Army in North Africa, he was already fifty-four. Roland Bradford would have been just fifty years old.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 21:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

In Hermies zijn er twee begraafplaatsen tegenover mekaar : Hermies British Cemetery en Hermies Hill British Cemetery.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 22:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

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Dit zou de exacte locatie moeten zijn (rood aangeduid) waar Bradford op 30 nov. 1917 werd gedood door een 'stray shell' die zijn rug doorkliefde. Hij was als bevelhebber zijn eenheden komen bezoeken nabij Lock 6, Canal du Nord, niet zo ver van Graincourt (uiterst links).
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 22:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het beste artikel over de broers verscheen in de jaren '90 in The Times

Incredible story unearthed of four famous fighting brothers
They were all six foot tall, handsome, and keen sportsmen.
The sons of a colliery owner, their formative years had prepared them to be pillars of the community who would make a fine catch for any young lady.
Then the First World War broke out and the four Bradford brothers were reduced to one.
George died on his 31st birthday. Roland was killed in action aged 25 [See below* Ed.]. James died of wounds at 28. Only Thomas lived and returned to his native Durham.
Either posthumously or in their lifetime they all received high commendation for bravery.
This combination of heroism, wasted lives and family ties has captured the public imagination and has ensured the Bradford brothers, from Witton Park near Bishop Auckland, are still famous.
Known as the "fighting Bradfords", their achievements in the field of battle became legendary.
And through the research of local historians Harry Moses and George Harwood, new information has come to light about their childhood and wartime exploits.
Mr Moses and Mr Harwood managed to trace Thomas Bradford's son from his first marriage, who now lives overseas, and he in turn put them in touch with his cousin living in England.
Mr Moses, headteacher at Aycliffe Village Primary School, said he and his colleague had so much material they now plan to write a book on the family.
"We have discovered things I know nobody else has found out. I don't want to give too much away, but certainly their upbringing was a lot tougher than it was made out to be", he said.
"It was the courage they showed at that time which captured people's imaginations.
"Certainly they touched a chord with many people in Darlington and the surrounding areas because they were local to the place."
But Mr Moses said that, despite his interest in researching wartime events, he is no hawk and learning about the Bradford boys had strengthened his beliefs.
"The more I read the more I am certain war is an abomination."
Roland and George were the only brothers in the war to each win a Victoria Cross, the greatest wartime honour.
Roland, the most famous of the four, joined the DLI in 1912 and went to France in September 1914 with the second battalion of the regiment.
He had a meteoric rise, winning the Military Cross at Armentieres for leading an attack. As leader of the ninth battalion of the DLI he was made a Lieutenant Colonel in 1916 and won his VC at the Somme.
On November 10 1917 he was made a Brigadier-General at the age of only 25. He was and may still be the youngest man ever to have held that rank in the British Army.
Less than three weeks later he was killed at Cambrai, France, in the first major tank battle in history as he led infantry troops behind tanks advancing across enemy trenches. [Not correct... see below * Ed.]
In his honour a plaque was placed in St Cuthbert's Church, Darlington, and a porch at the town's Memorial Hospital was dedicated to him.
George, the second oldest Bradford brother, was killed in the Zeebrugge blockade in April 1918, and was awarded his VC posthumously.
He was a Lieutenant Commander with the Royal Navy and had been in charge of assault forces attacking a concrete arm built into the sea.
The aim had been to draw German fire while ships were sunk in the canal running from the port inland to Bruges, to prevent U-boats harboured there from entering the sea.
James joined the Northumberland Hussars as a private in 1913 and the next year went to France with them.
He then joined the 18th battalion of the DLI and was made a Second Lieutenant in September 1915.
In March 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for his role as a bombing officer in charge of ground troops throwing bombs into enemy trenches.
On May 10 he was wounded and died four days later at Arras.
Only Thomas survived and went on to have a full life until his death at the age of 80 in 1966.
He served as a Captain with the eighth battalion of the DLI and was in Ypres from April 1915, where he was wounded in battle. The following January he was given the Distinguished Service Order, the highest award for an officer after the VC.
He was made Brigade Major and spent the last two years of the war training officers from the Yorkshire and Lancashire regiment.
In peacetime he lived in Aden Cottage, Durham, married twice, stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative MP for Seaham and Durham, was a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham and worked as a surveyor for the National Coal Board.



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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 22:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De enige overlevende broer Thomas, die 80 werd, heeft altijd schuldgevoelens gehad. Hij noemde zichzelf 'de minst moedige van de 4' omdat hij het had overleefd.

Hij was betrokken bij de gasaanval op 24 april 1915 nabij Boetleer Farm en 200 meter verder bij de Stroombeek als onderdeel van de 8 DLI
Die actie is uitvoerig beschreven.

8 DLI was sent to assist 85 Brigade at Verloren-Hoek, coming under fire for the first time. 8 DLI were then sent to reinforce the 8th Canadian Battalion at Boetleers Farm on Gravenstafel Ridge which it reached at 3am on the 25th. Two companies were sent further forward and occupied a position on the far side of the Stroombeek.

From 4am until 2pm the Germans shelled the British positions, followed by German attacks which were beaten back. At 3.30pm large numbers of German troops were seen advancing towards the ridge and the Canadians, under orders withdrew. 8 DLI, having received no orders to withdraw remained in action, repulsing German attacks and were reinforced by other units, including the returning Canadians. The forward positions had to be abandoned in the evening after heavy fighting but the battalion held onto the farm. It was only at 4am on the 26th that the battalion had to fall back to the Hanebeek, carrying out an effective fighting retreat. They then moved to the Zonnebeke Ridge until it was relieved on the 27th by 5 DLI and withdrew to Verloren-Hoek

The above few lines do not do justice to actions of 8 DLI and the words of General Bulfin who commanded the sector perhaps sum it up better ‘The greatest possible credit is due to the 8th Durham Light Infantry and the small detachment who, in spite of having their flanks turned and being enfiladed, remained in the northern line beating off all attacks and inflicting heavy loss on the enemy, and thereby saved the flank of the 85th Brigade’ Casualties were heavy for the battalion with killed, wounded and missing totalling 593 soldiers.

Captain Thomas Bradford Leads the Battalion into the Trenches to Relieve the Canadians
During the early hours of Sunday April 25th Captain Tommie Bradford led the Battalion with "D" Company closely followed by Captain Frank Harvey with "A" Company. They left the rest of the Battalion at Boetleer Farm. But even before they had reached the farm and the trenches beyond it they had been surprised at finding so many dead lying everywhere, with many of the bodies half stripped of their clothes and with the distinctive smell of chlorine hanging in the air.
The account of events has been told by historian Harry Moses who shows us that "the two companies held an extremely dangerous outpost position isolated from the rest of the Battalion back at Boetleer Farm.
It was a situation which called upon all the aggression, enthusiasm, drive and leadership which Thomas Bradford had displayed so often on the playing field and had been instilled into him for most of his life. His large, stolid frame, conspicuous throughout the day as he moved amongst his men, was a source of strength to many. The situation was made much more desperate by the inexperience of the officers and men as they faced an enemy whose strength and ruthlessness were most obvious. They faced their ordeal with an enthusiasm which only their ignorance of what was to come allowed them to have.
Six hundred yards beyond the farm they reached a trench held by the Canadians. Tommie Bradford with "D" Company moved some 200 yards along the Canadians' trench till they came to a flooded communication trench. They moved on through the communication trench for another 200 yards till they reached a second Canadian trench. It had previously been a French trench and there were the bodies of French Colonial soldiers buried in and around it. The bodies had received such a shallow burial that during the day the exploding shells were exposing the buried bodies. The Germans were holding trenches about 150 - 200 yards further on.
The two companies of the Durham Light Infantry had arrived! They were relieving the Canadians and were in a dangerous position, exposed on three sides to superior numbers of German troops and to the overwhelming firepower of enemy guns of many calibres.
It was not long before a German observation plane started making many passes over the DLI trenches. On one of its runs it was seen to be dropping some glittering material just over the DLI trenches. The reason for this 'drop' was not understood until a few moments later there began a heavy and continuous barrage of shells from the German heavy guns which rained death and destruction down upon the inexperienced young soldiers of the DLI, who tragically were without steel helmets and without machine guns. The DLI did have some gunners and some belts of ammunition, but even they were useless because the ammunition was of a different calibre to the machine guns left behind by the Canadians. The British Artillery was all but non-existent and there were no machine guns. The DLI had nothing but their rifles, although fortunately some Canadians had volunteered to stay on in order to provide some urgently needed machine gun support for the two DLI Companies. There was total chaos and destruction everywhere. The noise was deafening. The rapidly diminishing numbers of officers and N.C.Os were for the most part unable to make themselves heard above the ear-splitting explosions and the shrieks of the men being blown apart. The trenches had good breastwork but no parados behind them for protection. In fact the truth was that the position was a hopeless one to defend, and the replaced Canadians were not slow to point this fact out to the DLI replacing them. It has been said that "All they could do was to curse, cry and pray", and await the German infantry attack which they knew must follow.
Harry Moses, the military historian, has written that "this was the day, the moment, when Thomas Bradford was to be truly tested as a leader of men, the ultimate test. Whilst chaos reigned all about him, everything he did, every word he spoke, every command he gave, every movement of his face and eyes, [all of it was] scrutinised by his men as they looked to him to hold them together. Had he shown weakness, fear, uncertainty, disaster would have been complete. He was everywhere rallying his men, encouraging, rapping out precise orders, showing a complete disregard for his own safety as he fought to bring order out of confusion. He rallied the survivors and when the German attack came in it was beaten off. This unsuccessful attack was followed by another enormous barrage of high explosive shells, mixed with shrapnel, as the enemy sought to blast the company out of its positions.
By early afternoon, Captain Bradford was becoming increasingly concerned about his open left flank. Comments were passed that many of the enemy were dressed in blue uniforms instead of the expected German field grey. Captain McLeod, a Canadian officer who had stayed behind to help the Durham's 'settle in' confirmed that the enemy were in fact German Marines. Enfilade fire was coming into the positions from that direction of the left flank. Runners were sent to try to contact Battalion headquarters at Boetleer Farm, but if they got through no message of support was forthcoming. Bradford ordered Lieutenant Wilson to take a party of men and extend his left flank to meet the threat. Wilson and his men took up positions in a field of mustard but were unable to dig in before the enemy guns located them and inflicted heavy losses on the party. Wilson was wounded and many of his men were killed. The Germans made another determined attack and yet again were driven off by rapid rifle fire which exacted a heavy toll on the enemy infantry. These successes raised the spirits of the "D" Company survivors but they must have been quickly lowered by what happened next. Some two miles away three trains drew up on the Ypres-Standen railway, full of German infantry. These forces detrained, formed up and moved towards the Durhams' positions. The Germans attacked once again with their vastly superior forces, but again were driven off with heavy loss. As each attack was driven off the company positions were saturated with heavy enemy artillery fire and many of those who had survived so far became casualties.
It was now late afternoon and the situation was becoming desperate. Bradford had lost almost all of his officers and most of his N.C.O's. His company was down to about 30 fit men out of an original total of about 200. The Germans were actively working around his left flank. Both "D" and "A" Companies - the latter was also under heavy enemy attack and had suffered considerable casualties - had contracted their positions to make defence more manageable with the small number of men available. Ammunition was low. The men were desperately tired. The German guns continued their remorseless hammering of what breastworks remained and casualties continued to rise. About 5 p.m., another German attack was driven off, but it was now clear that a decision would have to be made about retirement. The prospects for getting away were extremely slim. The fields leading back to Boetleer Farm were wide open, completely devoid of cover, and swept by enemy artillery and machine guns. Yet there was no other way out. Bradford and his men, along with those of "A" Company, had done far more than could have been asked of them. At 5.30 p.m. the one remaining machine gun ran out of ammunition. There was now very little left to fight with other than the bayonet and bare hands. The numbers left to fight were pitifully small.
At about 6 p.m., Bradford gave the order to retire through "A" Company's positions on their right. Captain Harvey, who commanded "A" Company, wrote:
'Just after 6 p.m. we saw figures dodging along the sector we had vacated and the guns swung round. Fortunately a shout from one of our men stopped the fire. We recognized Captain Bradford and about a dozen of his men. They jumped in amongst us... I had a moment's conversation with Captain Bradford and then he passed through with his men.'
Bradford was the last to leave his position. He worked his way to the rear through shell and machine gun fire, searching for Battalion headquarters. He lost his way and found himself with the 2nd Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers of the 28th Division. He had been slightly wounded in the hand.
Of the fine company he had commanded when he left England, about two hundred strong, which he had led into the breastworks early on that same morning of April 25th 1915, he had lost 7 officers and 173 N.C.O's and men, killed, wounded or missing. They were men he had known and commanded for two years. Every one of them he knew by sight and by name and he had a deep sense of responsibility for their welfare and safety.
It is not difficult to imagine his feelings as he left so many of them behind amongst the shambles of breastworks they had manned only a short time ago. He moved back to where he thought the Battalion might be concentrated when relieved. He reached Vlamertinghe the following day, April 26th. Here he was joined by a small number of stragglers who came in over the next few hours. These numbers increased and included members of other companies of the 8th Battalion. On May 3rd, his young sister's birthday, he rejoined the Battalion with 120, at a rest camp near Brielen.
Total Battalion losses had been 19 officers and 574 N.C.O's and men out of the original 800."
For those of us who have not been faced by the horror of war it is impossible to imagine the shock and the severe psychological pressure upon men in the front line. One Canadian officer, a Captain Northwood, who had been taken prisoner, told a fellow officer about Bradford's Company which with 'A' Company had relieved his own Canadian Battalion at the front. He said that the attitude and bearing of 'The Durham's' would have been splendid even if they had been seasoned troops, but considering that most of them were boys under fire for the very first time, it was a shame that they should have been expected to relieve part of his Battalion.
Tommie Bradford was wounded in the second battle of Ypres, was twice mentioned in Despatches and was awarded the D.S.O. before being promoted to Staff Captain and then to Brigade Major.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Jun 2011 22:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tenslotte de vierde broer die overleed aan zijn verwondingen in Arras :

James Bradford MC


James was educated at Darlington Grammar School (now Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College) and at Polam Grange School in Darlington. Although it has been said of him that "he was not clever, but a plodder", he did have one gift which had not been given to his brothers; he and his sister were both very musical.
Over six feet in height and strong and wiry, James took part in nearly every branch of sport with true Bradford zest; indeed his physique was one that any athlete might have envied. A fair cricketer and soccer player, he was also a good boxer, wrestler and swimmer.
With his most generous disposition and simple faith in the honesty of all the world James Bradford was a man for whom it was impossible not to feel a warm affection. His sympathetic outlook on life, and his quickness to see points of view other than his own, made him exceptionally successful in handling men.
After leaving school he served his time at Hawthorn Leslie's Engineering Works at Newcastle-upon -Tyne as an Engineer, and later became a Director of the Dinsdale Wire and Steel Works, Co. Durham. For three years before the war he was in the Naval Reserve as an Able Seaman, and in 1913 he became a trooper in the Northumberland Hussars. In 1914 he went out with them to France.
But before the war broke out the the war-fever had begun to spread and James had done excellent recruiting work.'When the great recruiting time was on,' his sister had written, 'Jimmie got lots of recruits for the Yeomanry. Many of them were men who had never been on a horse, and he used to teach them to ride and jump in the garden on Sundays, on his mare Kitty and my pony.'

As a trooper in the Northumberland Hussars James was perfectly contented and happy. He had never been an officer, and he had no ambition to become one. Consequently a lot of persuasion and argument was required before he could be induced to change his mind. In 1915 however, he yielded to the persuasions of his brother Roland, who told him that he would be of more value as an officer. Soon afterwards he was given a Commission in the 18th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry (Kitchener's Army).

During the summer of 1916 James married Miss Annie (Nancy)Wall of Darlington, who went to the same school as his young sister Amy. They had no children, which is sad. But perhaps it was for the best; how can we know about such things?

On August 1st 1916 on the Somme, he was wounded - the official description was 'G.S.W. arm and right ankle.' In consequence of this wound he spent several months in England, but early in 1917 he was back again on the Somme, and on April 17th, the London Gazette contained the following notice:-
Awarded the Military Cross
________________________________________
Temp. 2nd Lieutenant James Barker Bradford, 18th Bn. Durham Light Infantry.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He gallantly led his men into the enemy's trench, capturing many prisoners and two machine guns. He himself killed three of the enemy. Later he succeeded in repelling a determined enemy counter attack.

Hebuterne Sector, 3rd March, 1917.

During that month of March, his brother George in the Navy had expressed his hopes that 'a grateful country would give Jimmy a decoration.' And in the light of future events it is more than pleasing to think of George's gratification in the fact that his brother's gallantry was so quickly recognised.
On the 10th May 1917 James was wounded again.
'G.S.W. left shoulder and left thigh,' and from these wounds he died four days later. He was buried in Duisan's British Cemetery, near Arras, France, the first of the Bradford brothers to lay down his life for a cause in which he steadfastly believed and for a country he dearly loved
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