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Roland Boys Bradford and his brothers




Colour photo of the four Bradford brothers in uniform

Roland - the youngest brother
Pic of Union Jack fluttering in the wind
Brigadier-General Roland B. Bradford won the Victoria Cross and was also the youngest Brigadier-General in the British Army

When Uncle Roland won his V.C. (in addition to his M.C) he was still only a Lt. Colonel. He was the youngest brother in the Bradford family, the most decorated family in Britain in World War I.

In May of 1994 my son Christopher and I visited Colonel Rodney Gee, M.C., D.L.I., Roland's Adjutant in 1917, who was living in a home for the elderly at Clifton near Bristol. Upon entering Colonel Gee's very spacious bed-sitting room it was a great surprise and pleasure to see the very familiar photograph of my uncle hanging upon the wall above the bed. It seems that Roland had been something of a hero to the young adjutant, who took pleasure in telling us a lot about him and of those years in France. At the time Colonel Gee had been a Captain of 19, and Roland had been 24.
Colonel Gee has thankfully led a very full life, having been a teacher at Clifton College until the age of 71.







Helen Nowicka's article on the Bradford brothers from the Northern Echo on 1st December 1990

Due to the smallness of the print in the above article we have taken pity upon readers and typed out the entire article (including its errors but correcting its spelling mistakes)!

The story of four brothers' bravery in the First World War will be told in a lecture in Durham today. HELEN NOWICKA has spoken to two local historians who have unravelled the remarkable story of the "Fighting Bradfords" of County Durham.

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.

The lecture will be held at the DLI Museum and Art Gallery, Aykley Heads, Durham City at 2.30 p.m.



* The matter of Roland's death is the subject of various conflicting reports. It is remarkable how inaccurate some newspaper articles can be. Sometimes they are not even capable of reporting a basic matter like Roland's age correctly....... we have even seen one newspaper article which claimed that he never lived to collect his VC!!.... Hmmm .. so it is hard to explain how it was that he was photographed sitting next to Capt. A.C.T. White in Hyde Park in seat No 14 on 2nd June 1917 as they both waited to receive their VCs from the hand of King George V! ... but we digress... we are considering the matter of Roland's death.
The account of his death in the above article is probably the least plausible of any which have circulated.
Another account states that he was killed by a stray German shell near his Brigade Headquarters in Bourlon Wood.
The account which states that he was killed by a direct hit from a shell on his H.Q. sounds to be doubtful as there must have been other casualties and perhaps survivors who would have verified the correct account. In fact it sounds doubly doubtful if you take into account the researches of one of Roland's cousins well used to gathering precise details due to being in the police. This relative, Mr Robert Chambers, says that his researches have shown that the 186th Brigade H.Q. was in vaults of some kind below Graincourt Church.
Probably the most exact account is one similar to the second one above, which Vera Bradford obtained from a man she knew. He claimed to be the last one to see Roland alive and said that Roland left his H.Q. on horseback, and as he wasn't heard from for some time a search party was sent out to find him. They found him later, having been killed by a piece of shrapnel from a shell.



FULL TEXT of Remembrance Day article from The Times of 12th November 1999 - CLICK HERE



Of Roland’s preparedness for the war in France, Captain Welch M.C. of the Durham Light Infantry wrote the following: “If ‘Thrice-armed is he who knows his quarrel just’, Roland went well equipped into this life or death struggle of his country.” And Captain Welch also observed that “William Wordsworth’s ideal soldier is he who, whether destined for fame or obscurity, finds comfort in himself and in his cause. This being so, no happier warrior than Bradford ever left England for the battle fields of France.”


Roland was evidently a man who responded well to others not only when in command but also when under authority. When it was time for him to leave his position as 2nd in command in the 7th Battalion in order to take command of the 9th Battalion, his departure was a source of genuine regret to all with whom he had come in contact.
In a letter of congratulation his Colonel, Colonel Vaux, wrote: “Our year together has been, in my opinion, a very wonderful one. Never since you joined me have you and I had a single wrong word, and honestly I feel deeply all the things you have done for me.”



Roland Bradford's bravery at Eaucourt L'Abbaye in 1916 won him the V.C.

The description of his action (at Flers Trench near Eaucourt l'Abbaye in France) on September 15th 1916 was published in these words:-

"For most conspicuous bravery and good leadership in attack, whereby he saved the situation on the right flank of his Brigade and of the Division.
Lt. Col. Bradford's battalion was in support. A leading battalion having suffered very severe casualties, and the commander having been wounded its flank became dangerously exposed at close quarters to the enemy. Raked by machine-gun fire, the situation of the battalion was critical. At the request of the wounded Commander, Lt. Col. Bradford asked permission to command the exposed battalion in addition to his own.
Permission granted, he at once proceeded to the foremost lines. By his fearless energy under fire of all description, and his skilful leadership of the two Battalions, regardless of all danger, he succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and defended the objectives, and so secured the flank."



Roland's personality displayed itself in varying forms.
After winning the V.C., Roland was once asking some searching questions of a man talking wildly in Hyde Park about the Irish Problem and the War. He was not answered by the speaker, but instead was criticized for lounging in the Park rather than fighting for his country. Characteristically Roland refused to identify himself when he was booed loudly by the hostile crowd.

During the same period of leave, when he visited his home town of Darlington, the Mayor asked him if he might arrange a public welcome. Roland's response was that if anything of the sort were done he would get straight into a train and return to London. No discourtesy was intended, but the fact was that whatever personal ambition Roland had ever had was entirely obliterated by his love for and pride in his men. The honour conferred upon him was an honour to his battalion even more than to himself.



Tribute by John Buchan the author of "The Thirty-Nine Steps"

John Buchan wrote that: “... in the long roll of the young dead Roland Bradford is in some ways the most conspicuous figure....”

Tribute by Field-Marshal Earl Haig

Field-Marshal Haig wrote: “I knew Bradford quite well.... He was an officer of outstanding talent and personality ... I feel that a National Memorial to such a gallant officer and gentleman would be a most fitting tribute to his sterling qualities......”



For his men Roland used his time on leave in 1916 to canvass the corridors of Whitehall.
His objective was that the troops be given the same privileges of home leave granted to the officers. In his determination to guard the interests of his men, there is some conclusive evidence that, on this subject of leave, Roland did not mince his words when speaking to those of higher rank than himself. He was always thinking about his men and urging that more of them should be sent on leave. Apparently things reached something of a crisis on one occasion when a General paid a visit to the 9th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry which Roland commanded. Without any hesitation, Roland tackled the General upon the subject of leave, and during the conversation he frankly stated that the leave which ought to go to the fighting troops was taken by the staff behind the lines.

This remark not unnaturally caused the subsequent conversation to be more than a little animated. It was written of this incident that "For a little time the General eyed Bradford up and down as though he would place him under arrest and then told him that leave for the men was his first consideration, and that the leave was properly allotted". It is said however that Roland refused to be convinced, and that it was perhaps fortunate for him that the man with whom he was dealing had a considerable knowledge of human nature as well as some sense of humour. The incident ended with the General patting Roland on the back and remarking that he was damned glad someone was as interested in the men's leave as he himself was.



Roland Bradford's grave at Hermies British Cemetery near Calais

In May 1917 Roland became commanding officer of the 9th D.L.I., a battalion with which he stayed till November 1917. It was then he became Brigadier-General and took over the command of the 186th Brigade of the 62nd (West Riding) Division. He was 25 years of age, but had only a few weeks to live. He was involved in the attack on the Hindenburg Line and was killed by a stray shell that hit his Brigade H.Q., near Graincourt, on St Andrew's Day, November 30th 1917. A blue butterfly_sunning_itself


For his mother and sister Roland had a devotion that was supreme, and the miseries of the French women and children, and the stories of brutality on the part of the enemy filled him with indignation.

Roland was a man full of compassion for his men and for others, as Captain Birt, D.L.I. recalls when speaking of an incident which occurred very early in the campaign near the Soissons area in 1914.
“Roland and I were in the closest contact for seven bad weeks, and I never saw him ‘down’ a bit except once somewhere near Compiegne. We had been marching all night, and about 6 a.m. came upon the poor wretched refugees, old men, women of all ages and children on their way to Paris, with all their belongings on ‘prams’ or in bundles. Roland was marching in the rear of the platoon, and suddenly he came up to me and said: ‘Do you mind if I fall out for a few minutes? ’On my liberating him he asked me for the spare bully beef and all the money I had (about 2 frs 85), and he fell out, to rejoin about a quarter of an hour later, hot from his run and evidently cut up. After tramping at my horse’s side for a few minutes he said: ‘Did you see that last lot of refugees before I fell out? . . . There was a woman among them who reminded me of my mother.’




Roland Bradford in Hyde Park - Front Row, 3rd from right - (seat number 13 empty!) - waiting for the V.C. ceremony to begin. Roland is waiting to be presented with his Victoria Cross by the King himself. Date:- June 2nd 1917.

General H.H. Morant, once Roland’s Commanding Officer, wrote: “Bradford’s battalion came up to relieve mine after the first two days of the Battle of Arras. It was an awful night, dark as pitch, with a blizzard raging. He arrived at my dugout about midnight. After greeting me most respectfully (though we were of similar rank), and after a very brief and modest account of his recent doings in the war in answer to my enquiries, he asked me to excuse him while he issued orders to his second in command, Quartermaster and Transport Officer. The way he gave these orders impressed me greatly. Though he had come up in the dark and in a blizzard to a perfectly strange locality, he had noted positions for cookers, transport lines and everything and everyone, and then he proceeded to give clear and brief but comprehensive orders to each one. This lad, who barely five years previously had been attached to me for preliminary training was now, unconsciously no doubt, giving me a lesson as to how things ought to be done.”


It has been said that some of Roland’s ideas were original, and possibly none was more so than his order that his men should during the summer months take Sun Baths. Watching closely over the health of the men he had been impressed by the amount of skin disease that existed among them. So he consulted the Regimental Medical Officer, and having been assured than Sun Bathing would be beneficial for this disease he issued an order that the men, whether in the line or resting, should sit naked in the sun for an hour each day. At first the modesty of the men prevented them from approving of his command, but Roland never expected any man to do a thing that he was not prepared to do himself, and after he had given them a lead the difficulty very soon was not to get them to take off their clothes but to see that they put them on again at the end of the hour. And we are told that this daily Sun Bath had a wonderfully good effect on the condition of the men.


Roland’s trust in God was evidently at the centre of his life.
Roland made it a tradition in his Battalion to sing his favourite hymn, 'Abide with me', each time before they went into action. He also arranged for the band, which he had had formed for the battalion, to play one verse of ‘Abide with me’ each evening at dusk. This fact comes out in his letter to Messrs Raphael Tuck & Sons Limited, the card publishers, at the time when he was arranging with them for the printing of 3000 cards of the vision of Jesus in the trenches which he had asked them to have their artist paint for him. It was to be "a Souvenir picture from me to my lads" he told the publishers. The words "Abide with me" were to be printed above the picture and beneath it was to be printed, but in his own handwriting, 'With Best Wishes from Roland Bradford'. Yes in the middle of the trauma of battle he found the time to write to the Card Publishers back in London to arrange for a personal Souvenir Card of Jesus appearing to a private in one of their trenches. There was to be a card for each of his men (at his own expense of course)..... and the result was they would do anything for him, because they knew he cared about them and that it was genuine..... you couldn't pull the wool over the eyes of tough men from the Durham coalmines in a hurry!
So it was that 'Abide with me' became the Battalion's hymn, and it was soon adopted by the Regiment. It has remained the Regimental hymn ever since. CLICK HERE for reference to Roland Bradford on the website of Light Infantry Regimental Music ... under 'Durham Light Infantry'

Stephen Shannon, in his booklet 'Beyond Praise' gives us a little glimpse of what all this meant to "the Durhams" of the 9th Battalion. He tells us:

"just a few weeks after they had learnt of Bradford's death, the 9th Durhams had 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."


Yes 'Abide with me' had become their hymn, and Roland Bradford had been one of them. They had adored him. He had earned their love and respect because he had been through thick and thin with them and had led them from the front, not from behind. That was why they had not only been prepared to go with him to hell and back, they had done it.. So now they missed him deeply, and they didn't mind showing it.


At the end of addressing some of the men newly arrived from England, Roland had once told them:
"Upon behalf of the gallant lads whom I have the honour to command, I welcome you to our midst. You are now of us, and will work with us and for us.
"My friends, I am going to arrange for the Band to play one verse of the hymn ‘Abide with me’ every evening. I would like all of you then reverently to join in the words. It should mean more to you than the singing of a well-known hymn. ‘Abide with me’ should be no mere catch-phrase with us.
"It means we realise that there is Someone who really abides with us, and who will help us to help ourselves. Someone who is with us in all our sorrows and hardship, and every man in the world has a fair share of that.
"We soldiers should find great comfort in that fact, however much our comrades and those about us may overlook our work, there is Someone who sees and appreciates it. He is with us, I say, just as our friends, Sergeant Caldwell, Corporal Guy and Private Halley are now serving with Him."

Click here to see the Roland Bradford 'Abide with me' story about the vision of Jesus in the trench: it is on the Shipley Art Gallery page of this website


When we read those words of Roland's it is very easy to miss something significant in the manner of the welcome he extended to the new troops. He doesn't welcome them personally as the 'big noise' in their new world, he welcomes them "Upon behalf of the gallant lads whom I have the honour to command". That is so typical of the man. In the way he always identified himself with all of them as just one part of the Battalion, always gave his troops credit for being a fine fighting unit, right there lay part of the secret of the loyalty all those officers and men of the 9th Battalion D.L.I. felt for one another. But of course we miss the whole point if we imagine it was some ploy he had learned as a way of winning their respect and confidence, with Roland it was genuinely the way he felt. The men sensed it, they knew it was real. The Battalion was welded together in this way.


A corporal in the 9th D.L.I. wrote of meeting a Wesleyan padre in the 62nd Division in France. The corporal said
"He told me that he had been sent for by Brigadier-General Bradford on the night before the latter took over his brigade for the attack of Bourlon Wood. The Brigadier wanted a list of places where padres could be found during the attack, and expressed the opinion that padres during such an event were as important as any General. It was the first time, the padre told me, that such a request had been made of him."


The Rev. Cyril Lomax, who served as Chaplain with Roland, wrote:
"I conceived the greatest affection and admiration for Roland while I was serving with him. He was ...always most willing to back up the efforts of the Chaplain. ..... Quiet, always fresh and unworried, he bore the strain of mud and shell in a marvellous way. ... He was always about among his men. This and his coolness were the main causes of his success. When I went up the line to bury he always attended. And I recollect that one day up in the support trenches near Flers ... he came out to the burial of one of his men, and then asked me if I would like to go with him to hunt for some Boche dugouts along a ridge. Two officers whom he had sent to find them had failed to do so (the situation was not over-healthy), and so he proposed to go himself.

He was extraordinarily helpful under shellfire, and he humbugged me for not ducking quick enough when they came along. We found the dugouts, and then proceeded to bury some Australians who were lying near. Of course this was under enemy observation.”



H.C.B. Plummer, Roland’s Intelligence Officer from March to November 1917, wrote a letter covering numerous aspects of Roland’s character
.... "He often spoke to his battalion before or after an engagement, and on one occasion I remember him telling them not to be ashamed to pray. While realising the privileges due to officers, he believed that they ought to share certain discomforts with the men, notably the carrying of a pack on the march.”


Mrs Rochester Dixon has written, "In June 1917, my nephew who was also my ward, Second-Lieutenant C. J. Dixon, 9th D.L.I., was killed in action, and I had word from an absolutely reliable source that Brigadier-General Bradford insisted upon digging the poor boy’s grave with his own hands, although he had his full Burial Party with him. He also intended to read the Burial Service himself, but this he did not do, as at the last moment an Army Chaplain arrived and read the Service. This action of the General’s seems to me, from what my nephew has written about him, as typical of the consideration which he always showed towards his juniors, and I know from a member of the Burial Party that it made a very great impression upon everyone who was present."


Herbert Hensley Henson, Lord Bishop of Durham, said at Roland's Memorial Service:
"Roland Bradford's religion stood the test of War. He belongs to the great company of Christian soldiers, men who read their dreadful duty as part of Christ's claim on them, and carried into the campaign the high passion of the Crusader. What a company it is! Godfry de Bouillon, St Louis, Simon de Montfort, Sir Philip Sidney, Gustavus Adolphus, Oliver Cromwell, Colonel Gardiner, and countless more - to this glorious fellowship of dedicated warriors Roland Bradford belongs. Of them severally the text might be spoken, 'He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.' [Hebrews xi. 27.]"


Mr Stephen D Shannon, Curator of the D.L.I. Museum, in his account of the Durham Light Infantrymen who were awarded the Victoria Cross, makes the following intriguing observation:

"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."

This comment by Mr Shannon follows on from his consideration of Roland Bradford that "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?"

[Acting Lieutenant-Colonel B L Montgomery DSO (see note below), survived the Great War to become the most successful British general of World War II. It is more than a little interesting to note that Montgomery's success at the Battle of El Alamein has been attributed to:
a) the way he made himself known to his troops, making each man feel that he had an important part to play, and
b) to his personal thoroughness in preparation
..... exactly mirroring Roland Bradford's apparent methods of success in World War I]

* EDITOR'S NOTE on Montgomery of Alamein:-
Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount (1887-1976), has been considered to be the most successful British general of World War II.
From the Royal Military College Sandhurst (as it was called in those days), Montgomery joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as an officer in September 1908. In World War I he was twice wounded, was later awarded the DSO for his role in the attack of October 13th 1914 at the 1st Battle of Ypres. He was made Brigade-Major 112th Infantry Brigade in February 1915, took part in the Battle of the Somme (June-November 1916), in the Battle of Arras (April 1917), and the Battle of Passchendaele (July-November 1917). Bernard Montgomery was promoted to the rank of acting Lieutenant-Colonel in July 1918 just before the war ended.


Many years later in 1994, Mrs Sarah Albion (one of the daughters of Roland's Adjutant Captain Rodney Gee) wrote a letter to one one of Roland Bradford's nephews to say:

"We have been brought up on snippets of Bradford high standards & eccentricities!.... [My father] served as his ADC for I think about 7 months in 1917 - you probably know this - and I think the relationship was one of mutual respect if not close friendship. It seems that your uncle inspired adoration, almost reverence, in all who served under him - my father was certainly no exception."



This is a photograph of Mrs Sarah Albion's father, Colonel Rodney Gee, M.C., D.L.I. It was taken in his Living Room in Clifton in the summer of 1994 when he was 97 ..... he had been adjutant to Roland Bradford in 1917, nearly 80 years earlier. After all those years Roland's photograph can be seen hanging on the wall behind him!

Major-General Walter Braithwaite, commanding the 62nd Division wrote of Roland:

He was a very exceptional man, though only a boy, and might have risen, in fact would have risen, to any height in his profession. His power of command was quite extraordinary. He certainly knew every officer of his Brigade, although he had only commanded it for quite a short time [20 days!], and I honestly believe he knew every non-commissioned officer, and a great many of the privates. He had extraordinary personality, and that personality, linked with his undoubted military genius, made him a very extraordinary character, and a very valuable commander of men."





The loss of this young hero-general seemed to strike a chord in the heart of the nation. There was talk of a new 'Song of Roland'. In 1917 a national newspaper carried the following article penned by "The Londoner":-

That is true. Everything always came right with those young heroes of the books. If I read them again, doubts might trouble me. Here is young Roland Boys Bradford, dead on the field of honour, a general officer with the ribbon of the Victoria Cross on his breast. And he was only five and twenty years old.

Only five and twenty years old. It is the age of a subaltern, a lieutenant's age. I have remarked that the majors and the colonels seem younger than they were. I can remember when the major seemed to be of an earlier generation, when colonels were patriarchal warriors. Now I talk with majors who are younger than I am: the colonel at the dinner table seems to be my fellow in age. But the general remains venerable.


Yet Roland Boys Bradford was a general; and he is dead at five and twenty. Not even the boy's book will dare more in its brave fancies. Wolfe was a young general, but he was two and thirty when he fell on the Plains of Abraham. Roland Boys Bradford was five and twenty.


My newspaper tells me little more than that he is dead, that and the number of his years. There is his name, and it is a name that has a valiant sound this thousand years, since the dying Roland blew the last blast on his horn in the valley of Roncevaux. The first Norman knight who fell among the axes at Hastings was singing of Roland as he rode. If we could find a poet with the old skill he should make a song of Roland the young general who is dead. I dare not say of him that he was not as the boy in the book, that all did not go right with him to the end.

The Londoner



Click for full text of a Lecture given by Brigadier-General Bradford to his Officers of 9th Bn. D.L.I. in 1917

A Milkweed butterfly_sunning_itself




Roland's elder brother Georgie, Lieut-Commander G.N. Bradford was also awarded the Victoria Cross

for his bravery on St George's Day, his birthday, on the Mole at Zeebrugge in Belgium (April 23rd 1918).


Click here to see full page of TRIBUTE LETTERS about Lieut.-Commander G. N. Bradford, V C, Royal Navy from various Admirals, Captains and Shipmates
A Milkweed butterfly_sunning_itself




His brother Jimmie, James Barker Bradford, Second Lieutenant J. B. Bradford, like Roland, had also been awarded the M.C. in March 1917 in the action at Gommecourt



Uncle Jimmie was wounded in the action at Arras and died of wounds in May 1917 before Roland was killed.


Jimmie Bradford's grave in France
A Milkweed butterfly_sunning_itself



The eldest brother Lt. Col. T. A. Bradford, D.L.I., later Sir Thomas Bradford, D.L., D.C.L., J.P., was awarded the D.S.O.

He was the only one of the four brothers to survive the war.







Email Bradford Family descendants with any comments or suggestions of helpful links etc. at: milbanke1933-bradford@yahoo.com



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PIC of all 4 brothers

Butte-de-Warlencourt Page

Mention of Roland in Book about Rommel

List of V.C. Awards during the Battles of the Somme

LINK to D. L. I. Museum website

Summary details and short biography of Roland Bradford by Malcolm McGregor

Roland B Bradford:- Details from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

Click here for page of Tribute Letters about Roland Bradford

Click here to see page with details of Memorials & Plaques in Roland's memory

Click here for Roland's Address to his New Troops fresh out from England

The Bradford Brothers' Memorial Plaque at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington, County Durham

George N Bradford:- Details from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

James B. Bradford:- Details from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

Thomas A. Bradford:- Details and photographs from the family

Amy Isabelle Bradford - the younger schoolgirl sister

The Bradford Roots




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