"When the collision occurred, the lifeboat of the Chelmer was called away, but as it was turned in and covered ready for escort duty, some trouble ensued in getting it away, all the hitches of the cover jamming. The cook's knife and a few files were obtained and the cover was soon removed, and the boat lowered.
"About ten to fifteen minutes after the collision the Chelmer's whaler, in charge of Mr Bradford, proceeded to the trawler and rescued three men. On the return of the whaler, the Captain of the Chelmer (Captain Loftus-Jones, VC, Royal Navy) pulled over to the trawler but considered that she was sinking rapidly, and therefore did not go on board.
"The whaler again returned, and was about to be hoisted when a signal came from the Doon that there was a boy trapped on board the sinking trawler. The whaler, containing the First Lieutenant, Mr Bradford, immediately pulled over to the fast sinking ship.
"Mr Bradford sprang on board, rushed to the fore peak, now inky black, and as the trawler gave a lurch, appeared with the unconscious boy in his arms. (The boy, who was coming up the hatch when the collision occurred, had been stunned by a fall.) The gallant officer arrived just in time, for as he jumped into the whaler the trawler up-ended and her bow alone remained out of water. A few minutes later she sank.
"The Chelmer escorted the Doon back to Portsmouth. Luckily the Doon's collision bulkhead stood. Her bows were badly damaged."
If you are visiting this area and need a modern map to locate the roads to the cemetery, you can move directly to the "Mapquest" website from this page as follows:- CLICK HERE for an up-to-date map of the Blankenberghe area and use the "Zoom In" and "Zoom Out" facility at the righthand side of the pop-up map. The solid red star near the middle of the map marks Blankenberghe.
There are now 10, 1914-18 and over 80, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 10 from the 1939-45 war are unidentified
Lieutenant-Commander George Nicholson Bradford was born on St George's Day 23rd April 1887 at Witton Park in County Durham (the Nicholson came from his Scottish Ancestry). He was killed exactly 31 years later at Zeebrugge upon another St George's Day which will be remembered for many long years in British history.
Click here for Imperial War Museum's page - Shows Brigadier-General Roland Boys Bradford VC MC DLI and Lieutenant-Commander George Nicholson Bradford VC Royal Navy, were the only brothers to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War. [There were 3 other sets of brothers who won the VC, but not in W.W.I.]
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