Bradley E.

EBENEZER BRADLEY (1893-1918)

81318 Private Ebenezer Bradley, 1st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) died of wounds 24 October 1918 and is buried at Premont British Cemetery.[1]  He was 25 years old and is commemorated on the Cockfield War Memorial and the Memorial Plaque in the Cockfield Methodist Church .

Family Details

Ebenezer was born 1893 [2] at Cockfield to Edwin Stobart and Linny Bradley both born at Cockfield.  There were 5 children, all born at Cockfield:

  • Gertrude bc.1889
  • Mary Ellena bc.1891
  • Ebenezer born 1893
  • Gladstone Dixon bc.1899
  • Edwin bc 1900

In 1901, the family lived at Main Street and Edwin worked as a coal miner (hewer).[3]  By 1911, the family lived at Bleak Terrace, Edwin was now a deputy (coal miner), 20 year old Mary Ellen was still at home, 18 year old Ebenezer was a coal miner (putter), 12 year old Gladstone was at school as was 10 year old Edwin.[4]  By 1916, the family lived at 11 Mayfield Terrace, Cockfield and Ebenezer worked as a miner at Gordon House Colliery.[5]  By 1918, Edwin Bradley aged 18 is declared as his full blood brother and Mary Ellen as his 28 year old sister.  Edwin, his father signed the declaration.[6]

Service Details                               

29 January 1916: attested aged 22 years 10 months[7] into the 4th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers, originally given the regimental number 78721.[8]  He was 5ft.5½” tall and weighed 122 lbs.[9]

He joined the Army Reserve 30 January 1916 and was mobilized 29 April 1918.  He was posted to the 4/Northumberland Fusiliers at Hornsea 30 April 1918 and spent 8 days (22-29 May 1918) in hospital suffering with a septic ulcer to the left leg.  The date he entered France is not legible but he was transferred to the West Yorkshire Regiment 27 September 1918. [10]

The 1st Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment was a regular army battalion which served on the Western Front since September 1914 and came under the orders of the 18th Brigade of the 6th Division.[11]  Units in the Brigade were:

  • 1st, West Yorkshire Regt.
  • 1st, East Yorkshire Regt. left November 1915
  • 2nd, Sherwood Foresters left October 1915
  • 2nd, Durham Light Infantry
  • 1/16th London Regt. (November 1914-January 1916)
  • 11th, Essex Regt. joined October 1915
  • 14th, Durham Light Infantry (November 1915-February 1918)
  • 18th Brigade MGC (February 1916-March 1918)
  • 18th Trench Mortar Battery formed April 1916 [12]

In October 1918, the 6th Division as part of the 9th Corps, Fourth Army saw action at the Battle of Selle, 17 – 25 October 1918.[13]

The War Diary [14] records:

16 October: on the afternoon, the Battalion marched to about 3000 yards west of Vaux Andigny.

17 October: 1.30am marched to Vaux Andigny in preparation for an attack at 5.30am. The 18th Infantry Brigade attacked enemy positions just east of Vaux Andigny – 2/DLI on the left, 11/Essex on the right and 1/WYR in the Brigade Reserve.  The attack was successful and the objective was gained with few casualties.  “B” and “D” Companies were sent to “mop-up” and helped consolidate the position.  2 other ranks were killed and 8 wounded.

18 October: am the battalion relieved 2/DLI and 11/Essex in the line.

19 October: the battalion was withdrawn.

20 October: bussed from Bohain to St. Souplet and moved up to Arbre de Guise and took over the line held by the 105th and 106th Regiments, American Infantry – “C” Company on the right, “A” Company on the left, “B” Company in support and “D” Company in reserve.

21/22 October: at night the right sector of the battalion was relieved by 2/DLI – “A” and “B” Companies now in the front line, “D” in support and “C” in reserve.  Orders issued that the 18th Brigade would attack the enemy’s position on the west side of the Oise et Sambre Canal in conjunction with the 1st Division on the right and the 71st Brigade on the left.  The objective of the operation was to form a defensive flank to larger operations further to the north.

23 October: 01.20am, 1/WYR and 2/DLI attacked with 11/Essex in reserve.  The assaulting battalions were “A” and “B” Companies with “D” company in support and “C” Company in reserve supported by 1 section, Machine Gun Company, 1 section Tank Corps and 1 Light Trench Mortar Battery.  Casualties – 2 officers and 16 other ranks killed; 3 officers and 70 other ranks wounded; 16 other ranks missing.

24 October: 02.25am, the final objective was reached.  During the day the battalion consolidated its position.  Patrols moving forward were met with opposition “though not of a serious nature” from the villages of Ors and Le Donjon.  Casualties – 2 other ranks killed; 5 other ranks wounded.  During these operations 3 field guns, 2 heavy and 2 light machine guns and 4 anti-tank guns were captured along with 1 officer and 66 other ranks.

Private E. Bradley suffered GSW (gunshot wound) to the abdomen 24 October 1918 [15] and died of his wounds that day at 55 Casualty Clearing Station, France.  Another casualty noted on the same telegraph was 81317 Private R. Murraney. [16]

The battle continued and 1/West Yorkshire Regiment lost 37 other ranks, killed in action or died of wounds between 17 and 28 October 1918.  3 other ranks died of wounds, 24 October 1918. [17]

Private E. Bradley was awarded the British War and Victory medals. [18]

Burial

81318 Private E. Bradley is buried at grave reference I.B.13 Premont British Cemetery, France.  There are 536 burials including 81317 Private R. Murraney at I.A.24. [19]

References:

[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.271 Auckland Q2 1893

[3] 1901 census

[4] 1911 census

[5] Army Form B.  Attestation Form

[6] Army Form W.508

[7] Attestation Form

[8] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[9] Army Form

[10] Army Form B.103 Casualty Form-Active Service

[11] http://www.1914-1918.net/westyorks.htm

[12] http://www.1914-1918.net/6div.htm

[13] http://www.warpath.orbat.com/battles_ff/1918_pt2.htm

[14] 1st Bn., The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) War Diary 16-24 October 1918

[15] Army Form – Military History Sheet

[16] Post Office Telegraphs and confirmed by Soldiers Died in the Great War

[17] Officers & Soldiers Died in the Great War

[18] Medal Roll card index

[19] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Photographs:

Cockfield Methodist Church Memorial Plaque

Cockfield Methodist Church Memorial Plaque

BRADLEY E.  Headstone

BRADLEY E.
Headstone

One thought on “Bradley E.

  1. Pingback: COCKFIELD | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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