BAMBER BRIDGE IN WORLD WAR 1
242200 PTE. J. BRADSHAW. E.LANCS.
James Bradshaw was born on 5 June 1897 and baptised at St Saviour’s on 8 August. His father was James Bradshaw (b. 1858 in Cuerden), a weaver. His mother was Harriet Grass (b. 1859 in Brandon, Suffolk). The Grass family moved to Clayton-le-Woods just after Harriet was born. James (snr) and Harriet were married in 1881 and they had 10 children, 8 of whom survived infancy: Maggie (b. 1883), Alfred (b. 1884), Arthur (b. 1886), Harry (b. 1888), Elizabeth Jane (b. 1890), Amos (b. 1895), then James (jnr) and finally May (b. 1900). In 1911, the family (parents and all 8 children) were living at 4 Havelock Terrace, Bamber Bridge. All the siblings, apart from May who was still too young, were weavers in the cotton mill.
James probably enlisted when he turned 18 in June 1915. He signed up with the East Lancashire Regiment in Preston and was assigned service number 5093 and posted to 2/5 Battalion. In 1917 he was given a new service number, 242200. 2/5Bn came under orders of 198th Brigade in 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division. They spent 1915 and 1916 in training in the south of England and landed in France on 2 March 1917. In June 1917, the Bn was in the trenches not far from Festubert. Fighting was relatively light and there were few casualties – just 6 deaths between 5-10 June. The Brigade carried out a raid on the enemy trenches on the night of 8-9 June so James may have been wounded and died the next day. He was 20 years old.
Service Number: 242200
Date of Death: 10/06/1917
Regiment/Service: East Lancashire Regiment, 2/5Bn
Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. D. 4.
Cemetery: GORRE BRITISH AND INDIAN CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of James and Harriet Bradshaw, of 4 Havelock Terrace, Bamber Bridge, Preston.
St Saviour’s Roll of Honour lists these Bradshaws, who are James’ brothers.
Amos Bradshaw served in the Royal Field Artillery. He was a Lance Bombardier. He enlisted on 5 August 1914 and served with various artillery units, ending up in 38th Divisional Ammunition Column. He was demobilised on 11 September 1919. After the War he married and moved to Lostock Hall where he died, aged 95, in 1990.
Alfred Bradshaw served in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He enlisted first in 1904 and served five years. He then re-enlisted on 5 August 1914 and was posted to 1st Battalion. He served in France in 1915 but in August 1915 he was posted to Gibraltar, where he served for the rest of the War. He was finally demobilised on 31 March 1920. His military record says he was “Brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable service rendered in connection with the War” (communiqué issued by War Office, 13.3.18). In total, he served nearly 16 years in the Army. He died in Preston in 1957 of a heart attack brought on by chronic bronchitis.
I don’t have any conclusive military records for Harry Bradshaw. Further research by Jim Rawcliffe, confirmed by Charlie O’Donnell, is that there was no Henry or Harry Bradshaw from Bamber Bridge who was killed in the War, so the name on St Aidan’s Roll of Honour is presumed to be an error.