James Bradbury, Private 1902, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 24th August 1915 at Gallipoli, Turkey
James Bradbury was born on 10th April and baptised on 30th July 1893 at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Annie and James Bradbury, a silk weaver of 70 Vincent Street, Macclesfield. Annie died in late 1893 and the following year James’ father married Emma Fowles.
James was educated initially at Hurdsfield Infants school and later at St George’s (London Road) school.
In 1901, nine year old James was living at 98 High Street, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Joseph (11), George (5), Frank (4), Ada (2) and baby John (4 months); by 1911, the family had moved to 8 Half Street, Macclesfield, and James was employed as a cotton hand.
James attested at Macclesfield, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm.
The following day at 2.30pm the Brigade moved north, but the 7th Cheshires and 4th Welsh Regiments on the left were under attack so had to pull back. The 7th Cheshires remained in this position in trenches for several days.
James was badly wounded on 24th August while fetching water from a well, and died of his wounds later the same day, aged 22 years.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 10th September 1915:
SHOT WHILE FETCHING WATER – ONE OF FOUR BROTHERS REPORTED KILLED
Mr and Mrs Bradbury, 8 Half Street, Macclesfield, have this week received unofficial news that their son, Private James Bradbury, has died of wounds sustained while fighting in the Dardanelles. The sad intelligence was conveyed in a letter from another son, Private Joseph Bradbury, who is also with the Battalion in the Dardanelles.
Private James Bradbury, who was 22 years of age, was called up with the Territorials on the outbreak of war. He received his education at St George’s School. The last letter from him was dated August 12th, and he then stated, “We have been in the trenches five days now, and expect to be relieved at any time.”
Private Joseph Bradbury, writing to his parents on August 24th states:- “I am sorry to say that Jim has been seriously wounded this morning with shrapnel. He was unconscious when they took him to the base, and I have since heard that he is dead. He was going to the well when the Turks started shelling it.”
Mr and Mrs Bradbury have three sons still serving. One is in the Dardanelles, another at Bedford with the 2/7th, and the third with the Royal Garrison Artillery.
Private James Bradbury is believed to be buried in Hill 10 Cemetery in Turkey, and he has a memorial stone at Grave Ref. Sp. Mem. 27. His father requested that a cross and the following words should be added to his memorial stone:
“THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Bradbury.
Brother of Joseph Bradbury, who also served with the 1/7th Cheshire Regiment; George Bradbury, who enlisted at Manchester on 30th August 1915 as Gunner 293418 with the Royal Garrison Artillery; and Frank Bradbury. who served as Private 290884 with the 2/7th Cheshire Regiment.