Walter Bradbury, Private 73050, 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action 31st October 1918 in Belgium, aged 35
Walter Bradbury was born in 1883 in Macclesfield and baptised on 30 September 1883 at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Ellen and Charles Bradbury, a whitesmith of 8 Barber Street, Macclesfield. In 1891, eight-year-old Walter was living at that address with his parents and six-year-old sister Ada. Ten years later the family was at the same address and also included nine-month-old Harold.
On 1 October 1906, Walter married Annie Birch at St Peter’s Church; he was then employed as a gardener and still living at the same address. In 1911 the couple were living at 17 Hope Street West, Macclesfield, and had a one-year-old son, Norman. A daughter, Sylvia, was born in 1914. By 1918 the family had moved to 4 Blagg Street, Hurdsfield.
Walter Bradbury enlisted in Macclesfield, joining the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
The circumstances of Private Bradbury’s death are not known, but his death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 23 November 1918:
PRIVATE BRADBURY – Mrs Bradbury, of Blagg Street, Hurdsfield, who was suffering from influenza at the time, heard on Sunday morning of the death of her husband in France. This bad news made her much worse, and she died the same night. Next day her little boy also passed away, and her sister who came to nurse them is now lying seriously ill.
The deaths of Private Bradbury’s wife and son were announced (with an incorrect date of death) in the Macclesfield Courier on 30 November 1918:
BRADBURY – On November 22nd, at 4 Blagg Street, Norman Bradbury, aged 9 years.
BRADBURY – On November 22nd, at 4 Blagg Street, Annie Bradbury, aged 41 years.
Sylvia, aged four, was subsequently cared for by Mrs Lily Maud Bamford (nee Birch), probably a relative of Walter’s wife.
Private Walter Bradbury is buried at Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium, in grave ref. III. A. 2. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Walter Bradbury, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private Walter Bradbury is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials. He is also remembered on a family gravestone (ref X.19476) in Macclesfield Cemetery, where his wife and son were buried.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (Find My Past): St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers (Find My Past): St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (Ancestry)
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Courier: 23 and 30 November 1918