Stanley Bradbury, Corporal, 6th Sqdn. Royal Air Force
Died of pneumonia 17th November 1918 in France, aged 21
Stanley Bradbury was born in 1897 and baptised on 23 May 1897 at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, Macclesfield, the son of Ellen and Arthur Bradbury, a joiner of Hurdsfield.
In 1901, three-year-old Stanley was living at 245 Hurdsfield Road with his parents and siblings Lillian (9) and Arthur (1). By 1911 the family had moved to 191 Hurdsfield Road, and Stanley was employed as an errand boy for a chemist.
In 1913, at the age of 16, Stanley was employed as an apprentice joiner and attended Macclesfield Technical School to study building construction, carpentry and joinery, and woodwork. A note in the register shows that he had attended at least 90% of his classes and would be awarded a free scholarship the following academic year.
Stanley Bradbury joined the Royal Flying Corps on 25 April 1916 and was drafted overseas to France on 5 June. His service papers show that he was transferring to the RFC from the Army, and he was described as being 5 feet 6¾ inches tall, with a 32 inch chest. He was promoted to Airman 1 on 1 February 1917 and to Corporal on 1 February 1918.
On 12 November 1918 Corporal Bradbury was admitted to No 15 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from influenza. On that date, No 15 Casualty Clearing Station was located at Don, south-west of Lille, France. Cpl Bradbury subsequently developed broncho-pneumonia and he died at Don on 17 November 1918. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 7 December 1918:
CORPORAL S BRADBURY – Mr and Mrs A Bradbury, of Hurdsfield Road, last week received news that their eldest son, Corporal S Bradbury, of the Royal Air Force, died in a casualty clearing station of pneumonia, following an attack of influenza, on November 17th. The matron, in writing to express sympathy, said: “He was too ill to realise that he was dying. But he suffered no pain. I told him that I was writing to you, and he said I must give you his love and tell you that he would soon be better.” He died the next day. Letters have also been received from the chaplain, who buried him in a military cemetery with honours.
Corporal Bradbury enlisted in April 1916 in the Royal Flying Corps as a third air mechanic. He won his promotion by degrees until he attained the rank of corporal in the Royal Air Force. He was 21 years of age, and he went to France in May 1916. He always took a deep interest in the Hurdsfield Sunday School, where he was a teacher and also the librarian. He was a joiner at Messrs Clayton’s, Sunderland Street, and had won several prizes and certificates at the Technical School and School of Art for building construction and drawing. His father has been employed for 32 years as foreman at Messrs Clayton’s.
Corporal Stanley Bradbury is buried at Don Communal Cemetery, France, in grave ref. I. B. 25. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Corporal Stanley Bradbury, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Corporal Stanley Bradbury is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and Hurdsfield Sunday School war memorials, and Hurdsfield Sunday School roll of honour. A large framed photograph of Corporal Bradbury (a copy of which is shown above) was on display in Hurdsfield Sunday School for many years. He is also remembered on a family grave at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, plot reference G12.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Technical School
British Royal Air Force, Airmen’s service records (Find My Past)
British Casualty Clearing Stations locations, WWI (The Long, Long Trail)
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Courier: 7 December 1918