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BRADFORD, GEORGE NICHOLSON

Rank:
Lieut-Commander
Date of Death:
23/04/1918
Age:
31
Regiment/Service:
Royal Navy
 
H.M.S. Iris II.
Awards:
V C
Grave Reference:
A. 5.
Cemetery:
BLANKENBERGE TOWN CEMETERY
Additional Information:
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bradford, of Milbanke, Darlington. His brothers, James Barker Bradford and Roland Boys Bradford also died on service.

Citation

An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31236, dated 14th March, 1919, records the following:-"For most conspicuous gallantry at Zeebrugge on the night of the 22nd-23rd April, 1918. This Officer was in command of the Naval Storming Parties embarked in '' Iris II.'' When '' Iris II '' proceeded alongside the Mole great difficulty was experienced in placing the parapet anchors owing to the motion of the ship. An attempt was made to land by the scaling ladders before the ship was secured. Lieutenant Claude E. K. Hawkings (late '' Erin '') managed to, get one ladder in position and actually reached the parapet, the ladder being crushed to pieces just as he stepped off it. This very gallant young officer was last seen defending himself with his revolver. He was killed on the parapet. Though securing the ship was not part of his duties, Lieut.-Commander Bradford climbed up the derrick, which carried a large parapet anchor and was rigged out over the port side; during this climb the ship was surging up and down and the derrick crashing on the Mole. Waiting his opportunity he jumped with the parapet anchor on to the Mole and placed it in position. Immediately after hooking on the parapet anchor Lieut.-Commander Bradford was riddled with bullets from machine guns and fell into the sea between the Mole and the ship. Attempts to recover his body failed. Lieut.-Commander Bradford''s action was one of absolute self-sacrifice; without a moment''s hesitation he went to certain death, recognising that in such action lay the only possible chance of securing '' Iris II '' and enabling her storming parties to land."

Commemorative Certificate

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CWGC Archive Online (6)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.
These record details of individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and reburied in war cemeteries. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.
These documents provide details of what was actually inscribed on an individual’s headstone. Their main purpose was to help manage the enormous programme of headstone production and engraving the Commission embarked on in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

Disclaimer

This collection of documents relating to the First World War was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.

Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.

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Casualty Record Detail

BLANKENBERGE TOWN CEMETERY

Country:
Belgium
Locality:
West-Vlaanderen

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