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Regiment & Unit/Ship

Royal Navy

H.M.S. Iris II.

Date of Death

Died 23 April 1918

Age 31 years old

Buried or commemorated at


A. 5.


  • Country of Service United Kingdom
  • Awards Victoria Cross
  • Additional Info Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bradford, of Milbanke, Darlington. His brothers, James Barker Bradford and Roland Boys Bradford also died on service.
  • Additional Citation note

    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."

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Buried or commemorated at