Lieutenant John Stewart Bradley


John Stewart Bradley was born on 9 December 1892 at Rainey Street, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, the first of five children of grocer George Bradley and his wife Charlotte (nee Stewart). His father also had a number of children by a previous marriage. Prior to the war John was employed as an accountant in the Ulster Bank. In 1911 he was working for the bank in Louth and living at Lisnawully, just outside Dundalk. Three years later he was living at Magherafelt.

Bradley enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 8 October 1914 (No.1292). He was promoted to lance corporal on 20 January 1915 and corporal three weeks later. Soon after he embarked for England with F Squadron, where they waited at Hemel Hempstead for orders for France.

On 8 July 1915 Bradley applied for a commission in the infantry and 18 August he was made a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 15th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). On 26 March 1916 he transferred to the 3rd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, and on 1 October that year transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry).

Bradley arrived in France on 27 January 1917 and joined the 11th Squadron of his regiment in the field a week later. On 20 September 1917 he transferred once again, this time to the General List for attachment to the Royal Flying Corps.

After training in the UK as an observer, at the end of December he was appointed as a flying officer and embarked for France to join No.52 Squadron, soon after moving to No.55 Squadron.

On 16 May 1918 Bradley was flying in a D.H.4 on a bombing mission over Saarbr├╝cken. The aircraft was shot up but made it back, with Bradley wounded. He was hospitalised in France then evacuated to the UK. Although he recovered enough to return to service he was no longer fit to fly, and spent the remainder of the war on ground duties with courses in air navigation, meteorological training and gunnery.

Bradley was transferred to the Unemployed List on 14 October 1919. He died on 21 March 1968.