Private Henry Bradley


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was born around 1890.

Henry Bradley enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast between 8 and 10 August 1914 (No.978). On 20 August 1914 he embarked for France with C Squadron, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

At the beginning of 1916 Bradley was a signatory to a letter to the Mid-Ulster Mail seeking a correction to reports that C Squadron was not often in the firing line:

Dear Sir, – We would respectfully draw your attention to a statement which appeared in a recent issue of your paper, just come to hand, namely, that Troopers S. Espie and G. Henry were home on leave from the Squadron of North Irish Horse (A) acting as bodyguard to Sir John French at General Headquarters.

The above-mentioned are corporals and belong to C Squadron, which as been acting as Divisional Cavalry since coming to France on August 22nd, 1914, with the exception of a few months last winter, when the squadron was broke up to work with different Corps Headquarters. Owing to absence of real cavalry work, the chief work of the Squadron has been in the nature of pioneer work, viz., trench digging, barb-wiring, and sand-bagging redoubts, etc., and on several occasions the wiring has been done outside the front line parapets, not fifty yards from the German trenches; also carrying wounded from trenches to advanced dressing stations; escorting German prisoners to nearest rail-head from reserve line, and taking their turn in the trenches as infantry when required. In fact this Squadron has not been out of the firing line (proper) since they came out, and a good many of our comrades out here have rather resented the statement, that has so often erroneously appeared in your valuable paper, that the Squadron was on Headquarters work.

Esteeming the favour of a correction at an early date, with best wishes to the good old Mail for the New Year. We remain

Yours faithfully,
R. Averall, 485; H. Bradley, 978; Corporal S. Brown, 583.
No. 1 Troop, C Squadron, N.I.H.,
3rd Division Cavalry, B.E.F.
1st January, 1916.

In May 1916 C Squadron joined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and most of its men were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Bradley, like most, was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41255 – and posted to C Company. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Bradley remained with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through 1918, seeing action in the Advance to Victory offensive, during which he was wounded twice. Records show that on 17 October he was admitted to the 18th General Hospital, suffering from a slight gas shell wound.