|Birth: ||Apr. 23, 1887|
|Death: ||Apr. 23, 1918|
WWI recipient of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom's highest award for valor. He was a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy, H.M.S. Iris II.
He was one of four brothers who served, three of whom fell, another also won the VC-the only set of brothers to be awarded this honour in the Great War.
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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Blankenberge Communal Cemetery
West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 03, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9746377
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