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 Roland Boys Bradford

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Roland Boys Bradford

  • Birth 22 Feb 1892 Durham Unitary Authority, County Durham, England
  • Death 30 Nov 1917 Cambrai, Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
  • Burial Hermies, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
  • Plot F.10.
  • Memorial ID 9901137

British Army Brigadier General, World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award from British King George V in June 1917 at Hyde Park in London, England for his actions as a temporary lieutenant colonel commanding the 9th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, British Army on October 1, 1916 at Eaucourt l'Abbaye, France during World War I. The 4th and youngest son of a coal mine manager, he joined the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (DLI), British Army, in 1910 and two years later was commissioned as a regular officer in the 2nd Battalion DLI. In September 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, he was sent to the Western Front in France and saw action in the First Battle of the Marne. He was promoted through the ranks quickly, becoming a temporary lieutenant colonel in August 1916. In September 1916 he led his unit in the Battle of the Somme, followed by an attack on the German trenches at Eaucourt l'Abbaye, for which he won the Victoria Cross for gallantry. In November 1917 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and given command of the 186th Infantry Brigade. Less than 30 days later, he was killed at the Battle of Cambrai, near Canal du Nord in France at the age of 25. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "For most conspicuous bravery and good leadership in attack, whereby he saved the situation on the right flank of his Brigade and of the Division. Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford's Battalion was in support. A leading Battalion having suffered very severe casualties, and the Commander wounded, its flank became dangerously exposed at close quarters to the enemy. Raked by machine-gun fire, the situation of the Battalion was critical. At the request of the wounded Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford asked permission to command the exposed Battalion in addition to his own. Permission granted, he at once proceeded to the foremost lines. By his fearless energy under fire of all description, and his skilful leadership of the two Battalions, regardless of all danger, he succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and defended the objective, and so secured the flank." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he also received the Military Cross, the 1914 Star and Bar, the British War Medal (1914-20), and the Victory Medal (1914-19). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Durham Light Infantry Museum, located in the Durham Art Gallery in the City of Durham, Durham, England. His brother, George Nicholson Bradford, was also a Victoria Cross recipient who was killed in battle at Zeebrugge, Belgium. They were the only two brothers to receive the Victoria Cross during the course of World War I.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 14 Nov 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9901137
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Roland Boys Bradford (22 Feb 1892–30 Nov 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9901137, citing Hermies British Cemetery, Hermies, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .