Sergeant Thomas Richard Bradley, 159th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery was killed in action on 9th February 1917. He is commemorated on the Solihull war memorial but, assuming that we have found the correct person in Army records, we don’t yet know of his connection with the Solihull area.
The Solihull war memorial includes the name of Sergeant Thomas R Bradley, Royal Garrison Artillery. The only Sergeant T Bradley listed on the Commonwealth War Graves register as serving with the RGA was born on 9th September 1872 in Harbledown, Canterbury, Kent. He joined the Kent Artillery Militia and, in 1892, enlisted in the Royal Artillery. He served in India and Aden between 1893-1900 and was at Shoeburyness Barracks in Essex at the time of the 1901 census. He was discharged to the Army Reserve in 1902, attesting for a further four years with the Reserves in May 1904.
In 1901, shortly after the census, he married Elizabeth Winn at Camberwell, Surrey and they set up home in Peckham. In September 1902, he made a declaration of his age in order to join the General Post Office as a porter. In 1911, the couple were living with their four children at 12 Diamond Street, Peckham, and Thomas was working as a postman.
We don’t know when Thomas rejoined the Army but his medal index card indicates he didn’t see overseas service before 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. His widow, Elizabeth, was granted power to administer his estate in June 1917 but it seems a will then came to light as this grant was revoked and a new grant of probate made in October 1917. At the time of probate, the family address was given as 20 Wells Street, Camberwell, Surrey.
If you have any more information or can shed any light on why Sgt Bradley is commemorated at Solihull, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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