Daniel Edward Bradby was born in the summer of 1896 in Rugby. The first son of Rugby schoolmaster Henry Christopher Bradby and Violet Alice Bradby (nee Milford). He was baptised at Rugby parish church – St. Andrew’s – on 5 September 1896. Their address being 11 Hillmorton Road.
He had three siblings. Matthew Seymour Bradby, Royal Naval officer (1899 – 11 June 1963), Robert Christopher Bradby, publisher (18 January 1905 – 16 December 1982), Edward Lawrence Bradby, schoolmaster (15 March 1907 – 20 August 1996) and Anne Barbara Bradby (30 July 1912 – 15 October 2001). By April 1899 the family were living at 46 Church Street, Rugby. Before 1911 to after 1918 Henry C Bradby and family lived at ‘School Field’, near the head of Barby Road – a Rugby School property. Edward Henry Bradby – grand-father of Daniel – had been a schoolmaster at the (then) recently formed Haileybury College, Hertfordshire.
Daniel was educated at Rugby Public School. He was in School House, an able cricketer and footballer, he was a member of the Rugby School cricket XX. Also a member of the school’s Officers’ Training Corps. He left a the end of the autumn term, 1914, with a commission in the Army. Rank made up to temporary Lieutenant (from 2nd Lieut.), effective 16 Sept. 1916. Then temporary Captain (from Lieut.), effective 16 Oct. 1916.
As a 20 year old at the date of his death he was a Captain and Battalion Acting Adjutant, leading ‘B’ Company, 9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade – part of the 42nd Infantry Brigade.
On the 24 March (1917) the Battalion was relieved from the trenches by the 8th Rifle Brigade and moved to Arras for rest. The next move was on 29 March to billets at Fosseux until 4 April when they moved in ‘full marching order’ to the caves at Ronville. Operations against the Germans were then made between the 5th and 11th April. Bradby was killed on the 9th leading part of ‘B’ Company in an attack on position where two machine guns were set. A further attack led by Captain J M Buckley and eight other ranks was successful. Sixty Germans and the two machine guns were captured. Lieut H M Smith and 15 other ranks were wounded. Capt Buckley was awarded the Military Cross for his efforts.
The London Gazette cites
“Temp. Capt. Joseph Michael Buckley, Rif.Bde.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led two companies in the most gallant manner, and was largely responsible for the success of the operations. He gained his objective, capturing sixty prisoners and two machine-guns.”
Bradby was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and 1915 Star. He is buried at the Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines.
You, whose forebodings have been all fulfilled,
You who have heard the bell, seen the boy stand
Holding the flimsy message in his hand
While through your heart the fiery question thrilled
‘Wounded or killed, which, which?’-and it was ‘Killed-‘
And in a kind of trance have read it, numb
But conscious that the dreaded hour was come,
No dream this dream wherewith your blood was chilled-
Oh brothers in calamity, unknown
Companions in the order of black loss,
Lift up your hearts, for your are not alone,
And let our sombre hosts together bring
Their sorrows to the shadow of the Cross
And learn the fellowship of suffering.
Henry Christopher Bradby – April 1918
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM