Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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907   Lance Corporal Rowland Irvine Bradley
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 05/01/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: North Irish Horse (British Army)
Died: 20/05/1917 (Killed in Action)
Age:
Summary      
Rowland Irvine Bradley was the son of William and Jane Bradley. The family was living in Charlemont near the Moy, Tyrone.Lance Corporal Bradley embarked for France on 17 August 1914. Lance Corporal Bradley was one of sir John French’s bodyguard but wishing to take part in more active scenes, had been accepted in the Royal Army Corps as a gunner. During combat his airplane crashed and turned over on landing, killing Rowland on Sunday 20th May 1917 at 10.10am
Further Information
Roland Irvine Bradley was the son of William and Jane Bradley. William Bradley and Jane Elkin / Ekin were married on 9th April 1879 in the district of Fermanagh.
Roland was born about 1897 in County Donegal. He was one of at least nine children. The family moved to Derry city in 1897.
Known family: William Bradley, Jane Bradley, Emily Bradley (born about 1882, County Donegal), William Bradley (born about 1883, County Donegal), Fredrick Ekin Bradley (born 9th November 1884, County Donegal), Annie Bradley (born about 1887, County Donegal), Francis Bradley (born 29th December 1890, County Donegal), Albert Bradley (born about 1892, County Donegal), Alexander Bradley (born about 1895, County Donegal), Roland Bradley (born about 1897, Derry City), Harold Bradley (born 13th May 1898, Derry City).
The 1901 census lists Frederick as aged 4, living at house 12 in High Street, Londonderry. His father was a tram conductor in Londonderry.
The family moved from Londonderry to the Moy / Charlemont area.
The 1911 census lists Roland as age 14, living with the family at house 30 in Corr and Dunavally, Charlemont, County Armagh. Roland’s father had retired and was receiving a Royal Irish Regiment pension.
Roland Irvine Bradley enlisted in Dungannon. Lance Corporal Bradley embarked for France with the North Irish Horse on 17th August 1914 as part of A Squadron.
Medal card
Lance Corporal Bradley, had originally joined from the North Irish Horse and was one of sir John French's bodyguard when the latter was Commander-In-Chief in France but, wishing to take part in more active scenes had been accepted in the Royal Army Corps.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th June 1915: a Charlemont Family's Patriotism
Mr William Bradley, Corr Dunavalley, Charlemont, County Armagh, has received official intimation that his son, Private Albert James Bradley, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was wounded in the right hand on 7th May by a shrapnel bullet, and is at present in a London hospital. Mr Bradley, who is an ex-member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.), has reared a patriotic family. The eldest son, who is at present in Calgary, Canada, served throughout the Boer War with the Imperial Yeomanry, and holds the medal for that campaign. The second son, Frederick, was a leading stoker in the submarine D5, and was drowned when that ill-fated boat sank on 3rd November last. He was the possessor of the medal awarded in connection with the Somaliland expedition against the Mad Mullah, having been then a stoker on board H.M.S. Hyacinth. Frank Bradley, who is at present at the front with the 15th Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, also volunteered on the outbreak of hostilities and was originally attached to the Canadian Gordon Highlanders. He returned to England on 'Blockade Day', 18th February, and left for the front in the beginning of May. Another son, Rowland, is at the front with the North Irish Horse. John F Bradley is also serving the Crown, but in a different sphere, being a police constable in Belfast. The youngest son, Laxey Bradley, is an enthusiastic member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, and on the call for volunteers, joined the Ulster Division with a number of Moy men. Owing to his eyesight however, he was rejected after having been in training for some time.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 17 June 1915: (Private Albert Bradley - brother of Rowland Bradley)
Mr William Bradley, Corr and Dunavalley, Charlemont, has received official intimation that his son, Private Albert James Bradley, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, was wounded in the right hand on 7th May by a shrapnel bullet, and is at present in a London hospital.
The following is a newspaper clipping from The Irish Times, 9 June 1917:
Newspaper clipping from The Irish Times, 9 June 1917
Intimation has been received by Mr William Bradley of Corr, Dunavalley, Charlemont, Moy of the gallantry of his younger son, Corporal Rowland Bradley, North Irish Horse, attached to a Royal Flying Corps Squadron, who met his death on 20th May while engaged fighting four enemy aeroplanes. The deceased soldier was acting as serial gunner and the story of his gallant deed is told in the following letter received by his bereaved parents from Lieut. Hugh B Howe R.F.C who accompanied him on the occasion as flying officer.
“We were attacked by three Hun machines over the lines. We brought down one of them and then wee attacked by a fourth from the rear. We had our machine and engine damaged, compelling us to leave the fight. Not being able to reach an aerodrome in our crippled condition, we had to land in a soft cornfield, but the machine, not being under full control, crashed and turned over on landing, your young son being smashed under the wreckage. Everything humanely possible was done to extricate him, but he has passed away. The accident took place on Sunday 20th May at 10.10am. Your son was much honoured and respected in this squadron, for he was a brave fighter and observer and his work was highly appreciated by everyone who knew him”
The deceased soldier, whose father is an ex member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, had originally joined from the North Irish Horse and was one of sir John French's bodyguard when the latter was Commander-In-Chief in France but, wishing to take part in more active scenes had been accepted in the Royal Army Corps
His brother, Albert James Bradley, Princess Patricia Light Canadian Infantry, had served in France and been severely wounded and now had been discharged from the service due to his injuries.
Another brother, Frederick, was drowned along with 20 officers and men in a submarine which struck a mine on November 14. He held the rank of Acting Lead Stoker and had previously served on HMS Hyacinth in the Somali Expedition for which he obtained a medal.
A fourth brother, Frank, is serving with the Gordon Highlanders.
Another brother is Constable John F Bradley, RIC, Ballyhackamore, Belfast
Lance Corporal Roland Irvine Bradley was serving with the North Irish Horse when he was killed in action on 20th May 1917.
From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 7 June 1917: Gallant Moy Airman
Mr William Bradley, Corr and Dunavalley, Charlemont, Moy, has received a letter from Lieut. Hugh B Howe R.F.C,. which tells of the gallantry of his younger son, Corporal Rowland Bradley, North Irish Horse (attached to a Royal Flying Corps Squadron), who met his death on 20th May while engaged fighting four enemy aeroplanes. as serial gunner. Lieut. Howe, who was with him on the occasion, says:
‘We were attacked by three Hun machines over the lines. We brought down one of them and then we attacked by a fourth from the rear. We had our machine and engine damaged, compelling us to leave the fight. Not being able to reach an aerodrome in our crippled condition, we had to land in a soft cornfield, but the machine, not being under full control, crashed and turned over on landing, your young son being smashed under the wreckage. Everything humanely possible was done to extricate him, but he has passed away. The accident took place on Sunday 20th May at 10.10am. Your son was much honoured and respected in this squadron, for he was a brave fighter and observer and his work was highly appreciated by everyone who knew him’
The deceased soldier was one of Sir john French’s bodyguard when the latter was Commander-In-Chief in France but had later joined the Royal Flying Corps. His brother, Albert James Bradley, Canadians, had been severely wounded and has now had been discharged. Another brother, Frederick, was drowned in submarine D5, which struck a mine in November 1914. He held the rank of Acting Leading Stoker, and had previously served on HMS Hyacinth in the Somali Expedition for which he obtained a medal. A fourth brother, Frank, is serving with the Canadian Gordon Highlanders. Another brother, Constable John F Bradley, is serving with the R.I.C. in Belfast.
Lance Corporal Roland Irvine Bradley is buried in Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery in France.
Roland Irvine Bradley Headstone
Roland Bradley is commemorated locally on Moy War Memorial.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Corr and Dunavally, Charlemont Moy Listed on Moy War Memorial 54.440162 -6.685914
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
09/04/1879 M Elkin Jane Parent M/1879/V1/1509/4/43
09/04/1879 M Bradley William Parent M/1879/V1/1509/4/43
13/05/1898 B Bradley Harold Sibling U/1898/166/1020/27/180
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Bradley family Lists Roland as age 4 living at house 12 in High Street, Londonderry
2 1911 Census lists Bradley family Lists Roland as age 14 living at house 30 in Corr and Dunavally, Charlemont, Armagh
3 BillionGraves.com Photo of L/Corporal Roland Bradley's gravestone
4 Brother - Leading Stoker Frederick Bradley Brother of Roland Bradley, died in submarine
5 Brother - Private Francis Bradley Brother of Roland Bradley, Canadian Infantry
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
7 North Irish Horse Information and photo of gravestone
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of L/Corporal Roland Bradley's gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021