No. 14659, Private, James Levi BRADLEY
Aged 23

8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday 28th September 1916

James Levi Bradley was born in Freckenham (Mildenhall Q2-1893 4A:799, son of Edward and Emma BRADLEY (née LOCK).

1901 census... Aged 8, he was living in Mildenhall Road, Freckenham with his father Edward BRADLEY [44],an agricultural labourer born Freckenham; his mother Emma [36] born in Eriswell; sisters Lettie[14], Mabel E [11] and Violet [6], and brothers George E. [11] and Charles W [3]. All the children were born in Freckenham.

1911 census... Aged 18, an agricultural labourer, he was living in Freckenham with his parents, brother Charles William ( an agricultural labourer) and new siblings, brother Reginald John [9] and sister Winifred Rose [7], both born in Freckenham. All nine children were still living.

The home address on the pension card was Mildenhall Road, Freckenham

James in his "Kitchener blue" uniform, issued until enough khaki uniforms became available.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
At the end of September 1916 the 8th Suffolks were heavily engaged on the Somme in the Schwaben Redoubt area. The Schwaben and Zollern trenches were taken on the 27th, but they were checked at Medway and Schwaben Redoubt. The attack was renewed at 13:00 on the 28th. "B" and "C" companies took part, leaving the other companies to hold Zollern Trench. Bulgar Trench was quickly taken but Schwaben proved more difficult, but by 14:30 both objectives were gained. Casualties were over 200 though, 16 of whom died that day (11 having no known grave).

The Bury Free Press of 21st October 1916 reported:-

Mr.and Mrs.E.Bradley of Freckenham have been notified by the War Office that their son, Prvt J.L.Bradley,No.14659, 8th Suffolks, was killed in action in France on Sept.28th. He enlisted on the outbreak of war, and had been in France 14 months. His age was 23. Mr.Bradley received a letter from his Captain as follows:-
"Oct.2nd,1916 - DearSir -I deeply regret having to inform you of the death of your son, Prvt J.L.Bradley,on Sept.28th,while the battalion was assisting in the storming of the enemy's strong point> He had done exceedingly good work on that day, and also on the 24th. I am more than sorry to lose him, and have known him well for a long time, having been his platoon commander before I took over the Company.Please accept my sincere sympathy on behalf of the officer, NCCOs and men. He was buried
on the field of battle where he died so bravely." Yours truly, T.Usher, Capt, O.C. B Co. 8th Suffolks"

This was followed by a letter from a pal, L/Cpl.Dorling, who was likely to have been the Sgt Dorling from Freckenham, killed a year later.

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

James Bradley is buried in Grandcourt Stump Road Cemetery, France grave A:59

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