BRADLEY Frank George (later Frederick Henry)
3105, Driver, 69th Battery Royal Field Artillery
Transvaal Mounted Rifles
Central South African Railway Volunteers
South African Defence Force
Legion of Frontiersmen, 'B' Squadron Johannesburg, Far East Rand Squadron, South African Command
Gazetted 27 December 1901
Major Frederick Henry Bradley was a 24 year old, driver in the 69th Battery, Royal Field Artillery during the second Boer War when the following deed took place at Itala, South Africa for which he was awarded the VC.
During the action at Itala, Zululand, on the 26ih September, 1901, Major Chapman called for volunteers to carry ammunition up the hill; to do this a space of about 150 yards swept by a heavy cross fire had to be crossed. Driver Lancashire and Gunner Bull at once came forward and started, but half-way across Driver Lancashire fell wounded. Driver Bradley and Gunner Rabb without a moment's hesitation ran out and caught Driver Lancashire up, and Gunner Rabb carried him under cover, the ground being swept by bullets the whole time. Driver Bradley then, with the aid of Gunner Boddy, succeeded in getting the ammunition up the hill.
Queen’s South Africa Medal
Talana, Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Laing's Nek
Kings South Africa Medal
South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
Natal Rebellion Medal
British War Medal
King George VI 1937 Coronation Medal
Colonial Auxillary Force Officer's Decoration
Colonial Auxillary Force Long Service Medal
Born 27 September 1876 Kingsland, London, UK
Died 10 March 1943 Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia, South Africa
Major F.H Bradley, VC, VD. In many books the initials of Major Bradley are variously given as HG, FG, FA, FH and PH, he was in fact born Frank George Bradley on the 27th September 1876, joining the Royal Field Artillery with the names Frank George on the 12th March 1894 his Attestation Papers give his number as 3015; his Boer War Medals give his number as 3105. (QSA 3105 DVR F.G BRADLEY VC 69th BTY RFA and his KSA as 3105 BOMB F.G BRADLEY RFA) it is assumed that his official number was actually 3105.
He served with the colours from 12th March 1894 to the 11th March 1906; on the 20th March 1906 he joined the Transvaal Mounted Rifles and Central South African Railway Volunteers.
During 1906 he changed his forenames from Frank George to Frederick Henry, his Natal Rebellion Medal with clasp 1906 is impressed F.H BRADLEY VC TRANSVAAL MTD RIFLES. The remainder of his medals are all impressed with F.H BRADLEY
In 1907 he married Florence Hamblin Hillary of Hillary’s Natal, having two sons Arthur and Elton. He left the South African Defence Force in 1908 but re–enlisted on the 7th January 1910, he served with the Defence Force until 1915 when he came back to England serving throughout the 1916 Somme Offensive being seriously wounded in action at Delville Wood. He was sent back to South Africa to recover from his wounds, serving with the Defence Force until he retired in 1938.
His VC is engraved on the reverse of the suspender DRIVER F.G. BRADLEY 69th BATTERY RFA, 26th SEPTEMBER 1901
He was a T/Lt Royal Field Artillery on 26 October 1915 and A/Capt 3 October 1916. On 1st Sept 1916 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers Special Brigade, responsible for chemical warfare, as 2 ic No 4 Special (Mortar) Coy. The Company was part of 5th Battalion Special Brigade who were responsible for all the 4 inch Stokes Mortar work within the Brigade and was largely manned by RA personnel compulsorily transferred to the Specials in early 1916 - some 1000 of them. RFA officers were attached to help officer this unit. Captain Bradley retained his commission in the RFA. On 18.11.16 he was badly concussed by the detonation of a high explosive shell. Diagnosed with shell shock, he was returned to the UK for further treatment. He was later returned to his unit, but the symptoms reappeared and he resigned his commission due to ill-health on 12 July 1917.
Post-war he was treated rather badly by both the British and South African Governments. Entitled to a pension for his war injury, and desperate for the money to send his son to a decent school, he became entangled in wrangling between both governments as to who was responsible for his pension. After a considerable time the South African government accepted responsibility for the payment
As the Royal Artillery Library have stated that he served in the South African Defence Forces until he retired in 1937, so he could not have resigned his commission in 1917, if that was so. There is also the promotion to Major to be accounted for.
After WW1 enlisted in the SADF and reached rank of Major