Private 201576 Joseph Edward Bradley

Died Home on Monday, 1st September 1919, age 33.
Buried in Grave A.262. at Dudley Borough Cemetery, Dudley, Worcestershire.

3rd/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. South Midland Reserve Brigade, Territorial Forces.
Formerly 3886 3rd/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment.

Husband of Mrs Ethel Maud Bradley, of 7, Church Street, Tividale, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/363886/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Joseph Edward Bradley registered December quarter 1885 at Dudley.

1901 Census
7 Prospect Row, Dudley, Worcs.
Thomas Bradley (46, Shoe Maker, born Netherton), his wife Harriett (45, born Rowley), and their 9 children: Rhoda (26, Boot Machinist, born Rowley), Elizabeth (24, Lacquerer, born Dudley), Kate (22, Boot Fitter, born Dudley), James (20, Plasterer's Labourer, born Dudley), Joseph (15, Boot Clicker, born Dudley), Thomas (12, born Dudley), John (11, born Dudley), Harriett (7, born Dudley), and Annabelle (3, born Dudley).

1911 Census
7 Prospect Row, Dudley, Worcs.
Thomas Bradley (56, Boot Maker, born Dudley), his wife Harriett (54, born Rowley), and 5 of their 8 surviving children of 11: Kate (29, Boot Fitter, born Dudley), Joseph Edward (25, Boot Clicker, born Dudley), John (20, Draughtsman, born Dudley), Harriett (17, born Dudley), and Annie Maria (13, born Dudley).

Marriage of Joseph E. Bradley and Ethel M. Cox registered June quarter 1911 at Dudley. A daughter, Winifred Mary, was born on 30th December 1913.

Personal Data

Joseph Edward Bradley was born in Dudley and was still resident there at the time of his enlistment in March 1915. During his army service, his wife moved to 7 Church Street, Tividale, Tipton and it was to this address he returned on his army discharge in November 1918.

Joseph attested with the 2nd/7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (Territorial Forces) on March 18th 1915 in Dudley. This was the second-line Territorial Battalion intended to replace the existing 7th Battalion for Home Defence, to provide reinforcement drafts, and eventually to serve abroad itself.

Joseph was 29 years and 4 months old, 5 feet 6¼ inches tall with a 36-inch chest, and had various moles over his body. He had perfect vision and his physical development was noted as ‘Good’. His occupation was ‘Boot Maker’, elsewhere described as a ‘Boot Clicker’ which meant that he cut the leather for the uppers of the boots. He was married, his wife Ethel Maud Bradley was living at 6 Oakham Road, Dudley.

Joseph served with the 2/7th Worcesters until 17th May 1915 when he transferred to the newly-formed 3/7th Worcesters. This was the third-line Territorial Battalion which was to be a Depot/Training unit. This was formed in Worcester, but moved to Weston-super-Mare. He was promoted to Lance-Corporal in June 1915, to Acting Corporal in July 1915, Lance Sergeant in December 1915, and finally to Sergeant in June 1916.

On January 18th 1917, Joseph was hospitalised at Catterick Military Hospital for 24 days, he was diagnosed with gonorrhea. A difficult discussion must have ensued on his next home leave.

After being Medical Grade A1 for 15 months during which time he had been a Drill Instructor, Joseph contracted Tuberculosis of the Lung. This saw him re-classified as C2 in April 1917 while his unit were serving in Catterick; any possibility of overseas service ended. He continued to serve with the 3/7th Worcesters who were in the North-East as part of the Tyne Garrison. A further attack of haemoptysis (coughing up blood) in October 1918 saw him admitted to the Northern General Hospital, Newcastle, on October 23rd 1918.

A subsequent Medical Board saw him discharged from the Army on November 13th 1918 as “No longer fit for War Service”. He was described as having a persistent cough, expectoration containing T.B., having lost weight, overall having a “weak chest”. This was described as being due to “infection and strain of ordinary military service”. This was estimated to last 12 months, they were correct as Joseph died within the year.

His address on discharge was 7 Church Street, Tividale, Tipton, Staffs.

Action resulting in his death

Joseph had contracted Tuberculosis in early 1917, but was still retained in the 3rd/7th Worcesters. After his condition deteriorated in October 1918 he was discharged as "no longer fit for War Service".

He returned home to Church Street, Tividale, Tipton, but his health did not recover and he died from Tuberclosis on September 1st 1919. The Tuberculosis was recorded on his Discharge Certificate as being due to "infection and strain of ordinary military service", and so he is buried in Dudley Cemetery beneath a Commonwealth War Graves headstone even though he was no longer a serving soldier.

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