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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Edward Kinder Bradbury VC, the Royal Horse Artillery

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Captain Edward Kinder Bradbury VC, the Royal Horse Artillery, was killed in action at Nery in France during the retreat from Mons.

The only son of the Honourable James Kinder Bradbury MA JP, he was educated at Marlborough and attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1900, was promoted to full lieutenant a year later, and in 1902 was seconded for service with the Imperial Yeomanry in the Second Boer War, serving with the 31st Battalion. In early 1905 he was seconded to duties with the Foreign Office, during which time he served with the King's African Rifles. He received his captaincy in 1910 and became an adjutant in 1912.

An officer reported on the day of Captain Bradbury’s death: “In the morning, while the men were having breakfast, before the river mists had cleared, shells began to fall amongst the teams harnessed ready to march. Within minutes there was not a horse living and many men had been killed or wounded”.

Captain Bradbury, unlike the other officers, had succeeded in getting his gun into action; it was not possible for the ammunition wagon to be placed alongside, so each shell had to be carried separately. The other officers were killed or wounded as he continued to direct the fire of the gun, in spite of losing a leg early on. His men continued to bring up the ammunition, and his gun alone succeeded in knocking out four of the enemy guns before he died from blood loss. For this action he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the citation reading “for gallantry and ability in organising the defence of 'L' Battery against heavy odds at Nery.” Captain Bradbury and his men had successfully kept up a steady fire for two and a half hours against a full battery of German artillery, more than twice their own strength. He is buried in the Nery Communal Cemetery.

Edward, from Altrincham in Cheshire, was 33 years old.

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