Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Information
10/07/2020 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 15th July 1944: Castledawson Presbyterian Church
10/07/2020 At the morning service in the Presbyterian Church on Sabbath last, the Rev W Gaston, B.A., paid a tribute to the late Private A D Bradley, of the Royal Ulster Rifles, whose death was announced in last week’s issue. He had heard the call three years ago, and at the age of 16 had joined the Army, and when visiting friends in another company, he heard another call which he accepted – the call of the Eternal King. They extended to the father, brother and sisters of the deceased their sincere sympathy in their bereavement. The congregation stood during a two minutes silence.
28/03/2020 Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley commemorated locally on Castledawson Memorial and Tobermore War Memorial. He is also listed on the WW2 Roll of Honour in Castledawson Memorial Hall.
28/03/2020 Arthur Desmond Bradley was the son of William and Jane Bradley.
28/03/2020 Arthur Desmond Bradley was born in October 1924, although the exact date is vague. It has been claimed it was 1st October, although there is no verification of this.
28/03/2020 Before the war, Desmond, as he was known, worked as a labourer.
28/03/2020 Desmond Bradley enlisted on 30th July 1941 in Omagh. On enlistment he claimed his date of birth was 3rd June1923, making him 18 years old. He was however, only 17 years old. Below is a copy of the soldier’s pay book, which details his attestation.
28/03/2020 Photo of 18 Platoon, D Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles dated May 1944. Rifleman Desmond Bradley is pictured 3rd from the left on the back row.
28/03/2020 Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles in Normandy when he was killed in action on 17th June 1944.
28/03/2020 The day after D-Day, the 2nd Battalion of Royal Ulster Rifles moved south west towards the village of Cambes-en-Plaine, six miles inland, which was surrounded with thick woodland. It was here, on 17th June, 1944, that Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley was killed in Cambes Wood, aged 19.
28/03/2020 Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley is buried in La Deliverande War Cemetery at Douvres, fourteen kilometres North of Caen. His inscription reads: AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH
28/03/2020 The CWGC record Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley as the son of William and Jane Bradley of Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
28/03/2020 Many thanks to Sam Hudson, whose research was instrumental to this information.
28/03/2020 On 15th May 1944, Desmond sent home a generic post card / letter confirming he was in good health.
28/03/2020 The official letter confirming Rifleman Desmond Bradley’s death was dated 17th July 1944. It was addressed to his father, who was living at Greenview, Castledawson.
28/03/2020 Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley is listed on pages 105-108 of the Castledawson War Dead Book – ‘They Didn’t Come Home.’
28/03/2020 The battalion remained in Cambes until 3rd July 1944, each day losing between three to five men, being either killed or wounded.
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