John Edwin Bradbury was the son of a former R.A.F. man who had married in France six months after the end of the First World War. John worked in the City before joining the army. He was appointed as an officer and saw action in Norway in 1940. He died in Iceland in January 1942 during a routine march. At the time his parents were living in Baddow Road, Chelmsford.
John was born in the Romford registration district in Essex in 1920, the only son of Edwin James Bradbury and a French woman Felicienne Bradbury (nee Descoins).
His parents had married in May 1919 in France. At the time his father was serving as Aircraftman 2nd Class 98877 in the Royal Air Force in Poses, Ireland. At the time his father was aged 24 and a turner by profession. His mother was six years younger.
John studied at Harlow College, obtained a job in the City of London.
John's grandather, James Bradbury, was a skilled engineer and inventor. When he died in 1939 a Chelmsford newspaper reported"
"Death of an Inventor.—Mr. James Bradbury, formerly of Braintree, and latterly of Sawbridgeworth, died in Hospital, following an operation, aged 73 years. Mr. Bradbury was the eldest son of the late Mr. Bradbury, manager of Messrs. Walters' Silk Factory at Braintree, and he was a very clever and ingenious engineer. When quite young Mr. James Bradbury turned his attention to invention. At the age of 17 he introduced a new spoke drill for cycle wheels, and this was patented for him by his father. Mr. James Bradbury started a cycle business at New Street, Braintree and added to it a business for the manufacture ot cycle tools, many of which he invented himself, and showed great ingenuity in them. Included in these was the new spoke drill, which Mr. Bradbury sold, together with his tool-making business, to Mr. W. B. Lake, J.P., now the chief director of Messrs Lake and Elliot, Ltd., Braintree. Mr. James Bradbury also invented a new motor tyre, which was a great accomplishment at the time and practically the same type of tyre is being used to-day on heavy transport vehicles throughout the greater part of the world. Mr. James Bradbury had a genius for inventing things, and he was a very creditable son of Braintree. He moved from Braintree in 1927, and had been in ill-health lately. He leaves a widow, one son and one daughter. The funeral took place at Sawbridgeworth Church."
John Edwin BRADBURY, Lieutenant, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
(formerly of the Artists' Rifles). Killed in Iceland during a blizzard. Aged 21
During the Second World War John joined the Artists' Rifles and later gained a commission as a Lieutenant in the King's Own Yorkshir e Light Infantry. He was involved in heavy fighting in Norway in 1940 but was safely evacuated. He was on leave in Chelmsford over Christmas 1941.
He died on 21st January 1942 after being one of 80 men caught in a blizzard during a routine march in Iceland.
John was buried at Reydarfjord Cemetery in Iceland (Military Plot. Row A. Grave 1.).
His hone was in Caxton, Cambridge Road, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. He left an estate valued at £397 6s. 9d.
After the First World War John's father had settled down in France, only to have evacuate back to England in 1940 after Germany's invasion, losing all their possessions. They settled at The Laurels in Baddow Road, Chelmsford and John's father worked as a postal official.
After the war John's parents were resident Verables par Gaillon, Eure, in France and later returned to England and lived in the Southend-on-Sea area..
John is commemorated on the Sawbridgeworth War Memorial in Herttfordshire.
His mother died in 1957; his father in 1984.