Rifleman Arthur Desmond Bradley (7021600) served in 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles during the Second World War. Born on 1st October 1924, he was the son of William Bradley and Jane Bradley of Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry.
The 5’7″, 145lbs young man from Co. Londonderry enlisted at Omagh, Co. Tyrone on 30th July 1941. Before the Second World War, he worked as a labourer. He had lied about his age to join up at the age of 17 years old. His enlistment papers give his date of birth as 3rd June 1923.
Rifleman Bradley died on 17th June 1944 aged 19 years old while fighting in the Battle of Normandy. 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles landed on Sword Beach on D-Day, 6th June 1944. On 13th June 1944, he had sent correspondence home from the front. The typical document contained options to cross out and blanks to complete. This Form A2042/7 51-4997 stated:
I am quite well. I have received your letter dated 15th May. Letter follows at first opportunity. Bradley D. 13-6-44.
On 17th July 1944, Mr. William Bradley of Greenview, Castledawson, Co. Londonderry received a letter from the War Office informing him of his son’s death on active service.
Dear Sir, It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has been received from the War Office notifying the death of No. 7021600 Rfn. Arthur Desmond Bradley, Royal Ulster Rifles which occurred in northwest Europe on the 17th June 1944. The report is to the effect that he was killed in action. I am to express the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at the soldier’s death in his country’s service. I am, sir, your obedient servant.
Arthur Desmond Bradley’s grave is in Section IV, Row F, Grave 10 of La Delivrande War Cemetery, Douvres, Normandy, France. His headstone bears the inscription:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death.