I believe that James Samuel Bradshaw was born in the June quarter of 1921 in West Derby Registration District. (The district W.Derby is an alternative name for West Derby and it is in the county of Lancashire).
I also believe that he was the son of James & Agnes Bradshaw (nee Lee) in Hope Parish Church. – Hope Parish Registers – Marriages.
Page 93 No. 185 30th August 1921 James BRADSHAW, 26, Bachelor, Collier, Hope, James BRADSHAW, Labourer & Agnes LEE, 28, Spinster, Hope, Samuel LEE, Railway Guard. (After Banns) – Witnesses: – Frederick GOULD & Ellen BRADSHAW
Agnes was living at 57, Chirkdale St., Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire on the 1911 census, her father Samuel, 46, was a Railway Guard (Goods Dept.) but had been born in Bedfordshire, as was her mother Julia, 47, they tell us that they had been married 24 years and that 6 children had been born to her and sadly one had died. Their children were Alice, 23, single and a Shoe Machinist (Rubber Shoe Manufacturers), Arthur, 20, single and a Timber Clerk (Timber Trade) and Agnes, age 18 and at School. They had been born in Derbyshire. Alfred, 11 and Leonard, 9, both at School and both born Liverpool.
How James Bradshaw and Agnes Lee managed to meet and marry, I do not know, as James Bradshaw was from Hope, Nr. Mold and Agnes from Liverpool. Any information would be gratefully received.
The 1911 census shows his family living at Ringfield Cottage, Shordley, Hope, Nr. Mold. James’s father, James, 47 was a Farm Labourer and had been born in Hawarden, Flintshire. James’s mother Emily, 47 had been born in Chester. They tell us that they had been married 26 years and 9 children had been born, although, sadly, 2 had died. Their children were William,25, single and a Coal Miner (Driver – Below), Thomas Herbert, 2o, single and a Coal Miner. Margaret Emily was 18 and single, James, 16 was a Coal Miner (Rope Minder (Below)), Minnie, 11 and Ellen*, 8 and James Frederick, 5 were at school.
*Ellen was to be a witness at James & Agnes’s wedding.
Then as I said, James Samuel was born in 1921, but I have no information his early years, except his registration at Hawarden Grammar School:-
Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10
1661/2347 BRADSHAW, James Samuel born 27th April 1921 Primrose Cottage. 6, Rhos Estyn, Hope Village, Father – Labourer, Hope Councils school, Date of Entry – 19th September 1933, Date of Leaving – 22nd December 1938. Civil Service Dec. 1938
There is another entry for a young girl who may prove to be related to James Samuel : –
1148/2030 BRADSHAW, Alice, Date of birth – 19th June 1918, Primrose Cottage, Hope, father, Labourer. Hope Council School, £6 Try. B.B. Date of leaving – 27th July 1933.
I believe James Samuel’s father died in 1928, there is a burial in Hope Parish Registers: –
James BRADSHAW, Rhos Estyn, Hope, 2nd July 1928 age 33 years. So they had only been married about 7 years.
Then there is the National Register that was taken on the 29th September 1939 and I believe that this is James Samuel’s mother with her young children, their records are closed because of the 70 or 100 year rule. I also believe that it is possible that James Samuel BRADSHAW is on the Closed Records*, as he was born in 1921, according to the Hawarden Grammar Registration Register (above).
*For individual people, records remain closed for a century after their birth (the 100-year rule), unless it can be proven that they passed away before this milestone.
They were living at 1 Rhos Estyn Hill View,Hope, Caer Estyn, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire and this source gives us the date of birth of Agnes Bradshaw, she was born on the 20th December 1892 and although she was widowed, she is described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”
I believe these are the Grandparents of James Samuel Bradshaw, they are shown living at 52 Hawarden Road, Abermorddu, Caergwrle, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire on the same National Register. James Bradshaw had been born on the 25th May 1861 and was retired, his wife Emily had been born on the 11th November 1863 and was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties,” as most married women, who did not have a job were described on this register. There was also a William G, Hall, born on the 2nd August 1920 and was single and a Gardener. Again there were 2 Closed or redacted records.
So recapping, James Samuel was in school until December 1938 when he was going into the Civil Service. So he must have joined very early when war was declared as he died in early 1942 and he was in the Royal Air Force having been trained enough to be sent overseas and I believe being present at the Fall of Singapore.
Excerpt from the Commonwealth War Graves description of the Singapore Memorial: –
Singapore Memorial stands in Kranji War Cemetery. It bears the names of more than 24,000 casualties of the land and air forces of the Commonwealth who died during the campaigns in Malaya and Indonesia or in subsequent captivity and have no known grave. The memorial also commemorates airmen who died during operations over the whole of southern and eastern Asia and the surrounding seas and oceans.
After the surrender of Singapore, the Kranji area was used as a prisoner of war camp by the Japanese and this cemetery was begun by the Commonwealth prisoners at the camp. In 1946, it was decided that Kranji would be designated as Singapore’s main war cemetery.
The War Deaths – R.A.F. (All Ranks) 1939 – 1948 does not give him a Unit, i.e. 75 Sqadron, so I suspect he was more like Ground Crew.
On the List of Prisoners Of War 1715-1945, dated 1945, according to the Transcription, James’s last reported location was “Unknown,” and there were no remarks by the side. I know that the British Authorities searched for years to see if they could find Servicemen who were missing. James’s death is recorded as the 1st March 1942, ironically St. David’s Day. (This is below).
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/the-fall-of-singapore-an-avoidable-catastrophe/ gives a description of the Fall of Singapore
Also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Singapore – Battle of Singapore
A plaque commemorating the massacre and expanding on the hospital’s history after the war crediting the photographer – By VK35 at en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5,
We do not know where James actually died, but this may shed some light on what happened.
James Samuel Bradshaw was well loved and he is remembered on his old school Roll of Honour for perpetuity and on the Penymynydd & Pennyfford War Memorial as J.S. Bradshaw but could also be remembered on the Caergrwle Cenotaph as F.J. Bradshaw, perhaps a clerical error, or if you know different, please get in touch with the website.
The Roll of Honour was dedicated at Hawarden Grammar School on the 3rd February 1951 with a Remembrance Service for the 47* former pupils who died in the 1939 – 1945 World War. As recorded in the Chester Chronicle Saturday 10th February 1951.
*Author’s note, there are 46 names on the Roll of Honour, clerical error by the newspaper.