Sam Bradshaw

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by gtduff, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. gtduff

    gtduff New Member

    Does anyone know of his whereabouts,He was a major and a squadron leader! He also had a role in the 8th army assoc.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    :( sorry Lesley :P

    I was partly intrigued to find out how someone could be a Major and a Sqdn Ldr - still am - is it possible??? :(

  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Can you tell us where you got all this information from?
    A simple bit of googling came up with the links above-is this your man?
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I can tell you for a fact Reuters never took that photo :lol:

    Let me know if you ID his unit - I may have a unit diary or two ;)
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Easy in an armoured regiment there are Squadrons.
    As a Major he may have been in command of a squadron of tanks.
  8. Bradshaw93

    Bradshaw93 New Member

    He's still in Wigan if the person you're looking for is the one in all three of these articles as he's my grandad. I know he was defiantly a Sargent major , not sure about the squadron leader although he has mentioned things in the past about leading troops towards Belsen
    ritsonvaljos likes this.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    He may have been a Squadron Sergeant Major. Do you know what units he served with during WW2 and when he was with them?

    Welcome by the way :)
  10. Bradshaw93

    Bradshaw93 New Member

    From what he's told me, he was a squadron leader during the war and only became Sgt Mjr post war as he stayed in Germany working in P.O.W camps for 5 years. He talks really openly about the war and recently has been saying he enjoys reminiscing about the comarardary there was in the tank regiment. So any questions I'll happily ask. The photo is of his flag I've found last week which was on his tank every day of battle. He told me each morning different coloured flags were flown as a form of code to identifying who were allies. It's made out of bits of uniform and the middle section is what he thinks is the first desert rat 'logo' that was made. It's in surprisingly good condition considering it's age! He does still have a role in the 8th army association although doesn't attend events just communicates with letters, although I'm not sure how much longer the association is going to carry on due to dwindling numbers of it's members.

    Attached Files:

  11. Sambrad44

    Sambrad44 New Member

    Hi all, just to clarify dad is still going strong and now lives in a care home near his last home address in Wigan. His 8th army association work has now practically ceased as there are so few survivors about and their contact now amounts to the occasional tel call and a Christmas card. Dad held both the rank of squadron leader, in the fighting years of the war and was commissioned years later in his army career, attaining the rank of Major. After meeting up with his old comrades post retirement, he recounts many of his war experiences, I only wish he’d put pen to paper and wrote a book, the stories would astound most of the younger generation. Thanks for enquiring about dad, I’ll it pass on that people are asking about him, Sam Jnr
  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Sam Bradshaw was in ‘B’ Squadron, 6RTR, in North Africa. He was badly wounded during an attack from Sidi Rezegh towards Belhamed Ridge on 21 November 1941, when his A15 Crusader, ‘Ferret’, was hit. At this time he was a Lance Corporal.

    His driver was killed in this same incident:
    Service Number 7909519
    Died 22/11/1941
    Aged 26
    6th Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C.
    Son of John and Ada Billyard; husband of Agnes Billyard, of Derby.
    Commemorated at ALAMEIN MEMORIAL
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 22.

    Sam was also badly wounded in Italy in late 1944.

    He ended up fighting again in the last few weeks of the NW Europe campaign.

    He is discussed/quoted extensively in ‘Together We Stand’ North Africa 1942-1943 (James Holland).

    War Diaries in this link: War Diaries of the 6th Royal Tank Regiment
    dbf likes this.
  13. Sambrad44

    Sambrad44 New Member

    Hi Steve, thats correct, his tank took a direct hit from the front and the other two crew bailed out thinking both dad and the driver were killed, after a period of time dad came around from being concussed, though in a very bad way, he realised that John was killed and bailed out himself, the tank lumbered on towards the enemy lines. Dad remembers John as a new replacement driver, a married man with two young children. John was very anxious as this was his first main battle and he didn’t want to let the rest of the crew down.
    It took about 6 months of hospital treatment before dad was returned to the regiment fit for service, to be told the next day that he was on a charge for losing his weapon, a pistol, and was fined for two pistols, the one he lost and the cost of a replacement. He explained that the pistol was taken from him at the dressing station whilst at deaths door and under the effects of morphine, but this was no excuse..... he should’ve got a receipt !. The very next day he threw in his stripes and voluntarily reverted to trooper. The two other crew members were very apologetic when they discovered that dad had survived, they were riddled with guilt, dad didn’t blame them and accepted that it was a split second decision they had to make. Today he jokes that he’s fortunate that they didn’t charge him for the tank.
    Earlier this year he told me this tale in more detail and that it had always played on his mind leaving John behind, a married man with young children. I did try to trace John’s family but I could only discover that John was from Derby. It would be nice to think that John’s children could speak to dad about their father if that would help them.
    In 2000 dad went back to El Alamein with a large group of veterans and rediscovered the actual place where he was nearly killed after describing the terrain to a local sheikh who was acting as a guide. This helped dad greatly, bringing closure.
    Thanks again Steve for your update.
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  14. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Thanks for that, Sambrad44.

    In the aforementioned book, it states that John Billyard had joined 6RTR the day before, i.e. 20 November 1941.

    When your dad awoke from being unconscious he managed to crawl across to John. As the turret was turned to 2 o’clock he couldn’t get John out of his driving compartment, the turret had to be at 12 o’clock to allow full access, but discovered John was dead anyway. Ferret trundled on at a very slow speed towards the German lines and had started to brew-up. Your dad bailed-out over the back of Ferret, keeping it as a barrier between him and the Germans, who usually machine gunned British tank troops bailing-out. He removed his beret so that the Germans wouldn’t easily identify him as tank crew if he was captured.

    Your story about the revolver is ‘unbelieveable’, but I know these things happened. We had a veteran on the forum, Tom Canning, now deceased, who often mentioned army pettiness. He was also tank crew.


  15. Sambrad44

    Sambrad44 New Member

    Hi Steve, just to let everyone know dad passed “to the green fields beyond” peacefully in his sleep on the 2nd of February 2022, one month shy of his 102nd birthday.
    It would break his heart to see Europe in yet another evil destructive war.
    Best Regards & God bless,
    Samuel Andrew Bradshaw
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  16. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    4jonboy likes this.

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