Regiment : 17th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps
Service number : 74626
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 29th April 1918 aged 23
Buried : Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No.3, Belgium, Grave III. A. 26.
Relatives : Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bridgford, 4 Cheapside, Stourport, Worcestershire
Memorial : Stourport War Memorial
Also appears on : Stourport High School formerly in Stourport Boys School.
Credits : Researched by Adrian Carter.
Awarded the Military Medal.
Additional information on the memorial: Pte. M.M.
Kidderminster Times 6th November 1915:
William Bridgford, Royal Army Medical Corps, 4 Cheapside, new recruits at Kidderminster.
William John Bridgford, 74626, Royal Army Medical Corps, 4 Cheapside, appears on the Absent Voters List for Stourport 1918.
William Bridgford, son of Mr T. Bridgford, Cheapside, Stourport was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry at Cambrai. Formerly a weaver at Messrs. Brintons and later at the Textile Carpet manufacturing Co., Stourport, William was employed at the tin stamping works, where he was highly respected.
The following transcript of the letter to his parents describing the action for which he was decorated was included in the report:
“We had opened a dressing station in a village captured from the Germans, not four hours before. They had made several attempts to retake it. When we entered the village everything was in order, but when we left it was a mass of ruins. During our first morning there everyone had orders to take cover in a big sap. A man followed us who said he had left his pal wounded on the road. Fritz had his machine-guns trained on the road, but at once I set out to fetch him. He was hit in both legs, one being fractured, so I carried him on my back to an old house, where I dressed his wounds. Later on I accompanied the officer to the village in quest of wounded. We had just reached there when a shell dropped in the car, killing one of our lads and taking a leg off the driver. The officer and myself were slightly wounded. I managed to get the fellow who had lost his leg to safety. Another officer took my name and sent in a report of the work done that night”.
Source for additional information: Kidderminster Shuttle 12th January 1918, Kidderminster Times, 19th January 1918, reported with photo.
William was killed on the field of battle while dressing wounded soldiers under fire in a village just captured from the Germans. An obituary appears in the July 1918 edition of the Stourport Parish Magazine.
Kidderminster Times 26th July 1919:
William Bridgford is listed in the Honours won by Stourport men: MM (Died of Wounds)
An obituary for William J. Bridgford appears in the Stourport Parish Magazine for July 1918.