12715 Bugler Eric Stewart Bradey – Wellington Infantry Regiment

Frederick Bradey was the original settler, purchasing land in the Duck Creek area of what is now Whitby in the
early 1840’s. Frederick and his wife, Keturah (Agnes) had a large family with five sons; Alfred, Charles, Edward, Frederick & William and four daughters. The sons were well know in the Pauatahanui as part of the Pauatahanui Brass Band and as the Bradey Brothers orchestra.[i]

(insert the photo of the 2nd Bradley Band)
The five Bradey brothers formed a partnership in 1905 and increased the size of the of the farm and in 1913 they divided up the land into five shares so that with the original homestead, four new Bradey homes were set up.

Charles Bradey married, in 1892, Minnie Pinkerton the couple had seven children with Eric Stewart Bradey the fourth of their children born on the 14th November 1894[ii]. Eric, like a number of his siblings and cousins, attened Pauatahanui School[iii].

Pauatahanui School 1908 Eric back row centre 

In 1916 Eric was a 22 year old single man working on his father’s farm in Pauatahanui. Eric entered Trentham Camp, on 7th March 1916, as 13715 Private Eric Stewart Bradey, F Company, 14th Reinforcements. During
basic training Private Bradey was promoted on 5th April 1916, presumably because of the Bradey family’s musical aptitudes, to Bugler Bradey[iv].

13715 Bugler Bradey sailed for England on 26th June 1916 in F company, 8th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZEF). On arrival in England, in August 1916, Bugler Bradey was attached to the NZ Reserve Band remaining with the band until May 1917 when he was posted to France.
In France Private Bradey was attached to the Wellington Regiment and stayed with the Regiment through the build up and action at the Battle of Messines, then Passchendael. In early February 1918 Private Bradey went back to ‘Infantry School’ then on leave in the UK but like his cousin Private Alfred James Bradey was pushed quickly back, in March 1918, as the Allied Forces looked to contain the German Spring offensive. Private Bradey remained with the No1 Entrenching Battalion until from March 1918 until the Battalion was disbanded in October 1918 he was reposted to the Wellington Infantry.
Following the Armistice of 11th November 1918 and the
end of the war, Private Bradey, on 30th November 1918
was moved back to England potentially because of his
musical talents. He  remained in England and took part in
the Victory Parades on 3rd May 1191 and also the
19th July 1919 in London.

NZ Division taking part in the Victory Parade 1919 

Private Bradey was among the last ‘fit’ NZEF members to
return to New Zealand leaving on the 18th September 1919.
arriving in New Zealand on 2nd November 1919.

13715 Private Eric Stewart Bradey, on 28th January 1920, was finally ‘discharged on the termination of period of engagement.’[v]

Eric returned to the family farm at Pauatahanui but he may have been selected for land in the “Mangapurau Settlement.” This was land opened up for pioneering farmers, mainly soldiers who had returned from WW1.
Eric’s medals were sent to him at Ohura via Taumaranui in 1925. Eric was also listed, in November 1930, as bandmaster of the Ohura Brass Band.[vi] The Mangpurau Settlement was on marginal land and many of the farms were abandoned during the depression.

There is no record of Eric marrying and his death on 21st November 1964 was reported by Mr R Bradey, possibly
his younger brother Frederick (Roy) Roy Bradey[vii].

Ken Boulton is back row left in the school photo, Ken was killed at Gallipoli (see story )

Helen Reilly. (2013). Pauatahanui – a local history. Pauatahanui Resident’s Association
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military records: 27843 Private Alfred James Bradey
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military records: 13715 Private Eric Stewart Bradey

Pauatahanui School 1908 (Cropped) - Pataka Museum 
March 1919  New Zealand Division - Victory Parade: Alexander Turnbull Library 
Bradey family, 2nd Pauatahanui

[i] Pauatahanui – a local history: pages 109 & 140
[ii] NZ BDM
[iii] Pauatahanui School Roll 18   - 19   :Unpublished research
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 13715 Bugler Eric Stewart Bradey
[v] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: 13715 Bugler Eric Stewart Bradey
[vi] News from the Provinces – Taumaranui , 14th November 1930, Auckland Star.
[vii] Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: 13715 Bugler Eric Stewart Bradey
NZ Division in Victory Parade, London 1919