Robert Joseph Bradley EM

b. 31/08/1920 Kilrea, Northern Ireland.  d. 27/11/1981 Stafford, Staffordshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 28/01/1949 Swiss Cottage Underground Station, London.

Little is known about Station Foreman Robert Joseph Bradley, who was 28 years old at the time of the incident at Swiss Cottage Underground Station in January 1949. Robert Bradley was born on 31st August 1920 in Kilrea, Northern Ireland. His death certificate records that he died in Stafford on 27th November 1981 aged 61, and that his occupation was as a railway clerk. At the time of his death he was a widower, and the informant of his death was a son, Michael Francis Bradley, who was living in London. He is a possible recipient of the George Cross as he would have been alive in 1971 so therefore a planned submission of evidence to the Honours and Appointments Secretariat is planned. 



On the 28th January, 1949, at 3.10 p.m. a man jumped ‘beneath an oncoming train at Swiss Cottage Underground Station. After the train had stopped, the injured man was found to be lying in the “suicide” pit beneath the third coach of the train. This pit is some two feet deep. The electric current was switched off and the station foreman, Mr. Robert Joseph Bradley, aged 28, volunteered to climb under the train to protect the man who was conscious and shouting and struggling. Shortly after Mr. Bradley had reached the injured man the electric current was restored with the intention of moving the train, but at this point the man’s struggles became worse and ten minutes in fact elapsed before the train could be moved. After the train had been drawn over the men a further two or three minutes went by before the current was switched off once more. Throughout this period Mr. Bradley was lying on his side endeavouring to hold down the injured man. His position was such that his back was never more than six inches from a live rail, contact with which by either man might have proved fatal to both. The man’s struggles continued throughout most of the period of fifteen minutes that Mr. Bradley was with him and while the train was being passed overhead he bit Mr. Bradley on the right forefinger. The man later died in hospital from his injuries.