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PS55S Henry Ilford BRADLEY Metropolitan Police.

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Stumbled across this photograph on a well known auction site, it was being sold by an antiques dealer in Bournemouth. The fact that the chap was wearing two 1902 Coronation Medals, is what initially drew my attention to it.  

Thanks to Jim Kemp I was able to put a name to him, so immediately set about trying to piece his life story together. I never grow tired of what I discover when I conduct a project and the story of this chap was no different.

Here's what I've been able to piece together so far...................


Henry Liford BRADLEY

Born 28th March 1861 Greenwich, Kent.

Joins the Metropolitan Police at Great Scotland Yard 14.06.1886 warrant number 71882 posted to W Division. Collar number 142W. 

Married 12th September 1886 to Emma Elizabeth (CURTEIS) (19) Henry is 25. He gives his address as 8 King Street New Town occupation Police Constable. Emma was living at 34 St John's Road. They were married at St Paul's Deptford.  8 King Street address is the address of his parents, his father William is listed as living there on both the 1871 and 1881 censuses. Given Emma's address I suspect that Henry was stationed at Lavender Hill Police Station and met her as she lived on his beat?

Their first child Bertram is born 1890 in Clapham.

In the 1891 census we find Henry, Emma and Bertram living at 338 Paradise Road, Vauxhall. This might suggest that Henry, was now stationed at Clapham Police Station, as this station is only a few minutes walk from their home.

Unfortunately his 10 years service in W Division did not result in any newspaper worthy incidents, neither does he ever give evidence  at the Old Bailey.  So sadly this period of his service is lost to history. 

However upon promotion and a posting to Barnet, Henry appears quite regularly in the local press so it is possible to piece together what life for a Bobby in Barnet at the time was like. 

09.06.1896 promoted to Sergeant and posted to S Division as 55S. The numerous newspaper articles and census reports confirm that he was stationed in Barnet. 

1901 living at 82 Sebright Street, Barnet with wife Emma, Bertram (11), Gladys (9), Elsie (6)Grace (3) and twins Dorothy & Alice (1).

1911 living at 75 Sebright Street, Barnet, with wife Emma, Gladys (19), Elsie (16), William (15) Grace (14), Dorothy  (11), Iris (5), Winnifred (1). Assume Bertram has left home, unsure where William has come from. Sadly Alice, appears to have died. The census states 11 children born alive but only 8 remain so for the census. This would suggest that two other children died between 1901 & 1911.  (Pictures exist of Bertrim & William). 

17.07.1911 retires from the Police, having served 25 years and 33 days. 
Height given as 5` 9.5"
Hair brown turning grey
Eyes blue
Complexion fresh
Distinguishing features - scar due to boil on calf right leg.

Address on retirement 75 Sebright Road, Barnet. 

Henry dies on the  7th October 1921 at Wellhouse Hospital Barnet, address still 75 Sebright Road. Leaving  £216 11 shillings and 9 pence to his wife Emma Elizabeth. 



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This newspaper article, would account for the Bradley’s change of address between 1901 and 1911.82C95477-0CFB-4891-9D85-79BAC7C11A91.thumb.jpeg.62be5f650c522baf0000b88c8a18ee76.jpeg

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