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    Joseph Taylor Bradley was the son of William and Susanna Bradley. He is recorded as having been baptised in Louth, Lincoln in England on 15 May 1844 although the English Census of 1871 records that he 31 years old suggesting that he was born in about 1840.


    At that time he was already serving with the 94th Foot, was married to Eliza Phillips, had one child, a daughter named Noretta who was born at Aldershot. 


    Joseph Lehmann relates in The First Boer War how, after the engagement at Bronkhorstspruit 20 December 1880, Joubert, the Boer Commandant, was persuaded to permit two volunteers, Conductor Egerton and Sgt Joseph Taylor Bradley, to walk to Pretoria for medical assistance.

    They used the errand of mercy as a pretext for smuggling out the Regimental Colours. C/Sgt. Maistre and Sgt. Pearce were initially responsible for this concealment.


    When the Boers searched and inquired after the trophies, they were given a couple of banners that were used for decorative purposes in connection with garrison balls and theatricals. The Boers were delighted.


    Meanwhile, Egerton managed to wind the sacred prize around his body under his clothes. 


    In Pretoria the Colours were maintained by the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers until the Regiment was reorganized. Egerton was subsequently rewarded with a Commission in the 94th Regiment.


    Lehmann does not specify any award for Bradley. However, in so far as the Submission to the Queen on 26 March 1882 cites the battle of Bronkhorstspruit in connection with Bradley’s award, and in so far also as the service performed was associated with the saving of the Regimental Colours (as is the case with Bridgestock) it is reasonable to assume that the Bradley mentioned by Lehmann is the same as the recipient of the DCM. 


    Today, the importance of “Saving the Regimental Colours” needs to be viewed in the context of Victorian military tradition. At that time, nothing could be viewed as being a greater dishonour to a Regiment than the loss of their Regimental Colours and conversely, no matter what the personal cost, nothing was more important than preserving the honour of their Colours. 

    No less than four of the 20 DCMs awarded for the First Boer War were awarded as a result of the actions taken in preventing these from falling into the hands of the Boers at Bronkhorstspruit. 

    Besides the awards made to Conductor Egerton and Sergeant Bradly awards were also given to Colour Sergeant Maistre and Sergeant Pearce who were initially responsible for their concealment. 

    Bradley received his DCM from the Queen on 13 May 1882. 

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