Edward Eden Bradford

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Admiral Sir Edward E. Bradford.
Portrait: Francis Dodd, 1920. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 4038).

Admiral SIR Edward Eden Bradford, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.V.O., Royal Navy (10 December, 1858 – 26 November, 1935) was an officer of the Royal Navy.


Australia Station

On 20 June, 1878, Bradford was appointed Acting Sub-Lieutenant. On 23 January, 1880 he received a Second Class Gunnery Certificate. On 7 February he was appointed to the Wolverine, additional, for the Sandfly.[1] Bradford was appointed to H.M. Schooner Sandfly on 24 January, 1880 on the Australia Station. He and the commander, Lieutenant James St. Clair Bower, were the only two officers on the ship.

In October Lieutenant Maxwell and a surveying party of six men went to Mandilana Island in the Solomon Islands, leaving Sandfly under Bradford's charge anchored off the far end of nearby Florida Island. Chief Kalikaona of Florida Island had stated that he would not eat until skulls had been presented him in the traditional manner. Two of his chiefs, Utomati and Voreea, obliged and sent a boy to investigate Bower's party and ascertain whether they were armed and vigilant. The boy visited the party, sold them fruit and reported that the British sailors had left their rifles and ammunition in their boat and were busy surveying.

Bower had searched the immediate vicinity upon landing at Mandilana Island, and was under the impression that the area was clear. He then allowed five of his ratings to bathe in the sea while he and Able Seaman Savage went to examine the beach. The bathers were then attacked by the natives and overwhelmed — one seaman named Venton knocking out two assailants before being killed. Seamen Carn, O'Neill, Paterson and Buckle were also murdered, and then decapitated. The native party then hauled the boat up from the water's edge in the knowledge that whoever was left would not be able to drag it back to the sea. Bower and Savage hid in the bush, having witnessed the massacre but being unable to intervene.

During the night Savage swam to Florida Island in an attempt to reach Sandfly, and eventually reached her five days later with the help of friendly natives. Bower hid in a tree, but next morning was spotted and shot dead by Utomati with one of the rifles taken from the dead sailors. Bower's head was removed, and his arms and legs along with those of his dead men were cut off and lined up on the beach.

Bradford had meanwhile waited in vain for the return of Bower and his party, and the next day searched the area and

He was specially promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with seniority of 1 December, 1880.[2]

As the sloop Mutine was returning to England from the China Station in early 1891, Bradford found himself in command following the death of her commanding officer, Commander Martin.[3]


Bradford was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1894.[4]

On 12 December, 1895, Bradford was appointed to the new pre-dreadnought Majestic.[5]


Bradford was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1899.[6]

He was appointed in command of the pre-dreadnought Majestic in April, 1901.[7]

Bradford was appointed command of the pre-dreadnought Revenge on 21 May, 1903.[8]

He was appointed in command of H.M.S. Exmouth in June, 1904, and would remain there until March of 1907.[7]

On the occasion of the visit of the French fleet to Britain Bradford was appointed a Member of the Fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order (M.V.O.) on 11 August, 1905.[9]

On the occasion of the King's visit to Portsmouth to launch the battleship Dreadnought Bradford was appointed a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.) on 10 February, 1906.[10]

He was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to the King on 16 December, 1907, vice Galloway.[11]

Flag Rank

Bradford as a Rear-Admiral.
Photo: Library of Congress.

Bradford was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 5 November, 1908, vice Kingsford.[12]

He succeeded James Startin as Rear-Admiral of the Second Division of the Home Fleet on 9 October, 1909.[13]

Bradford was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 10 February, 1914, vice Jackson.[14]

Great War

On 1 January, 1916, he was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).[15]

Bradford was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 2 July, 1917, vice Briggs.[16]

Bradford was placed on the Retired List at his own request, "in order to facilitate the promotion of younger officers", on 11 March, 1918.[17]

He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (G.B.E.) on 1 January, 1930.[18]

See Also


  • "Admiral Sir Edward Bradford" (Obituaries). The Times. Tuesday, 26 November, 1935. Issue 47231, col B, p. 16.



  • Francis Dodd portrait in the possession of the Imperial War Museum. Catalogue Number IWM ART 4038.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
James Startin
Rear-Admiral in the Second Division, Home Fleet
1909 – 1910
Succeeded by
George E. Patey

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George Le C. Egerton
Captain of H.M.S. Majestic
Apr, 1901[7]
Succeeded by
Hugh Evan-Thomas
Preceded by
Frederic W. Fisher
Captain of H.M.S. Revenge
21 May, 1903[19]
Succeeded by
Arthur A. C. Galloway
Preceded by
Michael P. O'Callaghan
Captain of H.M.S. Exmouth
Jun, 1904[7]
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur J. Henniker-Hughan, Bart.
Preceded by
Frederick G. Stopford
Commodore-in-Command, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham
10 May, 1907[20]
Succeeded by
Ernest C. T. Troubridge
Preceded by
Arthur M. Farquhar
Rear-Admiral Commanding, Fourth Cruiser Squadron
8 Feb, 1911[21]
Succeeded by
Sir Christopher G. F. M. Cradock
Preceded by
Lewis Bayly
Vice-Admiral Commanding, Third Battle Squadron
22 Jun, 1914[22]
Succeeded by
Sir John M. de Robeck


  1. Bradford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. p. 187.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 24912. p. 6674. 10 December, 1880.
  3. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 14 February, 1891. Issue 33248, col B, p. 13.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 26534. p. 4154. 20 July, 1894.
  5. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 18 November, 1895. Issue 34737, col E, p. 7.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 27099. p. 4345. 14 July, 1899.
  7. Mackie, Colin. ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS.
  8. Bradford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 676.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 27826. p. 5532. 11 August, 1905.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 27885. p. 1037. 13 February, 1906.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 28091. p. 8876. 20 December, 1907.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 28193. p. 8028. 6 November, 1908.
  13. Hazell's Annual, 1910. p. 199.
  14. The London Gazette: no. 28801. p. 1176. 13 February, 1914.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29423. p. 79. 31 December, 1915.
  16. The London Gazette: no. 30161. p. 6550. 3 July, 1917.
  17. The London Gazette: no. 30599. p. 3756. 26 March, 1918.
  18. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33566. p. 6. 1 January, 1930.
  19. Bradford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. p. 676.
  20. Bradford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 168.
  21. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 10 January, 1911. Issue 39478, col B, p. 4.
  22. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 4.

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