Diary extracts from a Chorley soldier in the Second World War

John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War
John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War
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A school project has unearthed a rare insight into life as a soldier serving in the Second World War.


When Mick McNulty was asked to help his daughter research a family member, he felt privileged to learn more about his grandfather who had served in the war.
Mick, 42, of Chorley, says: “My daughter, Holly, who goes to Parklands High School, was asked to do a project on someone who has done great things in their family.
“We picked her great grandfather, John Bradley, who fought in the Second World War.

John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War

John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War

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“As he died quite young, when I was only five, I have very few memories of him, so it was nice to try to find out a bit more.
“He was stationed to the 225/57 Anti Tank regiment as a gunner and fought in Algiers to Italy. Following the end of the war he continued his service as a mechanical transport driver in Palatine.

“We have got loads of old photos and a diary from 1943.
“He wrote lots of things in his dairy but they were all short notes.
“He wrote about arriving at a Prisoner of War camp and being picked up by the Germans.

“In another entry for June 6, he mentions the D Day landings of the Allied invasion in Normandy.
“He was involved in the invasion of Italy later on.
“He also wrote about missing Christmas and only having a cheese sandwich on Christmas Day.

John Bradley with fellow soldiers

John Bradley with fellow soldiers

“Another entry shows he went to the pictures in Rome to watch Buffalo Bill.
“It is all quite interesting, even if it is little snippets.

“I am really proud of my grandfather. I was only five when he died so I didn’t really know him.
“He is not around to ask questions and find out more, so it is nice to have these photographs.”

John was released from his duties in 1947, and a year later he married his sweetheart Joan Garstang. He worked at the Leyland and Birmingham Rubber Company.
He continued to work there until he took a job at Thomas Witters at Heapey. He had five children, but sadly one died in infancy. He died in 1980, a year after his wife.

John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War

John Bradley, from Chorley, who served in the Second World War

John Bradley, from Chorley, sent a postcard to his mum whilst he was serving in the Second World War

John Bradley, from Chorley, sent a postcard to his mum whilst he was serving in the Second World War

A letter to John Bradley from Chorley Borough Council thanking him for serving in the Second World War

A letter to John Bradley from Chorley Borough Council thanking him for serving in the Second World War