Our interpretation plaque
Photocast, a long time leader in the field of etched zinc plaques and outdoor noticeboards, was recently commissioned to create a zinc plaque commemorating the Bradford Brothers of Witton Park.
The siblings, George and Rowland Bradford, were the only two brothers to both receive the Victoria Cross (VC medal) for gallantry, for their roles in the First World War.
Hailing from Witton Park in County Durham, George and Rowland were two of four brothers made famous by their bravery during the 1914-1918 war. The four brothers later became known as The Fighting Bradfords.
‘The Fighting Bradford’s’ etched zinc plaque
Now a partnership between Durham County Council and Groundworks NE & Cumbria has seen the brothers’ contribution to the war marked with an etched zinc plaque.
2017 marks 100 years since Rowland Bradford’s act of gallantry, so there is no more fitting time for Durham County Council to have funded this memorial space, which has now been marked for historical record by a zinc plaque, forming an attractive, hard wearing outdoor noticeboard, created by Photocast.
The memorial was created with the kind assistance of villagers and representatives of the DLI.
There are seven etched zinc plaques across the UK commemorating those who have been awarded the Victoria Cross and Witton Park is now the home of two of them.
How did the Bradford Brothers earn their zinc plaques?
George Bradford, then a Lieutenant Commander of 31 years old, volunteered to take part in a daring naval raid on the Belgian coast on St George’s Day, 23rd April, 1917. He was in command of the storming parties of HMS Iris II and, during the raid, was hit by machine gun fire. His VC was posthumously awarded and presented to his mother by King George V in April 1919.
Rowland Bradford was the youngest Bradford sibling and went on to become the youngest General the British Army has seen in modern times. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1915. He was awarded the VC in 1917 for his gallant actions during the Battle of the Somme, in which he mobilised two battalions under heavy fire and led them to capture their position. In November 1917 he was promoted to Brigadier General, just days before being killed by a German shell during the Battle of Cambrai.
The etched zinc plaque detailing the story of the two VC winning Bradford’s, as well as information about all four brothers, now sits on a commemoration stone, forming an outdoor noticeboard in Witton.