838023 Sgt. Thomas Squire Bradley was born November 1st, 1897 (sic) in Hamden, Grey County, Ontario and worked as a farmer near Allan Park. His mother, Jessee, and sisters Jane and Katherine also lived on the farm, but his father had deserted the family, leaving him the only male of the household.

Thomas initially joined the 31st Regiment when hostilities broke out, probably in search of steady income to help support the family. He assigned a portion of his pay to his mother and continued to do so throughout the war. Later he volunteered for one of the two independent Infantry Companies being raised by the 31st Regiment for overseas service.

With the authorization of the 147th (Grey) Battalion, the two independent Companies where assigned to it and Thomas attested to the new County Battalion on November 26th, 1916. At the time of his attestation, Thomas claimed to be 18, although the 1911 Census shows that he was born in 1901, making him only 15 at the time of his enlistment to the 147th. Nearly six feet tall and well built it would have been easy for him to lie about his age and just as easy for Military authorities to turn a blind eye in their attempts to fill the ranks of the new Battalion.

Billeted locally over the winter, the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th, 1916, on the S.S. Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. While in England Thomas was promoted Sergeant but like many others he would revert back to Private, at his own request, to ensure his eligibility to see service at the front. Thomas was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on October 19th, 1917, just in time to see action during the battle of Passchendaele.

Quickly promoted to Lance Corporal, Thomas served through the winter of 1917, taking his turn manning the trenches as the unit went through its normal rotation of the front lines and would eventually be promoted back to Sergeant. After the German spring offensive stalled and the Allies launched their counter attack that resulted in the conflicts of the final 100 days, Thomas fought through the Battle of Amiens and Arras before being wounded by shrapnel to the thigh, on September 26th, 1918, during build up for the Battle of Cambrai.

Although the superficial shrapnel wound lead to his hospitalization, it was his chronic bronchitis brought on by the severe living conditions that took him out of the war.

Sergeant Thomas Squire Bradley was struck off strength of the 4th C.M.R. on February 21st, 1919.

Biography details credit: George Auer