Bombed at Sea

The following account was written in 2010 by Jonathan Breadmore, a grandson of Charles Walter Breadmore of Stockbridge.

Charles Walter Breadmore was born in 1869 and died in 1960. He had five children, Josephine [deceased] and Michael's father Cyril, my father Reginald, Douglas a bachelor, Dora a spinster and Evelyn, Bridget's mother. He was as already noted a leading nurseryman and had a shop at 120 High St Winchester. My father Lt ColonelReginald Breadmore OBE was in the regular army and served  in the First World War before  joining the Indian Army Ordinance Corp.

At the outbreak of The Second World War in 1939 my father [on secondment ] and my mother and I were in Engand. My mother was Australian from Kew in Melbourne. I was born in 1937 in Melbourne. My father was recalled by his Regiment and was anxious for my mother and I to return to Australia. On the 24 March 1941 we sailed from Liverpool aboard the troopship MV Staffordshire bound for India, there was no war in the Far East at that time. I have always been led to believe that the Staffordshire was one the last boats to leave England carrying women and children. It is also my understanding that my father on his return would have joined his friend and colleague Bill Slim who was to become the legendary commander of the 14th Army in Burma and later a distinguished Governor General of Australia.

Early 1941 were difficult and dangerous times for shipping and the North Sea was to be  avoided at all costs. Algiers was our first port of call. About 200 miles off the Butt of Lewis [ Isle of Lewis ] in the Outer Hebridies, the boat was bombed by a German Aircraft. After spending time in lifeboats we were picked up by a Norwegian cargo ship who landed us on King Edward's Wharf , Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.

My father died of wounds on 29 March 1941. He was interred at the New Sandvick Cemetery following a Military Funeral. Each year a wreath has been placed on my fathers grave a practice continued today.

My mother and I returned to England for the remainder of the war and lived in a little village called Bunbury just outside Chester together with another survivor Marjorie Bell  who was later to receive an MBE for her voluntary work for the Chesham Hospital in Bucks.

My mother and I returned to Melbourne in 1946. My mother remarried and did not return to England and died in 1990. Following schooling at Geelong Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, I pursued a business career and at the time of my retirement was a Director of an English Trading Company in Australia. My wife and I have been married for 48 years and have three children and 7 grandchildren.

  Read the story of Charles Walter and his Sweet Peas at Sweet Peas and Potatoes

Andrew Young - - © Margaret and Andrew Young
Breadmore One-Name Study - Bombed at Sea -