The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (435276) Flight Sergeant Bryant Braddock, No. 460 Squadron RAF, Second World War

Place Europe: Belgium, Brussels
Accession Number PAFU2015/232.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 12 June 2015
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on (435276) Flight Sergeant Bryant Braddock, No. 460 Squadron RAF, Second World War.

Speech transcript

435276 Flight Sergeant Bryant Braddock, No. 460 Squadron RAF
KIA 21 February 1945
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 12 June 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Bryant Braddock.

Barrie Braddock was born on 25 August 1917 to Fredrick and Harriet Braddock of Manly, New South Wales. He attended Knox Grammar School and later the Sydney Church of England School. He was a keen sportsman and played cricket and football as well as being a member of the athletics and boxing clubs. Bryant went on to become a school teacher and a journalist. In 1936 he married Janine Fotheringham.

Braddock enlisted in the Australian Army Service Corps in early 1942. Just over a year later he was discharged so that he could join the Royal Australian Air Force. He began his training in Australia before being sent to Canada to continue training under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

Braddock completed his training and was seconded to the Royal Air Force in Britain with the rank of Flight Sergeant. He was posted to Bomber Command and became one of a crew of seven in a Lancaster bomber belonging to No. 460 Squadron. A mid-upper gunner, Braddock was seated in the gun turret on top of the bomber. He would have been exposed to the elements, and wore a heavy flying suite, helmet, oxygen mask, and a parachute. His role was to watch for and, if necessary, engage enemy fighters.

Flight Sergeant Braddock flew five successful missions. On his sixth, his aircraft was given the task of bombing the German city of Dortmund. This they successfully managed at 1.20am on 21 February 1945. Twenty minutes later, as they began their return home, the Australian pilot, Flight Lieutenant Jenkins heard a report of an enemy fighter approaching the aircraft through the intercom. At the same time the Lancaster was hit by fire from below. Braddock engaged the enemy fighter when he could see it, but it continued to hit the damaged Lancaster, and set its starboard wing on fire.

The pilot later reported that there was a sudden explosion that blew the wing off and flipped the aircraft over. Jenkins was able to kick his way free from the wreckage of the falling plane and deployed his parachute in time to survive the accident. The rest of the crew, including Flight Sergeant Braddock, were believed to have been killed in the explosion the tore the plan apart.

Flight Sergeant Braddock’s remains were recovered near the crash site by the British Liberation Army, with those of his five crewmates. They were buried together near Brussels, in Belgium. Bryant Braddock was 27 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with some 40,000 Australians who died during the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Bryant Braddock, and all of those Australians – as well as our Allies and brothers in arms – who gave their lives in the hope for a better world.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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