Miss Bridget Delia Bradley was born in Kingwilliamstown (now Ballydesmond), County Cork, Ireland, 10 January 1890. She was the fifth oldest of nine children. She left her home at Ballinhulla, Kingwilliamstown and boarded the Titanic at Queenstown bound initially for the home of Mary Bradley, 29 William Street, Glenfalls, New York, USA. She travelled with Daniel Buckley, Hannah Riordan, Patrick Denis O'Connell, Patrick O'Connor, Nora O'Leary and Michael Linehan.
She survived the sinking in lifeboat 13 (1) as fellow third class passenger Daniel Buckley recalled:
"There was a girl from my place and just when she got down into the lifeboat she thought the boat was sinking into the water. Her name was Bridget Bradley. She climbed one of the ropes as far as she could and tried to get back into the Titanic again, as she thought she would be safer in it than in the lifeboat. She was just getting up when one of the sailors went out to her and pulled her down again." U.S. Senate Inquiry Testimony (8 May 1912; Daniel Buckley)
Her rescue was also recorded by one of the local newspapers in New York state:
"One of the steerage passengers who arrived safely was Miss Bridget Bradley, whose sister is employed as a cook at the home of William T. Cowles in Glen Falls. She will go to Glen Falls after a visit with her brother here." (Albany Journal, 19 April 1912)
After her arrival in America on the Carpathia she received financial aid from the American Red Cross:
The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913
Case number 52. (Irish).
Domestic servant. 20 years old. Awarded - ($125).
In 1926 Bridget married a Canadian, Bernard LaSha, and moved to Gananoque, Ontario. They had four children. One of her daughters wrote her mother's biography, Unsinkable Bridget, which was published privately. In 1953 Mrs LaSha was persuaded to see the movie Titanic with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyk. "She hesitated about wanting to see, but with a little persuasion we managed to get her to go," her daughter wrote. "She became very emotional during the movie and at times kept shaking her head as if to say, "no, it didn't happen that way." After the movie she was rushed on stage, had her picture taken with the mayor, given a bouquet of flowers and a lifetime pass to the theatre which she never used. For once in her life, she was in the spotlight, if only for such a short time."
She died 24 January 1956 and is buried in St. John's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Gananoque, Ontario.
- Higgens (1999) suggests Bradley escaped in lifeboat 4.
References and Sources
Albany Journal (New York), 19 April 1912
Mary Higgens (1985) Unsinkable Bridget
Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story. Véhicule Press. ISBN 1 55065 113 7
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
American Red Cross (1913) Emergency and Relief Booklet (#52)
George Behe, USA
Pat Cook, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada
Brian Ticehurst, UK