Leslie John Bragger

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Photograph of Leslie John Bragger

Les Bragger was born in Birmingham on 17th December 1910 in a location close to Five Ways, Edgbaston in an area now covered by the Tesco superstore.

When he left school at 14 he joined the General Post Office as a Telegraph Boy and stayed with them apart from a two week spell a week after joining them when he left and went to work at a tailors in Broad Street. When he was told he had to work a weeks notice he went back to do that and then apart from his stint doing National Service he stayed until retirement in 1973.  His younger brother John or Jack as he was commonly known joined him later and for some reason I never discovered he and his brother were known as "Big Sam and Little Sam". Names that stuck with them all their time in the Post Office.  (His brother lost his life in World War two).  He worked his way up and ended his career in the Investigation Branch at the age of 60 he had to finish in the IB and he was transferred into the accounts section, for some reason or other no one would speak to him for three months, he always joked about that!

He was called up and as 1685010 he was trained up as a gunner in the Royal Artillery, his recollection of this was being at Hams Hall Power Station on "Ack-Ack" duty to protect the power station from being bombed but not being allowed to fire for fear of giving away the location of the power station!

He transferred to the Royal Engineers and with them was invited to Normandy in June 1944.  This entitled him to the France and Germany Star to go with his 1939/45 Star, Defence and War Medals.  I mention this because when he finally retired from the GPO he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for "Long and Loyal Service" and as I was collecting medals by then I asked him what medals was he entitled to and what had he done with them?  He said that I had probably had them as a youngster and swapped them.

His medal group As to what he was entitled to he had not got a clue, so I worked out his probable entitlement and wrote to the Army Medals Office at:

Army Medal Office
Government Buildings
Worcester Road

To see if I was correct, it would be a simple matter to "make up the group".  However they agreed with my guess at his entitlement and then asked "If he would like them, as he had never applied for them!" If you died or were killed in action they would automatically forward your medals to your next of kin, but if you survived the war, you had to apply for them yourself.  So dad filled in the appropriate form and I sent it off and a few weeks later a box came with the post!

Les Bragger passed away age 85 in Tamworth on January 24th 1995 and was missed by his wife Phoebe and his two surviving sons Roger and Les.