Family seeks out Bradford’s tragic story

George Edward Bradford with wife, Ruby May (nee Curry), and their son, John Edward, 1915.

George Edward Bradford with wife, Ruby May (nee Curry), and their son, John Edward, 1915.

George Edward Bradford had barely celebrated his first wedding anniversary when he enlisted in January 1915. 

He kissed Ruby and their new baby John Edward goodbye and reported for training. 

Before he would sail out on 10 April, his infant son had died and he had come home only briefly for the funeral and to bid his grieving wife goodbye.

He would die in the Gallipoli campaign. 

Even from the distance of 100 years, the story is heart-breaking and his descendents think it should be told. 

Mark Salvestro, an actor and director in Melbourne, is writing a play for theatre based on his great great uncle’s life. 

Mark is coming to Forbes this weekend to see where George lived, with hopes of finding more information about his life and the times he lived in.

Mark has been researching his ancestor’s story as best he can online and it looks like all roads lead to Forbes.

“He was born in Albury but everything else on him is from Forbes,” he said.

“It seems both his parents died when he was 18 months old or even younger and he went to Forbes.

“I’m trying to find out why he went to Forbes, who he went to Forbes with.” 

Mark does know that George married Ruby Curry at Forbes Presbyterian Church on 7 January 1914.

But Mark is looking for more than historical data as he seeks to put together a play that tells Bradford’s story.

He wants to tell about the good times before war, what life was life for a child in Forbes at the time, how George and Ruby’s relationship developed and how war changed everything. 

“I love that era,” he said. 

“What I’m really interested in is the way they communicated - the way people spoke through letters and the language that they used, it was so rich.

“I have the wedding report from The Forbes Times of George and Ruby’s wedding and there is a full paragraph description of her dress. 

“It’s something that’s getting lost.”

Mark will be in Forbes this weekend (May 1 and 2).

If you can help with his research - with information about the Bradfords or from the family of Ruby Curry - you can contact him on 0408 589 020.

You can follow the project through his Facebook page or email marksalvestro


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