Helen Grant Bradbury


Helen “Bunty” Grant (McRae) Bradbury, WWII veteran, age 93, of Halifax.

Bunty passed away peacefully Jan 29, 2017, at her home in Halifax. She was predeceased by her husband, Ralph MacDonald Bradbury.

Born in Aberchirder, Banff County, Scotland, in 1924, she was the daughter of Colin McRae, and Helen Isabella (Fraser).

Unbeknownst to her mother, at barely 17, she enlisted in the Royal Airforce W.A.A.F., and as a driver, transported senior American officers to the secret allied headquarters in a remote area of Scotland. During the war, she met her future husband, Ralph MacDonald Bradbury, a signalman in the 59th Newfoundland Heavy Regiment, Royal Artillery. They were married in 1942, and spent the next 73 years together.

While still in the W.A.A.F., she became pregnant with their first child, and was discharged on compassionate grounds, with the comment that she was of “Very Good character”, the highest rating awarded by the R.A.F., and “this airwoman has proved to be a good worker and steady driver. She showed balance and initiative when confronted with an emergency in the course of her duty.” She received the War Medal.

She accompanied Ralph back to Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, at war’s end. The return was intended to be temporary, but circumstances prevented their return to Great Britain, and they settled with their young family in St. John’s, NL, where they lived for the next 32 years.

In 1985 they boldly sold their home, packed up, and drove to White Rock, BC, where they resided for the next 35 years. While in White Rock, they both became avid lawn bowlers, and members of the Mann Park Lawn Bowling Club. Her passions were her grandchildren, her flower garden, baking bread, lawn bowling, and highland dance. She taught tennis to both daughters, and they became junior champions in St. John’s.

Due to failing health and old age, she moved to Halifax NS in 2015, with her husband Ralph, to be close to their daughter.

Her granddaughter Helen, in describing her Grandma’s passing, likened it to astrophysics:
Sooner or later, we all end up crossing the great event horizon. It’s often harder on the observer (family and friends) than the person doing it, especially when it’s a large black hole with a shallow gravitational gradient. But the pull is inexorable. Irresistible. That is how it ended up being with Grandma. But, we know her information is not lost. Her story still exists.

She will be missed by her children, Ronald MacDonald “Max” Bradbury, Heather Annie Marie Bradbury, both living in Sydney, Australia, and Dr. Helen (Dr. Donald) Morrison of Halifax. She was much loved, and will be sorely missed by her grandchildren, Helen Elizabeth Lorraine Morrison, Donald John Bradbury Morrison, and Andrew Bradbury. She has one surviving brother, Ernest (Jill) McRae in Hamilton, Australia.

The family would like to thank the Newfoundland ladies, especially Bernadine Thorne and Judy Coley, for their dedicated care to Bunty over the past year. Also thanks to Dr. Jock Murray, and the staff of the Dalhousie Family medical team, for their compassionate medical care.

Arrangements have been entrusted to T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, Bedford, NS, (902) 835-4212. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.tjtracey.com.

There is to be no service by her request.