Memorial service for 'wonderful' veteran who helped the community
- Credit: Jess Coppins
Hundreds of people turned out to remember a "wonderful" veteran who went out of his way to help people in the community.
Tommy Bradley, a former army veteran, known around the town for his work helping others and setting up a drop-in centre for veterans, died from coronavirus in March 2020.
Born in Belfast in 1946, he served with the army for nine years before moving to Raynham in Essex.
It was there he met partner Irene Carter, after he repaired her car for her.
In 1998, Mr Bradley moved to Lowestoft to be nearer family following a heart attack and from that moment he helped numerous people in the community.
Mrs Carter, 78, said: "He was my best friend, carer, business partner and someone who looked after me.
"He was a beautiful man, had a wonderful nature and always wanted to help people."
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In Lowestoft, Mr Bradley joined the Royal Artillery Association (RAA) and Royal British Legion, raising money for Help for Heroes and receiving a a certificate of merit from the RAA for his work supporting local armed forces cadets.
His most notable achievement was setting up the Lowestoft Royal British Legion drop-in centre in 2016, which is still active today.
Mrs Carter said: "Tommy was down on Lowestoft sea front one day and noticed some people under the pier.
"He asked what they were doing and they said they were ex-forces living under the pier.
"This really upset him and he wished he could do something about it.
"This was the inspiration behind setting up the walk-in centre, to help those veterans talk to other veterans, open up with one another, it has helped so many.
"His first instinct was always to help other people and that was so great about him."
On his RAA certificate, a friend of Mr Bradley's wrote: "He was the kindest chap you could call upon at any time.
"His heart was bigger than himself.
"He needed no recognition for the help he gave, he did it because he cared."
Mr Bradley died aged 74 and leaves behind four sisters, two nieces and a nephew.