Obituary: Archibald J. Bridgman

Publication: Evesham Journal, July 1966

Mr. Archibald John Bridgman, of 27 Smallbrook Road, Broadway, who died at his home on Saturday, aged 79, was headmaster of the village primary school until his retirement 19 years ago.

Born in Bromsgrove, he was educated at Bromsgrove School and moved to Broadway in 1919. He served in the Army throughout the First World War. He joined the Public Schools Battalion, was commissioned into the Machine Gun Corps and took part in most of the major battles on the Western Front as a Captain.

After the war, he became a teacher at Swan Lane School, Evesham, transferred to Bretforton Primary School and then went to Broadway, where he remained until his retirement.

His main interest outside teaching was Broadway Cricket Club of which he was a founder-member. He was a founder-member of Broadway Toc H. He took part in several children’s broadcasts on country matters from the Birmingham BBC studios. One of his broadcast series, “Freddie the Fox” was later published as a children’s book for schools. He also gave several broadcast nature talks about Broadway.

He wrote many poems about the countryside and made a study of the history of Broadway.

Two days before his death, he attended the concert at Evesham of Les Petits Chanteurs, the French grammar school boys’ choir, two of whom were his guests at Smallbrook Road.

He left one son, Mr. John Clive Bridgman. His wife died last year. The funeral at St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Broadway, on Tuesday was followed by cremation at Cheltenham.

Maurice C. Andrews writes:

The people of Broadway have lost an old friend and counsellor. During his many years at the village school he came to know many families and their problems, often giving invaluable advice, and in times of trouble sympathy. What is not generally known is that quite often too he gave material assistance to less fortunate people to assist their children, his pupils ‘to get on in the world’. For all but his last two years at the Broadway School, Mr. Bridgman had at least one member of my family as a pupil and we can echo the feelings of many others that he was a most excellent teacher, a sincere friend and a true practising Christian. Over the years his influence has been felt on many village committees including the Parish Council, School Management and Cricket Club, on most of which I have had the honour to serve with him. He was always known to be fair and sincere, and to weigh up and analyse all matters being discussed with nut one objective in view – a just conclusion. He will be greatly missed by all and to his memory, in all parts of the world, live hundreds of former pupils in all walks of life who owe so much to “Bridgie”.