As we build up to VE Day on Friday, May 8, we look back at the Museum of Orange Heritage's Service and Sacrifice Exhibition and the story of Samuel James Brodison.
Samuel James Brodison was born in January 1914. He was a member of Newmills LOL No. 183 and RBP No. 1147 Bloomhill Olive Branch of Peace.
In 1939, Brodison joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s). He eventually went on to serve in 10 Commando attached to 12 Commando (A Troop) and obtained the rank of Company Sergeant Major.
While serving as a Commando, Brodison aided partisans in Yugoslavia in the country’s struggle against a Nazi supported puppet regime. His efforts in Yugoslavia were so well documented that he was known in the country as ‘Stari Vojnik’ or ‘The Fearless One!’
Samuel Brodison was sent behind enemy lines no fewer than sixteen times and was Mentioned in Despatches for his daring efforts. Brodison also took part in a reconnaissance mission on the 17 May near Calais, France.
His unit’s objective was to observe the enemy’s beach obstacles in advance of the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. This operation was of the highest importance and of an extremely hazardous nature, involving as it did, a three-mile approach to a heavily defended enemy coastline by night. For this action, Brodison was awarded the Military Medal.
After the end of WWII, he returned to Ulster. In 1959 he was a Sergeant Instructor in the Ulster Special Constabulary