Badnall, Bednall etc, Biographical Notes:

Section 1

The Bednall Archive 

Last updated: 27/08/2013


John Badnall was a fletcher (an arrow maker) who lived in Bristol in the 16th century. He was married and in October 15??, he and his wife Lucy took John Hycman of West Bromwich, Staffordshire, to be their apprentice for 11 years [1]. At the end of his apprenticeship John was to have 13s 4d, a sum worth, based on the retail price index,  £162  today [2].  John Badnall may be the man who in 1548, lived in a tenement in Bristol that had formerly belonged to the Fraternity of the Chapel of the Assumption of St. Mary the Virgin, on the bridge in St. Nicholas' Parish, Bristol [3].


[1] Calendar of Bristol Apprentices Book 1532-1565. by D. Hollis, Elizabeth Ralph, Nora M. Hardwick.  Bristol Record Society 1949  p.1, 5.
[2] Lawrence H. Officer, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2007." Measuring Worth, 2008.
[3]  Calendar of Patent Rolls, UK  Public Record Office, Edward VI, Vol. 2 1548-1549, Henry Churchill, Maxwell Lyte, PRO London 1924, page 102.


Matthew Bednall was a lay clerk of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, from 1485 until 1504 and possibly later. The records show that he was also an organist [1] [2].  He may be the man admitted to the Bede Roll of the Fraternity of St Nicholas, London in 1477 and might be related to Alice Bednale who was also admitted to the Bede Roll 3 years later.

St Georges Chapel & Castle of Windsor, UK  about 1903.


[1] The Bede Roll of the Fraternity of St. Nicholas, by N.W.James, Guildhall Library, London, London Record Society 2004  page 301.
[2]Organists and Choristers of
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle by Edmund Horace Fellowes, Published for the Dean and Canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor by the Society For The Promotion Of Christian Knowledge 1939. page 10.

[3] Bednall, [Mr.]. English musician. 148(9)-9(3): Clerk of St Georges Chapel (Windsor). 148(9)-9(3): Joint organist of St Georges Chapel (Windsor). "Early Renaissance 1420-1461 The Age of Dunstable",  and "Cathedral College Organists: The Queen’s Free Chapel of St. George, Windsor Castle.1489"  Tuke, Bell, Bowyer, Bednall and Rede (acted jointly)


Richard Bednell served in Capt. James Cockburn's Company, 2nd Battalion of the 59th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Waterloo. [1]


[1] The Waterloo Medal Roll 1815. in "Men of the Battle of Waterloo 1815 published by the Naval & Military Press and based on UK National Archives MINT 16/112. online database.


Geoffrey Lindsay Bednall was born in Walsall, Staffordshire in 1912, the son of Samuel John Bednall and Mary Florence M. Plevin.[1]  Geoffrey served in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War.  On 8th June 1940, No. 2094372 Bednall, who by then was a Sergeant in 219 Field Coy, RE serving with the British Expeditionary Force in France, was ordered to blow up a bridge over the River Bethune at Neufchatel. When he and his comrade reached Battalion HQ they were unable to obtain an infantry covering party to accompany them as planned but decided to press on anyway. They made several attempts to reach the bridge but the situation in Neufchatel (fires and falling buildings) frustrated their efforts.  As charges had previously been laid on the bridge, which was seriously affected by heat from the fires raging in Bethune, and convinced that the bridge had therefore probably been destroyed, Bednall and his comrade withdrew.   Earlier during his service in France, Bednall's devotion to duty while driving lorries of anti-tank mines and despite enemy bombing, delivering the mines to where they were needed, had been noted and following his actions at Neufchatel, he was awarded the Military Medal [2].

He was not  evacuated at Dunkirk as he and his unit were evacuated from Cherbourg to Southampton on 17th June 1940.

He died in Walsall in 1968.[3]


[1] General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes: England & Wales Birth Index. GL Bednall's birth registered  second quarter 1912,  Walsall, Staffordshire. Vol. 6b, Fol. 1418

[2] The National Archives WO 373/15/416 Combatant Gallantry Awards, Bednall, G L; Serjeant 2094372 Royal Engineers. See 

[3] General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes: England & Wales Index: GL Bednall's death registered  June 1968 Walsall, Staffordshire  Vol. 9b,  Fol. 668

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