She was born on 10 January 1890 in Knocknaboul, Co Kerry, Ireland, close by to Kingwilliamstown in Co Cork, and she was baptised the following day.
She was the daughter of Daniel Bradley (b. circa 1861), a labourer, and Elizabeth "Bessie" Linehan (b. circa 1866), a domestic servant, both Kerry natives who had married on 14 April 1886.
Coming from a brood of nine, Bridget's siblings were: Mary (b. 22 April 1886), Michael (b. 1 January 1888), Kate (b. 1 July 1892), Dennis (b. 24 January 1895), John (b. 9 July 1897), Elizabeth (b. 2 September 1901), Daniel (b. 1905) and Julia (b. 1907).
On the 1901 census the Bradley home was house 8 in Ballynahulla, Millbrook, Co Kerry; by the time of the 1911 census their address was 24 Ballynahulla; Bridget was still at home on the latter record and had no stated profession.
She boarded the Titanic at Queenstown bound initially for the home of Mary Bradley, 29 William Street, Glenfalls, New York, USA. She travelled with several others from the Kingwilliamstown area, the party being led by Daniel Buckley. Some of the others were Hannah Riordan, Patrick Denis O'Connell, Patrick O'Connor, Nora O'Leary and Michael Linehan.
She survived the sinking in lifeboat 13 as Buckley recalled:
- "There was a girl from my place and just when she got down into the lifeboat she thought the boat was sinking into the water. Her name was Bridget Bradley. She climbed one of the ropes as far as she could and tried to get back into the Titanic again, as she thought she would be safer in it than in the lifeboat. She was just getting up when one of the sailors went out to her and pulled her down again."
- U.S. Senate Inquiry Testimony (May 8th, 1912; Daniel Buckley)
Her rescue was also recorded by one of the local newspapers in New York state:
- "One of the steerage passengers who arrived safely was Miss Bridget Bradley, whose sister is employed as a cook at the home of William T. Cowles in Glen Falls. She will go to Glen Falls after a visit with her brother here." "
- Albany Journal, April 19th, 1912
After her arrival in America on the Carpathia she received financial aid from the American Red Cross:
|The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913|
Case number 52. (Irish).
In 1926 Bridget married a Canadian, Bernard LaSha, and moved to Gananoque, Ontario. They had four children. One of her daughters wrote her mother's biography, Unsinkable Bridget, which was published privately. In 1953 Mrs. LaSha was persuaded to see the movie Titanic with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyk. "She hesitated about wanting to see, but with a little persuasion we managed to get her to go," her daughter wrote. "She became very emotional during the movie and at times kept shaking her head as if to say, "no, it didn't happen that way." After the movie she was rushed on stage, had her picture taken with the mayor, given a bouquet of flowers and a lifetime pass to the theatre which she never used. For once in her life, she was in the spotlight, if only for such a short time."
She died January 24th, 1956 and is buried in St. John's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Gananoque, Ontario.