Thomas M Gledhill
Date of birth: 24.12.1922
Date of death: 14.4.1945
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Family information: Husband of Margaret Gledhill nee Batty
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Service number: FAA/FX 77384
There are two possible men here – the son of Hubert and Jane Gledhill of East Ardsley or the son of Walter Vine Gledhill and Dora Gledhill and husband of Margaret. I believe it was the latter. He was Flight Sergeant Thomas Michael Gledhill FAA/FX. 77384 in the RAFVR 58 Squadron who died on 14th April 1945 aged 22.
Sadly about the same time as his son Peter was born Thomas was killed and he was buried in the Sandwick Cemetery on Stornoway, Scotland. He had been a wireless operator/air gunner in the RAF and the 58 Squadron were flying form the air base in Stornoway at that time carrying out anti-shipping attacks on German ships off Norway.
There was a report on his death in the Wakefield Express of 21st April 1945:
“FLIGHT SERGEANT’S FATAL ACCIDENT – The death took place on Saturday, as the result of a flying accident in this country, of Flight Sergeant T Michael Gledhill R.A.F.V.R. of Westfield Grove, Wakefield. Flight-Sergeant Gledhill, who was 22 years of age, was the only son of Mr and Mrs Walter Gledhill of Fox Lane, Bradford Road and two years ago married Miss Margaret Batty, daughter of Mr and Mrs Walker Batty, Westfield Grove. He was educated at the Wakefield Grammar School, where he took a prominent part in sporting activities.”
Thomas must have also been a member of Sandal Rugby Union Club as he is remembered on their memorial plaque. He was buried in the Sandwick Cemetery, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland.
Walter Vine Gledhill and Dora (nee Macaulay) were living at 25, Bradford Road, Wrenthorpe until 1936. In 1937 to 1939 they were at 83, Bradford Road but the 1939 Register gives their address as 3, Fox Lane, with Walter, who had been born in 1895, a Local Government Clerk in the Architects Department of the West Riding County Council and Dora was born in 1897. Thomas was born on 24th December 1922 so was only 17 at the start of the war, but obviously keen to do his bit as next to his occupation being at school was a note saying he was an ARP messenger boy. I believe he was an only child.
In 1943 Thomas married Margaret Batty and I believe they had a son Peter in 1945.