How Gleed son’s war death was reported in the Free Press

editorial image
Have your say

It was with the deepest regret that the town learned that Lt Ariel Gleed, son of Mr and Mrs J W Gleed of West Elloe, Spalding, was reported as missing.

And the later news, which unhappily confirmed the first report in its ‘most serious aspect’.

The gallant Flight Lieutenant, of the Royal Flying Corps, had only been flying in France over the enemy’s lines for some three weeks, but had tasted all the dangers of such work which, though necessary and highly valuable to the operations of an Army in modern warfare, is still probably the most risky duty called for.

On Wednesday, the parents received an offical telegram from the War Office stating: “Regret to inform you that Lt J V A Gleed RFC was reported missing on July 7. This does not necessarily mean he is wounded or killed. Further news sent immediately. Secretary - War Office.”

Official reports last week stated that eight British aeroplanes failed to return from a flight over the German lines. and presumably, the gallant Spalding lieutenant was one of the men indicated.

Some hours after getting the telegram, Mr and Mrs Gleed received a letter from their son and he mentioned that he had just come in from a flight over the enemy’s lines in the course of which his machine had been struck by 11 bullets.

He was expecting to go out again at 2,30 the following morning. He evidently went and was not seen again. He was 20 years old.

The following is an extract from a letter received from the Recording Officer, from the front, No 45 Squadron.

“I regret having to inform you that your son, Lt J V A Gleed, who was a pilot in this squadron, is missing, never having returned from a patrol over the enemy’s lines.

“I am afraid I can give you little hope, for his machine was part of a formation which encountered many enemy machines and took part in most terrific air combat. Surviving pilots and observers state that his machine fell in flames from a height of 10,000ft, but from the account that they gave, it is almost certain that he must have been killed by shots before ever the machine started falling. Immediately I receive any definite information, I will comunicate with you.”

Sincerest sympathy was extended to the members of the Gleed family in their great anxiety, reported the Free Press.


Mr Jacob Cave’s residence at Sutton St James was struck by lightning.

The bolt split the chimney stack and smashed the pots.

In the bedroom, it shifted the stove into the room and in the dressing room, blew the marble slab out.


Harry C Bingham applied for an ejection warrant against George Alfred Archer, of Gedney Road, Long Sutton.

Mrs Archer said she and her husband were willing to quit, but could not find a house - the case was adjourned until she found a new home.


From left:
Pte Fred Faulkner (Spalding). Killed in action;

Sgt T W Stacey (Gosberton). Killed in action;