Private, 60646, 8th Royal Fusiliers
Killed in Action, 3 May 1917, at Arras, France, aged 28
Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais

The Arras Memorial
(Click to enlarge)


Private Archibald Frederick Gladman was born early in 1889 at Horsted Keynes (West Hoathly). His parents were Thomas and Lois Gladman (née Billings).

In the 1891 census he was living at Birch Grove, West Hoathly, with his parents and four siblings, Florence, George, Edward and William. Archibald's father, Thomas, was a 35-year-old labourer. Lois was also 35.

In the 1901 census Archibald was to be found at Brambletye Mill Cottages in Forest Row living with his parents and seven siblings and his grandfather, William aged 72, who was boarding with them. Thomas was recorded as being a cowman.

In the 1911 census, Archibald, a cowman, was still at the same address, with parents Thomas and Lois and three younger brothers, Percy, Arthur and Albert. His father, Thomas, aged 54, was also a cowman. In September 1911 Archibald married Fanny Rice (1886-1974) at Petworth, Sussex.

Archibald enlisted in the Army at East Grinstead as Private Gladman 12124 of the Royal Sussex Regiment. He later transferred to the City of London Regiment of the Royal Fusiliers. He briefly served with the Royal Sussex Regiment from 3 October 1916 to 22 October 1916 before joining the Fusiliers from 23 October to the date of his death on 3 May 1917.

In May 1917 Private Gladman was serving in the Arras region as part of the 20th Division of the 3rd Army under General Allenby. The main offensive in this part of the Battle of Arras began on 9 April with a major Canadian attack on and the taking of Vimy Ridge. This was later described as "one of the greatest single day's achievements in the history of the Western Front". The British offensive continued for several months until, without a major breakthrough, General Nivelle ended the offensive.

The Arras Memorial stands at the entrance to Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery in the Pas de Calais. It commemorates some 34,848 casualties. These were mainly soldiers of Britain, South Africa and New Zealand who have no known grave. Private Gladman is recorded on Bay 3 of the Memorial. Most of those commemorated were killed in the Battle of Arras between 9 April and 16 May 1917. Archibald is also commemorated at Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row.

The Arras Memorial was constructed between 1929 and 1932. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled by Lord Trenchard on 31 July 1932. Trenchard was described as "the Father of the Royal Air Force". From 1915-1917 he was the commander of the Royal Flying Corps and later Chief of the Air Staff.

Private Gladman was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These awards were confirmed in 1920.

The Memorial Book of Remembrance in Holy Trinity Church in Forest Row was signed by his widow, Fanny Gladman, who was living at 2, Rosemary Cottages, Forest Row.

After the war a credit of £2 17s.9d. and a War Gratuity of £3 0s.0d. were authorised to be paid to Fanny.

Kevin Tillett