(L to R) 1914 Star with clasp '5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914'; Allied Victory Medal
Gladstone was born in late 1884 or early 1885. His father was called George and his mother was Mary Helen. He had a sister, EA Aspinall, but we don't know her name. She was living at 17 Pitt Street in Ashton-under-Lyne in around 1920.
We don't know anything about Gladstone's early life. He had lived with his parents on Lees Road in Mossley, Manchester at some point.
Gladstone's Army service number was 8799. This suggests he had joined the Army in early 1903, when he was 18 or 19. He had enlisted in Fleetwood, near Blackpool. Soldiers enlisted for 7 years service in the Regular Army, then spent 5 years in the Reserve, which meant they could be called back to the Army in an emergency. Gladstone would be a Reservist until early 1915.
The outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 meant that Reservists were called up. At this time we don't believe Gladstone was married. His parents still lived on Lees Road, but we don't know where Gladstone was living.
Gladstone was sent to France on the 9th November 1914. He was one of the men sent to reinforce the 2nd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment after it had taken heavy casualties in the fighting of the previous 3 months.
The 2nd Battalion was based around the town of Ypres, today called Ieper, in Belgium during this period. Beginning in April 1915 they took part in a major offensive called the Second Battle of Ypres. During this battle Gladstone was wounded. He could not be saved and he died on the 31st May 1915. He was 30 years old.
Gladstone is buried alongside 91 other men of the 2nd Battalion who died in the fighting during Second Ypres. They lie in Chester Farm Cemetery in Belgium. His modern grave reference is I. C. 9A.
Gladstone's medals were presented to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in mid 1938. As well as his 1914 Star and Allied Victory Medal Gladstone was also awarded the British War Medal for his Army service. .