GLADSTONE GARDNER

PIONEERS

Gladstone Gardner, the son of a World War I veteran, joined his brother on board the Empire Windrush to join another war

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Gladstone Gardner was one of nine children born in Jamaica in 1925. His father, Egbert, worked as a policeman and had served in the British West Indies Regiment in World War I, reaching the rank of corporal.

Gladstone and his brother, Alford, decided to follow in their father’s footsteps by volunteering for the RAF following the outbreak of World War II. They travelled to England together to be trained as ground crew. After being demobbed, they returned to Jamaica but were soon back in England after the opportunity came up to travel there on the MV Empire Windrush.

The brothers headed for Leeds where they found life less welcoming out of uniform, repeatedly being turned away from accommodation and job vacancies. Later Gladstone moved to Manchester before returning to Leeds in the late 1950s where he obtained a job at an engineering plant. Gladstone married Ruth Walters in 1960 and they had two sons, Nigel and Errol. The couple eventually returned to Jamaica.

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