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Photo of Gladys Maude Tillinghast

Gladys Maude Tillinghast

Member of the Women’s Police Service
Date of Birth: June 7, 1895


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Gladys Maude Tillinghast


Gender: Female

Date and Place of Birth: 7th June 1895, Wandsworth, London.

Date and Place of Death:  June 1950, Croydon


Nationality: British


Childhood: Eldest of 3 girls


Parents: Charles and Maude nee Newman


Parent’s occupations: Commercial clerk


Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K


Occupation: Police Constable


Place of residence at Gretna: Women’s Police Barracks No. 1, Gretna


Job title at Gretna: Police Constable


Marital status: Married Albert Harry Smith in 1921.


Children: Two

Travels: N/K


Awards/recognitions: N/K


Trivia / any other information:

Gladys Maude Tillinghast was born in Wandsworth, London on 7th June 1895 to Charles and Maude nee Newman.


28th July 1895- baptised – address given as ‘Oaklands’, Southfields, Wandsworth. Father an accountant.


1901 – living at 17, Durham Rod, North Wimbledon. Father a commercial clerk – biscuit manufacturer. Gladys is the only child.


1911-living at 25 Avenue Road ? ,7 rooms.  Wallington, Croydon. Gladys now the eldest of 3 daughters.


WW1 employed as a female police constable at H M Factory Gretna living at Women’s Police Barracks No. 1, Gretna  ( source – valuation roll)


Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Saturday 12 May 1917


A highly amusing revue, entitled Cheerio, Gretna.” and written by Constable Hermione Feilden, was produced In the Border Hall on Saturday evening, and again Monday, by the authoress and a band of colleagues in the lady police force of the factory. The play has a strong local flavor, as may be gathered from the subjoined list of characters, and It is also rich in fun and burlesque. The cast was as follows: Maggie. Constable Moira Wallace; Bella, Constable Clara Metcalfe; Aggie, Constable Annie Mackay; Sloppy, Constable Ethel Harrington; Mr (manager of the Gretna Co-ordinate Stores), Constable Lillie. Colvin; Ivy Maud (his messenger girl). Constable Edith Ratcllffe; Duke of Eastrlggs, Constable Hermione Feilden; Gilbert Fltz Solway (his secretary), Constable Mollie Birkett; Topsy Rumour, Constable Nancy Broadbent; Fatty Hounlow, Constable Peggy Rose; Sir Bannister Funk (the villain), Sergeant Bessie Clem; Countess Olga Sphellwitz (the villainess). Constable Gladys Tllllnghast; the Earl Ecclefechan, Sergeant Winifred Cox. An entertaining sketch, ** Smith, V.C.,” was also performed; and Miss Fielden gave the monologue, the Lasses Khaki and Red.’- being an adaptation of a Kipling poem.


1921 – Gladys, Charles and Maude plus 3 others are listed in Wallington, Croydon.


22nd April 1922 married Albert Harry Smith, a sanitary inspector , at Croydon. Subsequently had 2 children.


1939- living at Eleanor Crescent, Goodestone, Hendon. No occupation listed


June 1950 – died aged 55 at Croydon

Gladys was born into the family of Charles and Maud Tillinghast on 7 June 1895. Charles at the time of the birth of Gladys was a commercial clerk in a biscuit factory. We discover on the 1921 census this was in fact the factory of Messrs Peek Frean, Bermondsey in South London where he was now an accountant. Gladys and her family moved several times and by 1911 were living 25 Avenue Road, Wallington. She was still at school in 1911 having received a number of awards for vocal and musical prowess. Why or when Gladys joined the WPS has not been confirmed but she lived in No1 Barracks and took part in a number of reported amateur dramatics being on one occasion cast as the villainess. There appeared to be a number of her WPS colleagues who were also artistic living in the same barracks. Several of these appearances at Gretna were reported by the local newspapers. Gladys was definitely following in her father’s footsteps. Charles, was a leading light in the Peek Frean Operatic Society plus local choirs as both a member and conductor. By the time of the 1921 census, Gladys was living back at 25 Avenue Road, but with her fiancé Albert Harry Smith also at 25 as just a few days after the census was taken, the couple married. Albert and Gladys stayed in north London, around the Mill Hill and Hendon areas. They had two children, Beryl and Kenneth. Gladys died in the Croydon area during the second quarter of 1950 it is surmised back with her sister Norah, who had been a school teacher in Purley, south Croydon.

Additional information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.


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