Major Paul Gleadell
Unit : Battalion Headquarters, 12th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment.
Army No. : 47571
Awards : Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Distinguished Service Order, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm.
Major Gleadell was Second-in-Command of the 12th Devons, and for his actions at the beginning of the Normandy campaign he was awarded the Croix de Guerre:
On the evening of June 9th, when the battalion came under heavy shelling and mortar fire, Lieutenant-Colonel Gleadell, being Second-in-Command battalion, went round the forward companies encouraging and [cheering?] the men, the majority of whom were in action for the first time. This was invariably his habit during the whole time the battalion was in action, and his example did much to maintain the morale of the men over a difficult period.
Gleadell was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and assumed command of the Battalion on the 6th August 1944, when Lieutenant-Colonel Stevens left to take up a posting at Headquarters, 21st Army Group. He led the 12th Devons during the Rhine Crossing on the 24th March 1945, where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. His citation reads:
This officer landed with his battalion by glider on 24th March 1945 behind the Rhine defences.
Immediately after landing the battalion was very scattered and under heavy fire. The difficult task of concentrating and reorganising it was carried out by Lieutenant-Colonel Gleadell with absolute disregard for his own safety and great success.
His battalion was directed initially on the extremely important road centre of Hamminkeln. The early seizure of this strongly defended village was vital to the success of the whole operation. Having rapidly manoeuvred his battalion into assaulting positions, Lieutenant-Colonel Gleadell led it into the attack with such vigour and determination that Hamminkeln was captured in the face of heavy opposition inside half an hour. A little later Lieutenant-Colonel Gleadell with tanks and self-propelled guns under command was given the task of heading the breakout from the bridgehead. Once again he was in the forefront of the battle, where his speed of decision and determination to get forward were outstanding. Very largely due to his efforts, the operation was completely successful with heavy enemy losses and light casualties to ourselves.
The coolness and leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Gleadell inspired his battalion with supreme confidence. His courage and devotion to duty were outstanding.
Paul Gleadell remained in the Army after the war and occupied a series of prominent staff postings. From July to December 1950, he was in Singapore, employed as G1 (Intelligence) to General Headquarters Far East, where he was awarded the CBE. His citation reads:
Colonel Gleadell, in his capacity as Colonel Intelligence, General Headquarters, Far East, has had to face, owing to the trend of international events, a great increase in the scope and density of his work. His staff on the other hand have had to be reduced. In spite of these difficulties his clear brain, energy, and inate grasp of essentials has enabled him to produce work of a very high standard. His own example and cheerfulness have been the greatest encouragement to his staff and has resulted in very good team work. On several occasions he has carried out missions of considerable importance where his clear judgement has enabled him to produce reports of the greatest value to higher authority. At all times he has set himself and those under him a high standard which has achieved first class results.
In 1958, the now Brigadier Gleadell served as Chief of Staff to the Director of Operations, Cyprus, and for his work during this most troubled of times he was made a Companion of the Bath:
In May 1958 Brigadier Gleadell took up his appointment. As Chief of Staff, working to both His Excellency the Governor and the Director of Operations, he was responsible for coordinating the staff work concerning emergency operations as between the Government, the Civil Police and the three fighting Services. Moreover it so happened that his assumption of this appointment coincided with the resumption of violence by EOKA, to which was soon to be added all the complications of bitter inter communal strife last summer.
Throughout the period Brigadier Gleadell has been a tower of strength. However hot the pace - for long periods it was very fast indeed - he was never ruffled nor was his judgement at fault. Always accessible at any hour of day or night, the example of service he set was outstanding. This was a major factor in welding together into one team the many interests both civil and military involved in prosecuting emergency operations.
Brigadier Gleadell has discharged his herculean task in an exceptional manner and it is for this reason that I recommend him for an exceptional award.
I attach a Citation from His Excellency the Governor, Sir Hugh Foot.
During the period in which Brigadier Gleadell has been Chief of Staff in Cyprus he has made an outstanding contribution. I regard him as a brilliant Staff Officer - hard working and far-seeing and always thoughtful and balanced in his judgement. He has swiftly adapted himself to each new phase in the situation here, and I cannot adequately express my gratitude to him for his sound advice and invaluable assistance in good and bad times.
20th April 1959.
Back to 12th Devonshires
Back to Biographies Menu