Rutland Cadets from 2248 Sqn and dignitaries gathered at the village war memorial in Braunston, Rutland as it was rededicated to include the name of a young woman air force volunteer who died on the last day of WW1. Gladys Eliza Walter, a Member of the Women’s Royal Air Force, was one of three women from Rutland who died during their service in the First World War. Her work probably involved maintaining the wires that held the earliest fighter planes together.
Nearly 100 years after 18-year-old Gladys Walter joined the war effort in 1916, her name has been added to others from Braunston who died. Villagers there believe her name was left off the memorial because of her gender.
A relative of Gladys’s, Pamela Matkin from Syston, attended the ceremony after being told of her existence. Mrs Matkin said: “It was a very moving ceremony and were very pleased to have learned about our relative.”
After the service cadets were personally thanked for their attendance by the Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Howard. Thirteen year old Cadet Isaac Crook said” This is my first parade, I think that it’s really nice that the villagers today have honoured a lady they didn’t know. I am really pleased to be part of it”.
The whole service was filmed by BBC’s East Midlands Today and was shown on television later that evening.
By Flt Lt Jackie Lawrence- 2248 Rutland Sqn