The T.P.Gleave Letter  (July 2013)

From:         Alan Killen
Subject:     The Notable T.P.Gleave

GLEAVEWith reference to the page in the 'Notables' section,  which mainly concentrates on his flying career, I thought that I might just add a few more details about him and his early life. 

When I joined the Collegiate in September 1949 as a member of "3A" with Mr C.R. Woodward ("Woody") as my form-master, that book (by "RAF Casualty") existed in the school library. The war-time restrictions on identities of serving personnel did not allow it to appear under his own name but the pseudonym "RAF Casualty" was revealed within that school-library copy. On the fly-leaf, in his own hand-writing was the following :-


To The Liverpool Collegiate School
......From the Author,
.............RAF Manston 1942

…................. and on the opposite page "…. S/Ldr T.P. Gleave

Back in the early 1970s, I called in to say "Hello" to the then Head-Master, my first form-master Mr.C.R.Woodward and, among other things, mentioned the book and how it had been the start of a consuming interest in the personnel side of the RAF, particularly of Fighter Command, many of whom I had got to know and meet over the intervening years. "Was it still in the library after all these years ...and if so, could he supply me with a photo-copy of the said inscription ?" Instead, he took me to the library and let me search for it myself, then let me take it away to do the photo-copying at my convenience, which I duly did and then returned the book in person. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't. A few years later, after the school had been closed, I wandered along to have a look at the old place, and was able to just walk in off the street (as anyone could do) and poke my nose in anywhere I chose. I wandered into the old library, but wished I hadn't, as the scene that met me was utter chaos.
All the book-cases had been tipped over, their contents scattered knee-deep over the floor. I could have cried. And how I wished that I hadn't been so honest in returning that book that meant so much more to me than to most !

Tom Gleave lived at 92 Newby Street, Walton (at the top-end opposite Stanley Park) … " in the shadow of Goodison Park " as he told me. The school he attended prior to Collegiate was "The Westminster High School" in Spellow Lane – a privately-run establishment which catered for pupils in the 7-plus bracket (lower floor) and "Commercial " pupils on the top-floor.

The family business (Leather Merchants) operated from a shop on Walton Road in the middle of the block between Netley Street & Barlow Lane (Burton's on the corner) a few hundred yards from the family home ... cross over Walton Rd, up to the top of Langham Street, turn right and 2nd on right is Newby Street. Sadly, Tom's old house (#92) has been demolished in recent years to become … a car-park !

Cheers - Alan Killen