Lloyd Harold Gledhill was born and grew up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He was the second of four children born to Burnside and Sara Gledhill. He was a 1917 graduate of South Kingstown High School. He entered Rhode Island State College in September 1917 with the class of 1921, majoring in Applied Science. He was a member of Beta Phi fraternity and participated in the Army ROTC program while a student at RISC.
When the United States entered World War I, there were 562 male students enrolled at Rhode Island State College; and 334 left to serve in World War I. Lloyd, like so many of his classmates, left RISC to enter the United States Army. In June 1918, he deployed to France with the 3rd Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division (Lightening Division). He was involved in combat operations throughout his assignment until he was reported missing on 30 September 1918 after being taken prisoner by the Germans on or about 22 September 1918.
On the evening of 21 September 1918, the 3rd Infantry Battalion, accompanied by two platoons of the Machine Gun Company, executed a combat raid on a German defensive position at Bois de la Montagne in the Limey Section of France. The combat raid was successful; the 3rd Battalion held there position, keeping up continuous fire against the dug-in enemy. However, the withdrawal was a different story; at 0140 hours, the signal for the friendly forces to withdraw was fired. At that time, German machine gunners who had remained in concealed positions well out on the flanks opened up with a murderous volume of fire.
To accomplish the successful withdrawal of the battalion, the soldiers fought their way under heavy fire; and numerous enemy machine gun positions were destroyed. However, the casualties were heavy; thirty men were missing in action to include Sergeant Gledhill. The night after the raid, the friendly patrols searched “No Man’s Land” looking for any trace of the missing thirty men. The conclusion was that the men had been captured, and this was confirmed after the war when a number of men returned from the German prison camps. Sadly, a number of men did not return, to include Sergeant Gledhill who died while a prisoner.
Sergeant Lloyd Harold Gledhill, United States Army, died of wounds at the Saarbrucken, Germany Prisoner of War Camp on 11 October 1918. He was buried with full military honors at the Perryville Church Cemetery in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Sergeant Gledhill volunteered to serve his country during World War I and died from wounds received during combat. He was a true Rhode Island and American hero who gave his life during the “Great War.”