D H Gledhill and Sons – makers of bomb release mechanisms

< Back to Digital Heritage Trails

W H Gledhill were located at Trinity Works on Harrison Road.
The company played a pivotal role in the development of the early bomb release mechanisms of British WW1 bombers. At the time they would have represented some of the first excursions into what would later be dubbed strategic bombing. Delivering aerial bombs had at first been a simple matter of throwing them by hand over the side of the aircraft in roughly the right direction. However, it was becoming apparent that the driving principle of the aerial bomber was to deliver as many bombs as possible at an enemy target with as much precision as possible. All of this required a mechanised control system capable of releasing the aircraft’s bombs at exactly the point required by the crew. It was this mechanical precision in which Gledhills excelled. The firm was world famous for designing and manufacturing intricately engineered time-recorders.

Handley Page Bombers

Bomb release mechanism on a Handley Page 0 /400 bomber modelled in the flight simulator Rise of Flight
Bomb release mechanism on a Handley Page 0 /400 bomber modelled in the flight simulator Rise of Flight
Airco DH-4 Fighter Bombers

Fitting bombs to an Airco DH-4 fighter bomber
Fitting bombs to an Airco DH-4 fighter bomber

Gledhill bomb release mechanism held in the RAF Museum at Hendon
Gledhill bomb release mechanism held in the RAF Museum at Hendon
Videos

Airco DH-4 Fighter Bomber
Airco DH-4 Fighter Bomber

 

Handley page heavy bomber
Handley page heavy bomber

Gilbert Gledhill a casualty of the Great War