Private 14950 George Ernest Gardner

Gardner George 96 400x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 10th July 1917, age 23.
Buried in Grave I. M. 33. at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

9th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment (Pioneers). Pioneer Battalion of 23rd Division.

Son of Harry and Emma Gardner, of 22, Sheepwash Lane, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 25th August 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/489668/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Ernest Gardner registered September Quarter 1893 in Dudley.

1901 Census
House No 2, Court 4, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs. (in 3 rooms)
Henry Gardner (38, Drayman, born Tipton), his wife Emma (36, born Tipton), and their 8 children: William (12, born Tipton), Henry (11, born Tipton), Charlotte (9, born Tipton), George (7, born Tipton), James (5, born Tipton), Elizabeth (4, born Tipton), Elsie (2, born Tipton), and Frances (3 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
19 Sheepwash Lane, Tipton, Staffs. (in 4 rooms)
Henry Gardner (46, Drayman, born Tipton), his wife Emma (45, born Tipton), and 11 of their 13 children: Henry (21, Furnaceman in Glass Trade, born Tipton), George (17, Labourer in Glass Trade, born Tipton), James (15, Labourer in Glass Trade, born Tipton), Elizabeth (14, School, born Tipton), Elsie (12, School, born Tipton), Frances Annie (10, School, born Tipton), Hilda (8, School, born Tipton), Hannah (8, School, born Tipton), Alice (6, School, born Tipton), Gladys (4, born Tipton), and Lucy (2, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/16/5d (9 pounds, 16 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Emma, in September 1917. His War Gratuity of £12/10/0d (12 pounds and 10 shillings) was also paid to his mother in November 1919. The value of his War Gratuity suggests that George enlisted in November 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th South Staffs were the Pioneer battalion for the 23rd Division, mainly involved in labouring duties such as trench digging and repairing roads. On 28th June they had marched to Hallebast Farm, Dickebusch, about 4 miles south-west of Ypres. They were based here for a few weeks and the 4 companies were assigned labouring tasks in the Dickebusch area each day.

The War Diary for the 10th July records:
'A' & 'B' Companies: failed to reach work owing to heavy barrage.
'C' Company: Work delayed by shelling and want of material. Wagons held up on road.
'D' Company: 150 yards train & 90 yards new trench dug.
1 Other Rank killed in action, 8 Other Ranks wounded in action.

4 men of the 9th South Staffs died on the 10th July. 1 died of natural causes some distance from Dickebusch, so we can assume that 3 were killed in the barrages mentioned above, we do not know which companies the men belonged to. George Gardener and Sgt. Walter Hallett are buried side-by-side in Railway Dugouts Cemetery, Stafford Franklin is buried in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald January 23rd 1915
Roll of Honour
G.E. Gardner of 22 Sheepwash Lane has joined the South Staffs, as had his brother W. Gardner of same address.

Tipton Herald August 11th 1917
Among Tipton soldiers, the casualties as reported during the past fortnight have been heavy. They include - W.T. Baldock (South Staffs), H. Tunley (M.G.C.), V.J. Finch (Buffs, East Kent), Lance Corporal H.E. Lester (South Staffs) and Pte. G.E. Gardner (South Staffs).