Hi his name is stamped as follows 2.LIEUT.J.W.GARDNER
Hi his name is stamped as follows 2.LIEUT.J.W.GARDNER
Attachment 367453Heres more interesting items received this morning from J.W.Gardners effects i also have his observer wings which i will find and post on here.
Seems J.W.Gardner was desperate to go to war!! looks like the story i was told tallies up ww1 service with 10th Hackney rifles then joined Raf.Joined Raf again in ww2 and was sent to the far east in a role other than flying i assume but these are definately his wings and he may of qualified for them apparently he gave out silk maps and evasion equipment to pilots as an equipment officer.
He was certainly keen alright!
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What an excellent little vignette! Looks like old J.W. was pulling out all the stops probably with the aid of fellow Mason's in senior positions to get himself back in the cockpit! What a splendid chap he must have been!
Nice one Airwarrior, you're picking up some nice pieces just lately.
'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.
Ned certainly looks like the masons were doing their bit for him he would definately of been an interesting charcter i wonder if he ever went to France as per letter request?
The documents are certainly full of crucial research information for this officer. The most important for a general history of Gardner is the reference letter from a fellow officer, Lt L C Bowker OBE MC. In the letter he states:
"As you will see, he joined the Scottish on leaving school at the age of 16, and would have gone out with us but for his age... Later he was commissioned in the Artists and subsequently became an Observer in the RAF"
The "Scottish" is certainly a reference to the 14th Bn, London Regt (London Scottish), and, of course the "Artists" are the famous Artists Rifles, better known then as 28th Bn, London Regt (Artists Rifles). Bowker himself was a London Scottish officer, attached to the Royal Engineers Signal Service (later the Royal Corps of Signals) during WW1. To be able to join 'the Scottish' after school was quite something as, apart from being a serving Territorial regiment, it was (and is) a Gentleman's Club, open only to men of better social standing (and probably a lot more influential than the Masons ever will be). So, after being allowed in to the 14th Bn as a Private (all officers in 'the Scottish' have to have served as Privates), Bowker suggests he was commissioned into the 'Artists'. This is slightly in error, as you have his commission for 10th Bn London Regiment, not 28th Bn. However, the information I gave you from the Dec 1918 Army List confirms his service with the Artists Rifles:
Infantry: Territorial Force: London Regt, 10th Bn: 2nd Lieutenants: (28) Gardner, J.W. 18 Dec 17
The (28) before his name shows that he was attached to 28th Battalion. The Artist's Rifles had several functions during the war, forming an Officer cadet Training Unit in France for much of it. However, at the end of the war, they were serving as an infantry battalion within 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
Having said all this, we do know he was serving as an Observer with the RAF by at least 20 September 1918, as you have his issue card. To still be listed in the Army List in December, I would suspect he was seconded to the RAF (or was an RAF reserve officer?), and later transferred. This was not unusual at the time, especially bearing in mind the RAF had been the RFC ony six months before. However, this part of his service still needs research and verification.
During WW2 he was certainly keen to get back in and serve again. After using his old contacts in 'the Scottish' (and likely the Masons too) it seems he was initially politely told no, as he was unfit for flying duties. From what we know of him, it is likely he was in his early forties at the time (about my age ), but eventually was accepted back into the RAF and served as an Equipment Officer. This position is pretty much the same as an Army Quartermaster, that is, the officer responsible for all squadron (or whatever unit) stores, which would have included escape maps and such, but also flying gear, aircraft parts, food, sweeping brushes, underwear, toilet rolls and everything else. It is a not unlikely scenario, with manpower shortages, that older ex-officers would be used to fill these administrative positions. I find it unlikely that the pilots badge was his, but it is possible of course. The fact that he was declared 'unfit for flying duties' would cast a doubt with me, and considering he was the unit stores officer...
Hopefully this puts some realistic meat on the bones of what you have
Last edited by Battery Command Post; 07-08-2012 at 05:46 AM.
Attachment 368004Thanks person who i have got this from keeps finding things so hopefully proof of him earning his wings may rise but the fact is they were still in his belongings.I now have concrete evidence of him being an Observer the wings came before documentation.It just makes sense about him giving out escape evasion equipment also possibly maps i guess as i know already what quatermaster etc involves.I have just received these its very frustrating just getting bits here and there every now and then its all stored in a big garage floor to ceiling with so called junk!!! if only i could get in there .I even have an Raf officers hat from the same garage but has a different name and actually bears a number so even the wings may have been this chaps who knows but Battery command thanks for putting togther this puzzle.Heres two badges almost certainly from Gardners items.
Sorry guys heres more had to go into the loft while my wife was out or i get asked to look for everything other than!!! The Raf officers cap with name and number the far east blood chits the history of the Raf 1929 must be the first written history and the cap badges all came together.The orange coloured leaflet advising officers and airmen in event of capture leaflet is very early first i have actually seen the white one published in 1940 is from another grouping for comparisson.Now with this lot and Command battery saying what he has said i wonder if the hat may belong with the far east stuff!! and wonder why was in same garage? a mystery but some good research.
Found two references in supplement to London gazette 24th Nov 1945 and 7th Dec 1948 to a T.F.Kingston with same number so guess an error.