Charles Gardiner 1883 – 1917
Research by John Birch, Wrecclesham War Memorial World War I 1914-1919 (Privately printed). Typed up (with permission) by Josh Waldron.
Private Charles Gardiner had been born in Compton in 1883, the son of James and Lizzie Gardiner (nee Trusler). In 1881 James and Lizzie were living in the Bourne with four children, two boys and two girls. Lizzie sadly died in Farnham in 1890, leaving James a widower. In 1891 he was living with four children in Compton. His son Charles was at the time just 5 years old. By 1901 the family is living in Shortheath and Charles is 16 and working as a labourer.
Shortly after this Census Charlie, as he was known, married a lady called Lucy Clark. The wedding took place at St Peter’s church on 22nd November 1902 and was conducted by Revd Charles Keable. It is known from the Army Records of 1911 that Charles and Lucy had five children, two boys and three girls. They were then living at Sandrock Cottage, Upper Bourne.
In 1915, shortly after the birth of his 5th child, Charles enlisted in the army. He was posted to join 5th Army Service Corps (Remounts), Service Number R$/095840. On 13th June 1916 he embarked from Southampton to join the British Expeditionary Force arriving at Le Havre the next day.
Charles served for just over a year in France but in June 1917 he was invalided back to England. He was admitted to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester suffering from myocarditis. His condition did not improve and on 15th October 1917 he died aged 34 of pneumonia. Charles was buried at St Peter’s church, Wrecclesham, cemetery on 18th October 1917, Row H Grave No 6.