William Alfred Helstone Gardner

Service:                Army

Rank:                    Private

Service No:           31513

Unit:                     12th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

 William was born in Lawrence Hill,  Bristol in 1899.  He was the 1st child of John & Sarah Elizabeth Gardner.  A 2 year old in 1901 he was living with his family at Moorefield Square, Bristol; his father was a Rag & Bone dealer. By the time of the 1911 census we find the family living at 484 Whitehall Road, William had 4 younger siblings.

The 12th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment – better known locally as ‘Bristol’s Own’ was formed and trained in Bristol until June 1915 when it moved to Yorkshire then Salisbury Plain before landing in France on November 21st 1915.

Between then and October 1918 when it was unceremoniously disbanded it fought in all the major battles in France and Flanders and also served in Italy in late 1917 and early 1918. It gained 22 Battle honours and lost one third of it’s original men.

William was killed in action on 25th April 1918.

He has no known grave and is remembered with honour on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Panel 5.

Image by kind permission of CWGC.

 William was awarded The British War Medal & the Victory Medal.

References

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Soldiers Died in the Great War

1901 & 1911 UK household census

Wikipedia.