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Walter Thomas Gardiner

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard


Company Sergeant Major Walter Thomas Gardiner


5663  1st/4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment. 


Walter Gardiner was born in Great Cornard around 1882.  He was the son of William and Ellen Gardiner and the family lived in Broom Street.  His father was an agricultural horseman and an older brother was employed as a lime burner.            


Walter served as a regular soldier with the Suffolk Regiment.  In 1901 at the age of 19 he was stationed in Alderney, one of the Channel Islands.  He later married Maud, who after the war lived in Ash Vale, Surrey.


There is no record on Walter’s Medal Card at the National Archives of when he first served in ‘a theatre of war’.  The 1st/4th Battalion was a Territorial Battalion first formed in August 1914 in Ipswich.  In 1916 the battalion was part of the 33rd Division and saw action during the First Battle of the Somme at the Battle of Albert (1st-13th July) and the Battle of Bazentin (14th-17th July). 


Walter died 12th September 1916 and lies buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France.  He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.


There were 11 hospitals built in Rouen to deal with the huge number of casualties.  There were 7 general hospitals, which were in Municipal buildings and 4 stationary hospitals, which were smaller and in tents and huts outside the town.  Hospital ships evacuated wounded to England on a daily basis while nearby camps catered for 2,000 convalescing soldiers.


©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008