Sunday 18 May 2014

My Grandad's medals from WW2 and the Dunkirk Beach

Just found these photos of my Grandad Gardner's medals so will post them and then get more background information off my Dad. The medals are in the care of Uncle Alan and will go to my cousin Andrew eventually. In the first photo are two Member of the British Empire medals, in the smaller box is Grandad's for "services above and beyond the call of duty" after he stayed on the Dunkirk beach helping others to escape after he could have left. On the right in the larger box is that earned by Uncle Alan's wife, Margaret, for "Service to Higher Education" after her long career as the Personal Assistant to the various Vice-Chancellors of Lancaster University.

 After a bit of internet research I find that Grandad was on the 1952 Queen's Birthday Honours List (scroll down to MBE Army and the names are in alphabetical order, Robert Herbert Gardner was his full name.
He was a member of the Territorial Army for over 50 years, nowadays they are known as the Reserve Army, well trained men and women who can be called upon at any time to supplement the regular armed services.
Auntie Margaret's award came in 2001 after 37 yrs of service to the Lancaster can read about it here.. Margaret Gardner 

This newspaper article from January 25th 1962 tells us

"Mr R.H. Gardner of Parkhouse, Skerton, who works for Pye of Lancaster, corn millers. He joined the King's Own Royal Regiment fifth battalion TA in 1923 and recently retired as a CSM. He holds the fifth clasp medal for efficiency and believes he is one of only 12 people in the British Isles to hold this clasp. He served in the second world war for 6 years and was at Dunkirk. In 1950 he went to Germany to observe training methods."
You can see the five clasps or bars on the medal on the right in the photo above.

the cap badge

Home on leave in the 1940s outside 4 Condor Place, Lancaster
Wearing all the medals many years later, in the back garden of 20 Longlands Rd, Lancaster

I really will have to find out more!
Love to you all


  1. How wonderful to have all of this information.

  2. Oh this is the kind of stuff I just love to find. The poking and digging for information and then the 'aha' when you find it. This is so fun to see, I hope you will share as you find more details. The Dunkirk medal - I'm assuming this was for the famous evacuation? Don't you wonder sometimes if we are as capable of heroism as they were, I sometimes think we are awfully soft our generation.

    1. I think the saying is "We don't know we're born!" Kathy, we've never known the Depression or the wars they went through with great faith and humour.

  3. A comment from Dad's cousin Marion...
    Thanks for sharing the blog about uncle Herbert can remember him getting the medal of the Queen mum & a photo of that but cannot remember reading the article in paper.
    And Auntie Margaret...I can remember listening to radio Lancashire when they were interviewing people that had been honoured by the queen & telling everyone she was my cousins wife proud day.

  4. Makes you feel so proud doesn't it Sue? They gave so much...they deserve to get something in return :)