Frank Stuart Gardner was the son of Albert Edward and Elizabeth Rose (Burt) Gardner, of Kent. He enlisted in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), and volunteered for airborne forces.
Private Gardner successfully completed glider training and was posted to 22 Platoon, D Company, 2nd (Airborne) Battalion Ox and Bucks Light Infantry and took part in Operation Overlord (D Day), The Ardennes, and Operation Varsity (Rhine Crossing).
On D day Pte Gardner was in glider No. 4, a Horsa towed by a Halifax tug, piloted by Flying Officer Clapperton, as part of the Coup-de-Main and charged with the capture of the Orne River Bridge. However they were pulled off course by the tug aircraft and landed by a bridge over the River Dives some 8 miles to the east. Although losing some men in skirmishes along the way, the crew and airborne infantry, together with their Royal Engineers, successfully fought their way through the flooded Dives valley and reached the rendezvous with the Regiment in the early hours of June 7th.
Pte Gardner was killed in action on 24 March 1945, aged 21, and was given a field burial at Hamminkeln, Germany and was re-interred to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery on 24 March 1947.
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By Rod Gibson
With photos and additional information from Linda Wylie (Cousin)Read More