Author Topic: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942  (Read 296 times)

Offline LancasterIII

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I am trying to find the circumstances in which my relative Sergeant (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner died by drowning in Canada on 21 May 1942 whilst in RAF service.

He was born 1923, the son of William Henry Gardner & Annie Gardner of Perry Common, Birmingham, England.  When he died he was therefore aged 19, serving in the RAF Volunteer Reserve & was, presumably, training in Canada at the time of his death.  He is buried at Weyburn (Hillcrest) Cemetery, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Interestingly, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has another casualty who died on the same date buried in the same cemetery, which the RAF Commands Forum states was also a death by drowning, so presumably a casualty of the same incident.  He was Sergeant (Pilot) Eric Pulford Fairgrieve (Service No 1138057), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, son of Mrs. E. E. Simpson, of West Kirby, Cheshire, England.

I understand that the incident may have been a result of a boating accident, rather than a flying incident.  Although they are buried at Weyburn, I don’t know where their deaths occurred.

Is anyone able to provide me with any further information please, either about the circumstances of the incident itself (eg where it occurred, what happened, were there any other casualties or survivors) or about George’s service (eg unit he was with, where located).  Maybe there was a press report in a local newspaper at the time?

Any help greatly appreciated.
Brough, Gardner, Quiney, Sadkie, Srawley, Twist, Wallis

Offline RunKitty

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 00:54 BST (UK) »
Hi,

I found this short note in a casualty list (Winnipeg Free Press May 27 1942)

It says the drowning was accidental - and happened in Regina

RK

Offline RunKitty

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 01:04 BST (UK) »
Hi,

A report in the Regina Leader Post...May 22 1942, page 1 (continued on page 10)

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=w9EjUEod0xMC&dat=19420522&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

They drowned in a boating accident, during a 48 hour leave. 

RK


Offline dbree

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 01:10 BST (UK) »
Hi,

There is a record from Canada War Graves Registers, circumstance of Casualty
#1217386, Sergeant Gardner, George Arthur, No. 41 Service Flying Training School, d. 21 May 1942
Accidentally drowned - overturning of a sailing boat on Wascana Lake, Regina, Sask. whilst on
pass from unit. Father Mr. W. Gardner, 263 Dovetail Rd., Birmingham, England. Location of unit at time of casualty Weyburn Sask. Cemetery Hillcrest, Lot 18, Soldiers Plot, block 69

1138057, Sergeant Fairgrieve, Eric Pulford has the identical information, mother Mrs. E.E. Simpson, 15 Marine Park, West Kirby, Wirral, Cheshire, England. Cemetery Hillcrest Lot 16, Soldiers Plot, block 69

DB

Offline dbree

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 01:11 BST (UK) »
Snap RK  :)

Offline barryd

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 05:24 BST (UK) »

https://timenote.info/en/George-Arthur-Gardner

Another site. This site assumes he was born in Canada. Had he been born in Canada he would probably have been in the RCAF and not in the RAF.

Offline bbart

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 05:37 BST (UK) »
The British newspapers also ran notices of the incident.
There is also a news item about his fiancee, Doris Wallace; they were going to get married in August.
To avoid copyright issues, I'll just post a photo of  George Gardner snipped from one of them. Feel free to pm me if you need more information on these articles!
 

Offline LancasterIII

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Re: Sgt George Arthur Gardner RAF (Service No 1217386) – Drowned 21 May 1942
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 13 May 20 22:43 BST (UK) »
Hi RunKitty, dbree, barryd and bbart.

Thank you to all of you for the information provided, which has extended my limited knowledge of George's RAF life & unfortunate death.

Much appreciated.

LancasterIII
Brough, Gardner, Quiney, Sadkie, Srawley, Twist, Wallis