AUGUST 10 marks the centenary of the death of another Redditch soldier, Lance Corporal Horace Gardner.
Horace was one of seven children born to Albert and Mary Jane Gardner, the family living in Crabbs Cross but later moving to Feckenham Road, Astwood Bank.
Albert Gardner worked as a stonemason and by the time he was 17 Horace was a cycle filer.
He joined the 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment and it is likely that he took part in the regiment’s first action on the Somme, the attack on Contalmaison on July 6.
Here the battalion was engaged in fierce fighting, compounded by atrocious weather which left them knee deep in water in the trenches.
Having suffered 350 casualties they were pulled out of the line, and then, refitted and the ranks filled with new recruits, they were moved back to the front on July 30.
It is not known how L/Cpl Gardner died, only that his unit came under severe shelling on August 7 and there was the ever present danger of snipers. He was 23.
He is buried at Vermelles British Cemetery in Calais and is remembered on the Astwood Bank War Memorial and at The Bridge Church in Headless Cross.
With thanks to Philip Jarvis and ‘Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes’