Lot Archive


№ 443


30 June 1994

Hammer Price:

A C.B.E., Great War D.S.C. group of eight awarded to Air Commodore R.G. Gardner, Royal Air Force, late Royal Naval Air Service

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, C.B.E. (Military) neck badge in silver gilt and enamels, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS, G.V.R.; BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS (Flt. Cr., R.N.A.S.); 1939-45 STAR; AFRICA STAR; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS, M.I.D., mounted court style for wearing, very fine and better (8)

The group is sold with the original Warrant for the C.B.E., and two Mention in Despatches Certificates dated 24 September 1941 and 1 January 1942.

D.S.C., London Gazette, 19 December, 1917. 'In recognition of the great zeal and gallantry displayed by him on the night of October 15th, when a bombing raid was carried out on Bruges Docks and good results obtained in spite of heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire. This officer has taken part in 36 bombing raids.'

C.B.E., London Gazette, 1 January, 1944. Awarded for his services as Deputy Director of Postings, Royal Air Force.

M.I.D., London Gazette, 24 September, 1941, and 1 January 1942.

Richard George Gardner joined No. 7 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, at Dunkirk, on 26 May 1917. As Pilot he took part in a good number of bombing raids, almost always at night. On many occasions his target was the docks at Bruges, including that on 15 October 1917, when he earned the D.S.C. Had Gardener not already been recommended for the D.S.C., there is little doubt that he would have been put forward for his gallantry on 28 October, the occasion of which is described in 'War in the Air' Vol. IV, by H.A. Jones: 'One of the results of the September night raids on London was a Government decision for counter-attacks against military objectives in Germany. Arising out of this decision, a bombing wing was established in the Ochey area and formed the nucleus of the command which later became the Independent Force. A secondary result was the allotment of objectives in the Cologne neighbourhood to the Dunkirk Handley Pages. An attempt was made on the evening of the 28th of October when nine Handley's set out to bomb the station and military barracks at Cologne. East of Brussels, the weather conditions became unfavourable and six of the pilots turned to Antwerp and dropped their bombs on the Cockerill Works at Hoboken, and on the railways and docks. Two others attacked Bruges docks and trains south-west of Ghent. The remaining Pilot (Flight Lieutenant R.G. Gardner) persisted towards his objective, but, hampered by rain, eventually dropped his twelve 112-lb. bombs on a lighted factory east of Duren. The pilot, on the return journey, had to fly 'blind', through the clouds for 2 1/4 hours, but he made a good landing on the small, unlighted aerodrome of a Flying Corps squadron after being in the air seven and a half hours.'

Sold with further research including extracts from P.R.O. files giving details of numerous bombing raids.