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Vivian Charles Gardner


Serial No:
Serial No. 3639

54th Battalion


Vivian Charles Gardner - Information

Vivian Charles was born in Scone, NSW in 1896 to George and Frances Gardner. Vivian’s parents then relocated to Renda in Elderslie near Camden when he was very young. Here, he attended Camden Superior Public School and trained as a Scout Master. He had also served for 7 years in the Senior Cadets where he was a 2nd Lieutenant Drill Instructor. Vivian found that he had an affinity for music, becoming an organist, and eventually found work as a music teacher. As the war progressed, Vivian watched many friends and family members sign up for war service. This included his cousins Lt. Colonel Cameron (DSO BAR) and Lt. A. R. V. Stafford (MM). Vivian then decided to also join up, enlisting on the 2nd of July 1917 at the East Sydney Recruiting Depot at 167 William St in Darlinghurst. He commenced his training at the Royal Showground Camp, and at Liverpool, where he was posted as a Gunner to the Artillery. He was then assigned to the 14th Reinforcements, 54th Battalion as a Private. Before he got his travel orders, Vivian was given a send-off shindig. The Camden Boy Scouts provided a farewell supper consisting of presentations and drill. Departing for war service, he was then shipped overseas from Sydney on the 31st of October 1917 onboard the HMAT Euripides.

Vivian stepped off the ship in Devonport, England on Boxing Day. He was then marched into the 14th Training Battalion at Codford. On the 6th of February 1918, Vivian was appointed Acting Corporal. He was then transported to France via Dover at the beginning of April, reverting to Private. In France, he was taken to Beaumarias where he met the 54th Battalion, becoming a Runner in D Company. Just a week after he met his unit, Vivian was wounded in action on the 17th of April, when he was caught in a gas attack near Villers-Bretonneux. He was rushed by the 55th Field Ambulance to the 55th Casualty Clearing Station. From there, an Ambulance Train took him to the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen. Sadly, on the 19th of April at Rouen Hospital, he died from the effects of gas poisoning. He was then buried at St Sever Cemetery, Haute-Normandie in France. A memorial service was held for Vivian’s friends and family at the Camden Methodist Church to honour his sacrifice and loss to the community.