DEWING, Robert Edward [D.S.O.]
Lieutenant Colonel, Robert Edward DEWING DSO MID
Killed in Action on Thursday, 4th April 1918
Robert Edward DEWING was born in Bury St Edmunds on 4th August 1888 (Bury St.Edmunds Q3-1888 4A:64), baptised at St John's, Onehouse on 9th September 1888. Son of Richard Standly and Dorothea Susanna DEWING (nee PETTIWARD).
1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Braintree Road, Great Waltham, Essex with his father Richard S DEWING  a clerk in Holy Orders, born Brighton; his mother Dorothea S  born Great Finborough; brother Richard H [2 months] born Great Waltham, and aunt Helen A Pettiward  born Great Finborough.
1901 census...Aged 12 he was a boarding scholar at Eversley House, The Common, Southwold. His parents were at the Vicarage, North Weald, Essex with his sister Phoebe D  and brother Maurice Nelson  both born North Weald. In March 1901 he started at Haileybury where he was a student until February 1906.
1911 census...Aged 22, single, he was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers at the Barracks at Brompton and St Mary's, Chatham. His brother Richard Henry was an officer cadet in the Royal Artillery at Woolwich, brother Maurice was at school in Upton on Severn.
He married Ruby Edith BOULDERSON (Portsmouth Q1-1913). They lived at Southsea, Hampshire. Their 1st daughter Patricia Dorothea was born 6th June 1917, 2nd daughter Jean Phyllis was born on 17th October 1918, just 6 months after her fathers death, but his wife died in the influenza epidemic on 21st April,1919.
Brother Richard Henry DEWING became Major General Richard Henry DEWING CB DSO MC who survived both World Wars, as did his other brother Maurice Nelson DEWING who was a Brigadier, who was also awarded the DSO and the Military Cross.
From the address of his daughter on the medal index card, she was with her grandfather at the Rectory in Stowlangtoft, hence the connection with Badwell Ash.
He was commissioned 23rd July 1909. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on 25th August 1916. He was also made an Officer of the Legion of Merit (USA) "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when preparing for the offensive and later when consolidating positions won. Though wounded early one morning he stuck to his post all day, and drove off an enemy counter-attack with great determination."
On the 4th April 1918 the 8th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, to which he was attached, were in action in the Battle of Avre. The Germans were attacking in an attempt to take Amiens. In leading a desperate counter-attack, Lt.Col. Dewing was killed.
Robert Edward DEWING DSO is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, France panels 10-13
Click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details
No. 5288, Lance Corporal, Herbert GARDINER
King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion.
Died of his Wounds on Thursday, 17th September 1914
(note from Tony Pringle: GARDINER seems to be the most common spelling used. His name is GARDNER on the church plaque; the Army have him as GARDENER and GARDINER. The Census uses all versions and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have GARDINE. Hopefully I have traced the same man through all of this)
Herbert was born in Hepworth, Norfolk on 16th May 1882 (Thetford Q2-1882 4B:393) son of Arthur David and Emma Maria GARDINER (nee BAKER)
1891 census...Aged 8 Herbert GARDENER was at The Street, Badwell Ash with his father David  agricultural labourer born Risby; his mother Emma M  born Westhorpe, brother William J  a wheelwrights apprentice, born Pakenham; brother Harry J  agricultural labourer born Hepworth and sister Ethel  born Langham.
1901 census...Aged 18, Herbert GARDINER, an engine cleaner, was living with his brother William J and his extended family at 1 (Coffee Tavern), Transfer Terrace, Swindon, Wilts. Aunt Ethel seems to have several of her family (CLARK) there, mostly Walsham le Willows born.
1911 census...Aged 27 Herbert GARDINER, an unemployed soldier, still single, is back home in Badwell Ash with his parents. (It is recorded that 2 out of their 8 children have died.)
This previous spell as a soldier would account for his posting to France so early in the war as he would have still have been on the Reserves
He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds.
He has an entry in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour which states: "Gardiner, H., L.- Cpl, No. 2588, 1st Battn. The King's Royal Rifle Corps; served with the Expeditionary Force in France; died of injuries received in action 17 Sept.1914."
A further entry is:- "GARDINER, Herbert, L-Cpl., The King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1st. s. of Arthur David Gardiner of The Street, Badwell Ash, co.Suffolk,by his wife, Marie; b.16 May,1882, educ. Badwell Ash School; enlisted 1 Jan, 1901; served 8 years with the colours, including several in India, then joined the Reserve; was called up on the outbreak of the European War; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from 21 Aug. 1914 and was killed in action at Venereull, near Bourg, 16 Sept. following wounds received in action the same day. Buried in a Burial Ground behind the Chateau there. He was promoted Corpl on the field the day before he died; unm."
So far unable to find his Army records for either period of service. That may be due to them not surviving or simply the confusion over the many ways his name has been spelled.
Herbert Gardiner is buried in Vendresse British Cemetery, France, grave 4:D:5. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have him entered as 'Gardine.' Click here to go to the CWGC website for full cemetery/memorial details.
Gardiner was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal (the trio were awarded to men who served in France and/or Belgium in 1914).
(thanks to Pierre Vandervelden www.inmemories.com for cemetery photographs)