The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Lance Corporal Joseph Gardiner

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Joseph Henry Gardiner

Ancestor's date of birth: 18/05/1876

Ancestor's date of death: 28/11/1970

Cause of Death: Natural causes

Service and Life Before the Boer War: When he left school he went to Clonakilty, County Cork as page in a Church of Ireland Rectory.

Service Number: 6122

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia, Place of Enlistment: Ireland

Unit: Royal Irish Fusiliers

Rank attained in Boer War: LCPL, Date Effective: 1900

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CPL, Date Effective: Detail not provided

Murray Page: Not applicable did not serve in an Australian unit

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: Not known, Date of Sailing: 24/09/1899 (From Egypt)

Memorial details: Detail not provided

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen and Kings South African War Medals, Defence Medal Second World War, Special Constabulary Long Service Medal

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided

Reasons to go and fight: Serving soldier

Details of service in war: Joseph was at the relief of Ladysmith on 28 February 1900. He said it was an epic battle - nearly all rifles and very little artillery work. 'We got in tight on 15 December 1899 when we reached the Tugela River, later we crossed the river at Pieter's Hill and onto Ladysmith. We stayed until Easter before being ordered to Kimberley, where we were stationed for some time. From there is was back to Cape Town and then onto England. We only had hard biscuits and bully beef. While in South Africa I met the young war correspondent Winston Churchill. This young fellow was prowling around the camp and a few chaps were asking who he was. He was in civilian clothes and we discovered it was Winnie. A fine, strapping young fellow he was.'

Service and life after the Boer War: After his Boer war service, Joseph was chosen due to his excellent military record, as one of a small detachment with men from other Regiments to represent the British Army at the ceremonies to mark the opening of Australia's Federal Parliament by the Duke of York (later King George V). The voyage took 3 months. Joseph regretted that although the Australian Government were eager to issue a special medal to those who had taken part in the ceremony Whitehall (London) turned it down. After demobilisation he became a butler in Lucan House (now the French Embassy in Ireland and 12 years later he joined the railway service and was sent Ardee, County Louth from there he was transferred to Londonderry in 1923. He married in 1908. He had 7 children and 21 grandchildren

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Amanda Phillips, Mosman NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: great granddaughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields