Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Sgt (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner (Service No 1217386) Drowned in Canada 21 May '42

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Aldridge, West Midlands
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Sgt (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner (Service No 1217386) Drowned in Canada 21 May '42

    I am trying to find the circumstances in which my relative George Arthur Gardner died by drowning in Canada on 21 May 1942 whilst in RAF service.

    He was born 1923, the son of William Henry Gardner & Annie Gardner of Perry Common, Birmingham, England. When he died he was therefore aged 19, serving in the RAF Volunteer Reserve & was, presumably, training in Canada at the time of his death. He is buried at Weyburn (Hillcrest) Cemetery, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Interestingly, the CWGC has another casualty who died on the same date buried in the same cemetery, which the Forum states was also a death by drowning, so presumably a casualty of the same incident. He was Sergeant (Pilot) Eric Pulford Fairgrieve (Service No 1138057), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, son of Mrs. E. E. Simpson, of West Kirby, Cheshire, England.

    I understand that the incident may have been a result of a boating accident, rather than a flying incident. Although they are buried at Weyburn, I don’t know where their deaths occurred.

    Is anyone able to provide me with any further information please, either about the circumstances of the incident itself (eg where it occurred, what happened, were there any other casualties or survivors) or about George’s service (eg unit he was with, where located).

    Any help greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by LancasterIII; 13th May 2020 at 20:53. Reason: Mis-spelling of name
    Researching Bomber Command crew F/Off D R McIntosh RAAF, Sgt F A Kendall RAF, F/Sgt R A Quiney RAF, F/Sgt R H Thomson RAF, F/Sgt W H Butt RAAF, Sgt G Fletcher RAF, Sgt D S Ford RAF. All KIA 14 January 1945 serving with 106 Squadron, RAF Metheringham.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,178
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 136 Times in 126 Posts

    Default Re: Sgt (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner (Service No 1217386) Drowned in Canada 21 May

    The Leader-Post
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Friday, May 22, 1942 - Page 2

    Fliers Drowned In Boat Upset

    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/495273921/

    Fliers Drowned In Boat Upset Tragic ending to a boat ride during their 48-hour leave in Regina, two sergeant pilots of the Royal Air Force, No. 41 S.F.T.S., Weyburn, drowned in Wascana lake Thursday at 5'30 p.m. Another sergeant pilot, who tried heroically but in vain to save his friends after the sailboat in which the three were sailing overturned, lies in Grey Nuns' hospital. His condition Friday was reported good. Were on Leave The trio had been in Canada four months and were transferred only recently to Weyburn. With number of other R.A F. men, they had arrived in Regina, Thursday, on leave. They were scheduled to return to England in the near future. In hospital is Sgt. Pilot Morris Eastlake, 27. Drowned were: Sergeant Pilots G. A. Gardner and E. P. Fairgneve. Next-of-kin in England were notified Friday morning. Sgt. Pilot Gardner was from Birmingham and Sgt Pilot Fair-grieve from West Kirby, Ches Wife of Sgt. Pilot Eastlake lives at Bristol. Both bodies were recovered within two hours after the accident by men with grappling irons Grappling was done by members of the city police force, firemen and airmen of No. 2 I T.S., under the direction of Police Inspector Fred Toop. Hundreds of citizens looked on. Word of the tragedy spread through the city like wild fire and roads in the vicinity of the legislative building were jammed with cars. Coroners jury was to be empanelled at 1:30 p.m. Friday. In quest is exported to be held at the city police station at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29. North of Island Accident occurred 150 to 200 yards north of an artificial island, directly west of Broad street bridge, and approximately 150 yards from the mainland cast of the legislative building. Bodies were recovered close to where the sailboat the airmen .had rented overturned; one 75 to 100 yards from the island, the other only 25 yards from the island's shore. Water was believed to be approximately 10 feet deep. m mi Cool, sane thinking and hard work was done by an eye-witness, Bob Bishop, 18, 1129 Fifteenth avenue, in a dramatic effort to aid the men. From the Regina Boat club, nearly a mile away,

    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?qnum=74097


    Sergeant Eric Pulford FAIRGRIEVE (1138057) of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    http://www.rafcommands.com/database/...php?qnum=71289


    I am 100% sure Morris Eastgate is actually Maurice Gillman EASTLAKE as age and name , Wife and location (Bristol) fits

    Killed

    Sergeant Maurice Gillman EASTLAKE (1381717) Pilot Lancaster I W4777 IBCCRAF 1943-07-12 1656 HCU United Kingdom Bristol (Arnos Vale) Crematori
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 13th May 2020 at 08:16.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Aldridge, West Midlands
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Sgt (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner (Service No 1217386) Drowned in Canada 21 May

    Thanks very much paulmcmillan for your reply. The article in The Leader-Post to which you refer has provided me with far more information than I ever expected to find.
    I've also found the report of the inquest on 29 May 1942 in The Leader-Post on the following day.

    Tragic also to see that the survivor of the accident Morris Eastgate/Maurice Eastlake apparently died a year later whilst at 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit, so not even he reached frontline service. We often forget how many young men lost their lives during training.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Researching Bomber Command crew F/Off D R McIntosh RAAF, Sgt F A Kendall RAF, F/Sgt R A Quiney RAF, F/Sgt R H Thomson RAF, F/Sgt W H Butt RAAF, Sgt G Fletcher RAF, Sgt D S Ford RAF. All KIA 14 January 1945 serving with 106 Squadron, RAF Metheringham.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Aldridge, West Midlands
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Re: Sgt (Pilot) George Arthur Gardner (Service No 1217386) Drowned in Canada 21 May

    Thanks very much paulmcmillan for your reply on 13 May.

    The information you've provided has given me far more information than I expected would be available. The report in the Leader-Post in particular was very detailed & probably even more than his immediate family knew at the time. I've also found the newspapers report on 30 May 1942 of the subsequent inquest which reveals a bit more.

    How tragic as well that the survivor was apparently himself killed the following year in an accident when at 1656 HCU, so none of the three of them ever reached frontline service. It's often forgotten how many young men died during training.

    Thanks again for your help. Incidentally, I thought I'd posted a thank you a few days ago but it doesn't appear to be showing up in the thread. Maybe I've done something wrong!
    Researching Bomber Command crew F/Off D R McIntosh RAAF, Sgt F A Kendall RAF, F/Sgt R A Quiney RAF, F/Sgt R H Thomson RAF, F/Sgt W H Butt RAAF, Sgt G Fletcher RAF, Sgt D S Ford RAF. All KIA 14 January 1945 serving with 106 Squadron, RAF Metheringham.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •