Gardner, Philip John VC
Victoria Cross

(1914 - 2003)

Local Connection:
Born at 37 Trewsbury Road, also lived at Silverdale, Sydenham

War Service:
Captain. Royal Tank Regiment, RAC.
London Gazetted on 10th February, 1942.
Digest of Citation for the Victoria Cross reads:
On 23rd November, 1941 at Tobruk, Libya, Captain Gardner took two tanks to the rescue of two armoured cars of the King's Dragoon Guards, which were out of action and under heavy attack. Whilst one tank gave covering fire the captain dismounted from the other, hitched a tow rope to one of the cars, then lifted into it an officer, both of whose legs had been blown off. The tow rope broke, so Captain Gardner returned to the armoured car, but was immediately wounded in the arm and leg. Despite this he managed to transfer the wounded man to the second tank and returned to British lines through intense shellfire.


"The courage, determination and complete disregard for his own safety displayed by Capt. Gardner enabled him, despite his wounds and in the face of intense fire at close range, to save the life of his fellow officer in circumstances fraught with great difficulty and danger."

Observers of Captain Gardner's action on the battlefield were confident that this bravery, in saving the life of the wounded man, was worthy of the Decoration of the Victoria Cross.

Captain Gardner also held the Military Cross which was announced in the London Gazette of 21 October 1941.

Escaped from the fall of Tobruk into Italy but was captured and became a prisoner of war in Germany being freed May 1945. The investiture took place at Buckingham Palace on 18 May 1945.

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the Lewisham-Shopping-Centre-Mural

He was born on 25 December 1914 at Sydenham and died in 2003. He was born on Christmas Day 1914 to Stanley Gardner the chairman and Managing Director of an engineering company J Gardner and Co in Beckenham [where the family had originated from]. He attended Dulwich College 1928 - 1932 and was a Govenor of the school and President of the Alleyn Club and founder and President of the Brunswick Boy's Club.


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