Philip John Gardner

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Phillip John Gardner
Philip John Gardner VC IWM E 7479.jpg
Gardner photographed in January 1942
Nickname(s) Pip
Born 18 November 1914
Sydenham, London
Died 16 February 2003
Hove, East Sussex
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1938-1945
Rank Captain
Unit Westminster Dragoons
4th Royal Tank Regiment
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Victoria Cross
Military Cross

Philip John ("Pip") Gardner VC MC (25 December 1914 – 16 February 2003) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was educated at Dulwich College between 1928 and 1932.

Gardner was 26 years old, and an acting Captain in the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, attached to the 70th Infantry Division during the Second World War's Siege of Tobruk. During Operation Crusader, an attempt by the Eighth Army to life the siege, the following deed took place for which Gardner was the Victoria Cross.

On 23 November 1941 at Tobruk, Libya, Captain Gardner was ordered to take two tanks to the rescue of two armoured cars of the King's Dragoon Guards, which were out of action and under heavy attack. While one of his tanks gave covering fire the captain dismounted from the other in the face of heavy fire, 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 neck, arm and leg. Despite this he managed to transfer the wounded man to the second tank and returned to British lines through intense shell-fire.[1]

Following the Battle of Gazala, he was captured and became a POW for the remainder of the war. [2]

His VC is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.


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