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Gardner, David

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Gwilym Davies visited David Gardner in Tresham on 1 February 1997 when he sang Farmer Giles, The Gloucester Blinder and Now Listen All You Sailor Boys. On 14 November 2002 at the launch of Gwilym’s CD, ‘There’s a Clear Crystal Fountain’, in Gloucester, David Gardner sang The German Clockmaker, The Gloucester Blinder and They’re Moving Grandad’s Grave To Build A Sewer.

David Gardner was born on 28 September 1924 in Tresham. He played the melodeon at 6 years of age, learnt the piano as a child and played the church organ. He learnt songs as a boy from farm labourers – he took every opportunity to travel on the farm carts with them, or to go hunting rabbits. He attended the grammar school in Wotton Under Edge and then went to work as an apprentice engineer at the R. A. Lister company of Dursley.

During WWII he joined up ” in the thick of things” and was in 21st Army group during the British occupation of the Rhine during which he was recognised for his bravery under heavy enemy fire when he rescued a severely injured officer. He also used his shooting skills as a sniper and was involved at D Day in ‘ Monty’s own Division”. He also learnt songs from his army friends during the war.

After the war he returned to engineering and married a local girl, Margaret, on 25 December 1948, in Kensington. He continued to sing and play guitar, piano accordion, harmonica, piano and organ around local pubs, clubs and gatherings, forming a skiffle group called ‘The Ragtime Rascals’ who appeared on a Television talent show called ” Now’s Your Chance” in the late 1950s.

David Gardner died just short of his 90th birthday in 2013

Notes by Mike Gardner, son, July 2015