GARDNER, Thomas Christopher
- Born: Cir 1919, Mile End, London
- Died: 10 Sep 1943, Salerno, Campania, Italy aged about 24
Date of Death:10/09/1943
Regiment/Service:Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) 9th Bn. Grave Reference: II. D. 9.
Cemetery:SALERNO WAR CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Thomas Christopher and Grace Maud Gardner, of Bow, London.
On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year.
Commonwealth and American forces landed near Salerno on 8-9 September 1943 and there was fierce fighting for some days in the bridgehead that they established. The site for the cemetery was chosen in November 1943 and it contains many burials resulting from the landings and the fighting that followed, but graves were also brought in later from a wide area of south-western Italy. The 59th General Hospital was in the vicinity of Salerno at the end of 1943 and early in 1944.
Salerno War Cemetery contains 1,846 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 107 of them unidentified. One casualty of the First World War is also commemorated in the cemetery by special memorial, his grave in a local civil cemetery having been lost. The cemetery was designed by Louis de Soissons.