Morford Theyer (Morf) GARDNER

Badge Number: S82242, Sub Branch: Mt Pleasant
S82242

GARDNER, Morford Theyer

Service Number: 1595
Enlisted: 29 July 1915
Last Rank: Bombardier
Last Unit: 4th Division Artillery
Born: Goolwa, South Australia, 15 March 1889
Home Town: White Flat, Lower Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Mount Pleasant, South Australia, 25 July 1973, aged 84 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Cummins General Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1, Yallunda Flat Memorial Park
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World War 1 Service

29 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1595, 3rd Light Horse Regiment
18 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 1595, 3rd Light Horse Regiment
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 1595, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
1 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Gunner, 4th Division Artillery
24 Sep 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Bombardier, 4th Division Artillery
29 Sep 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Bombardier, 4th Division Artillery , Gun shot Wound Left wrist
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Bombardier, SN 1595

A Soldiers Story

Morf was born on 15 Mar 1889 at Goolwa to George Byron Gardner and Alice Gardner (nee Tapley)
He was the third eldest of 7 children in the family, 4 boys and 3 girls. The family moved to White Flat in 1903, where his father purchased a farm. Morf worked on the family farm until his enlistment in the Army. Both he and his brother, Finnis, enlisted on the same day, both giving their occupation as farmer.
After enlistment he was sent to Mitcham for processing and then to Base Light Horse for training. On completion of training he was posted to 3rd Light Horse Regiment before embarking aboard HMAT "Geelong" on 12 Nov 1915 at Adelaide bound for the Middle East.
His arrival at Alexandria coincided with the reorganisation of the AIF after the withdrawal from Gallipoli. He was taken on strength by 3rd Light Horse Regiment on 1 Mar 1916, but within a month was reposted to 4th Divisional Artillery at Serapeum (Egypt) and given the rank of Gunner. Within the next month he was re mustered as a driver: at the same time his Service Number had the suffix "A" attached as he had initially been allocated the same service number as another member of his new unit.
He, and his unit, embarked at Alexandria (Egypt) aboard HMAT "Oriana" on 6 Jun 1916 for Marseille (Fr), arriving a week later. He was immediately detached to a French Mortar School where he remained for a month before returning to his unit. He was on the move again, this time being detached to 48th Field Artillery Battery as a driver on 14 Oct 1916; he remained with the Battery for a month before rejoining his unit at the end of Nov 1916.
Then followed a period of relative stability before he was promoted to Bombardier (Corporal) on 24 Sep 1917. This good news was followed by the bad, in that he was wounded in action on 29 Sep 1918, with a gunshot wound to the left wrist which was classified as severe. He was admitted to 3rd Army General Hospital at Abbeville (Fr) before being evacuated to UK on 9 Oct 1918 and admitted to Exeter War Hospital where he remained for 2 months. After this time he was transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford (UK), for convalescence.
On 14 Jan 1919 he was granted furlough to recuperate from his wounds. Unfortunately he became ill whilst on leave and was readmitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital on 17 Feb 1919, where he remained for a further 2 months before embarking for return to Australia aboard HS "Medic" on 10 Apr 1919.
Morf disembarked at Adelaide on 16 May 1919 and, after a lengthy recovery took his medical discharge on 21 Nov 1919, before returning to Koppio. He did not regain full use of his left hand or arm.
He then joined with his brother, Finniss, in operating a road building and transport business. They, in partnership with Dick Meadows worked on contracts which Finn had taken out with the District Council of Tumby Bay to clear and repair roads.
Morf married Elizabeth Rennison Roe on 29 Apr 1925 in the Cummins Methodist Church. He was allocated a Soldier Settler block of 426 acres (190 Ha) in 1928 and the couple settled there and raised a family of 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, all of whom went to the Koppio school.
In 1935 he jointly purchased a block with his brother Finniss in Hd of Brooker. After sub division the couple, with their 2 sons, moved onto Sect 55 in 1946. His younger son later purchased this farm and named it "Morfields"
After the death of Elizabeth, Morford remarried Edna McGorman and lived in retirement at Mount Pleasant (SA).
Morf was very community minded. He was a Councillor on Tumby Bay District Council, a staunch member of the RSL and involved in The Masonic Lodge, the Methodist Church and a life member of the Agriculture Bureau.
He died at Mount Pleasant on 25th July 1973; he is buried in the Cummins Cemetery.

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Stewart

Morf was born on 15 Mar 1889 at Goolwa to George Byron Gardner  and Alice Gardner (nee Tapley). He was the third eldest of 7 children in the family, 4  boys and 3 girls. The family moved to White Flat in 1903, where his father purchased a farm. Morf worked on the family farm until his enlistment in the Army. Both he and his brother, Finnis, enlisted on the same day, both giving their occupation as farmer.

After enlistment he was sent to Mitcham for processing and then to Base Light Horse for training. On completion of training he was posted to 3rd Light Horse Regiment before embarking aboard HMAT "Geelong" on 12 Nov 1915 at Adelaide bound for the Middle East.

His arrival at Alexandria coincided with the reorganisation of the AIF after the withdrawal from Gallipoli. He was taken on strength by 3rd Light Horse Regiment on 1 Mar 1916, but within a month was reposted to 4th Divisional Artillery at Serapeum (Egypt) and given the rank of Gunner. Within the next month he was re mustered as a driver: at the same time his Service Number had the suffix "A" attached as he had initially been allocated the same service number as another member of his new unit.

He, and his unit, embarked at Alexandria (Egypt) aboard HMAT "Oriana" on 6 Jun 1916 for Marseille (Fr), arriving a week later. He was immediately detached to a French Mortar School where he remained for a month before returning to his unit. He was on the move again, this time being detached to 48th Field Artillery Battery  as a driver on 14 Oct 1916; he remained with the Battery for a month before rejoining his unit at the end of Nov 1916.

Then followed a period of relative stability before he was promoted to Bombardier (Corporal) on 24 Sep 1917. This good news was followed by the bad, in that he was wounded in action on 29 Sep 1918, with a gunshot wound to the left wrist which was classified as severe. He was admitted to 3rd Army General Hospital at Abbeville (Fr) before being evacuated to UK on 9 Oct 1918 and admitted to Exeter War Hospital where he remained for 2 months. After this time he was transferred  to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford (UK), for convalescence.

On 14 Jan 1919 he was granted furlough to recuperate from his wounds. Unfortunately he became ill whilst on leave and was readmitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital on 17 Feb 1919, where he remained for a further 2 months before embarking for return to Australia aboard HS "Medic" on 10 Apr 1919.

Morf disembarked at Adelaide on 16 May 1919 and, after a lengthy recovery took his medical discharge on 21 Nov 1919, before returning to Koppio. He did not regain full use of his left hand or arm.

He then joined with his brother, Finniss, in operating a road building and transport business. They, in partnership with Dick Meadows worked on contracts which Finn had taken out with the District Council of Tumby Bay to clear and repair roads.

Morf married Elizabeth Rennison Roe on 29 Apr 1925 in the Cummins Methodist Church. He was allocated a Soldier Settler block of 426 acres (190 Ha) in 1928 and the couple settled there and  raised a family of 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, all of whom went to the Koppio school.

In 1935 he jointly purchased a block with his brother Finniss in Hd of Brooker. After sub division the couple, with their 2 sons, moved onto Sect 55 in 1946. His younger son later purchased this farm and named it "Morfields"

After the death of Elizabeth, Morford remarried Edna McGorman and lived in retirement at Mount Pleasant (SA).

Morf was very community minded. He was a Councillor on Tumby Bay District Council, a staunch member of the RSL and involved in The Masonic Lodge, the Methodist Church and a life member of the Agriculture Bureau.

He died at Mount Pleasant on 25th July 1973; he is buried in the Cummins Cemetery.

 

Medals and Decorations

1914-15 Star                                                                                                 

British War Medal                                                                                        

Victory Medal

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