Born in Edinburgh, c.1835.
He was educated at the Royal Hibernian School, Dublin, his father being shown as having served in the 2nd Dragoon Guards.
Enlisted at Dublin on the 12th of July 1850.
Age: 15 years 5 months.
Height: 4' 5".
From Private to Corporal: 26th of October 1855.
Sent to the Military School of Music at Kneller Hall on the 1st of July 1857.
Corporal to Sergeant: 27th of October 1857.
Rejoined the Regiment from Kneller Hall on the 16th of June 1858.
Discharged, "at his own request " from Aldershot on the 10th of November 1863.
He is shown as having served 13 years 4 months. In Turkey and the Crimea, 2 years.
His conduct was "very good" and was in possession of two Good Conduct badges. It is also stated that he was discharged as "unfit" and was being awarded a temporary pension of 10d. per day from the 10th of November 1863. At this time he was living, c/o James McMaster, 32 Portugal Street, Glasgow.
He became entitled to a "deferred pension" of 5d per day upon attaining the age of 50 years (13th of February 1885.)
Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastopol and Turkish medal.
Awarded the Sardinian War Medal. The citation for this states:
"Corporal William Gardiner - Distinguished conduct in the Light Cavalry Brigade Charge at Balaclava on the 25th of October 1854."
"Horse Guards, 13th July 1857.
Sir, - I am transmitting, by direction of HHR the General Commanding-in-Chief the accompanying Sardinian Medal which has been awarded to the man named in the margin [Sergeant William Gardiner] and I am directed to signify his Highness's desire that you will be pleased to present the same on parade as soon as practicable and with every formality which may tend to impress upon the recipient and upon his comrades the value of the decoration, the receipt of which you will be pleased to acknowledge, and should he have been discharged before the medal could be presented, it should be sent to the Staff Officer Pensions of the District he is drawing his Pension (if applicable) or is still serving, but not under your command, then the medal should be returned to this Department. This Grant will be published in Orders.
I have, etc. etc.,
W.A. Forster, DAG. Commandant, Kneller Hall."
He is not shown as being a member of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in either 1877 or 1879, nor is he known to have ever attended any of the veterans' functions. (Lummis and Wynn state that he was a member of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in 1879, but this was not so.)