Date added: 17 Aug 2016
Born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1792, Gairdner was the son of a Scots emigrant who owned a cotton plantation in Georgia.
Educated in England at Harrow, his uncle purchased a commission for him in the 95th Rifles. He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant on 23 Aug 1810 joining the depot of the 2nd Battalion at Shorncliffe.
Transferring to the 1st/95th he arrived in the Peninsula just in time to take part in the opening of the 1812 campaign in Capt Uniake’s 3rd Company. He was gazetted Lieutenant on 12th May 1812 following the losses in the regiment at the Siege of Badajoz and transferred to 2nd Company under Capt Jonathan Leach.
His Military General Service Medal has 9 clasps: Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz (wounded), Salamanca, Vittoria (severely wounded), Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthez and Toulouse.
Gairdner was still in Jonathan Leach’s 2nd Company for the Waterloo Campaign. At the Battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June he was wounded by a shot in the leg. Evacuated to Brussels, he was unable to take part in the Battle of Waterloo.