b. 02/01/1885 Billingford, Norfolk. d. 31/03/1918 France.
He was born in Billingford, Norfolk (England) and educated at Framlingham College in Suffolk.
He emigrated to British Columbia, where he took up ranching. He was homesteaded briefly in Queens Bay. When the war broke out in 1914, he enlisted as a private in Lord Strathcona's Horse. He rose quickly through the ranks and was commissioned as an officer in 1916. In January 1918 Flowerdew was given command of C Squadron of, Lord Strathcona's Horse.
He was 33 years old, and a lieutenant in Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Canadian Army during the First World War when the following deed, nicknamed "The Last Great Cavalry Charge", took place. For his actions in this battle he was awarded the VC.
For most conspicuous bravery and dash when in command of a squadron detailed for special services of a very important nature. On reaching his first objective, Lieutenant Flowerdew saw two lines of enemy, each about sixty strong, with machine guns in the centre and flanks; one line being about two hundred yards behind the other. Realizing the critical nature of the operation and how much depended on it, Lieut. Flowerdew ordered a troop under Lieut. Harvey, VC, to dismount and carry out a special movement, while he led the remaining three troops to the charge. The squadron (less one troop) passed over both lines, killing many of the enemy with the sword; and wheeling about galloping on them again. Although the squadron had then lost about 70 per cent of its members, killed and wounded from rifle and machine gun fire directed on it from the front and both flanks, the enemy broke and retired. The survivors of the squadron then established themselves in a position where they were joined, after much hand-to-hand fighting, by Lieut. Harvey's part. Lieut. Flowerdew was dangerously wounded through both thighs during the operation, but continued to cheer his men. There can be no doubt that this officer's great valour was the prime factor in the capture of the position.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NAMPS-AU-VAL CEMETERY, AMIENS, FRANCE.
Gordon Flowerdew's VC with his riding crop on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London. (August 2014). The items are on loan from Framlingham College.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier PLOT I, ROW H, GRAVE 1
Part of the wooden cross from his grave
Munnings painting of Flowerdew's charge
Demuin, France (Thomas Stewart)