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John Wallace Ward was born in Welburn, Yorkshire in 1883.

By 1891 John and his younger brother Charles were living with their mother Mary Ann Ward in Farnworth, Lancashire. His father was named George but there does not appear to be much information about him.

Pre-war Service

On 7th January 1902, at the age of 18 years 7 months  John enlisted into the Army, joining the Lancashire Fusiliers with the number 8692. He had previously been working as a labourer and living with his father and mother at 19 Black horse street, Farnworth.

At his enlistment medical in Bury, the Officer described him as being 5ft 5.75in tall and weighing 117lbs. He had dark brown hair and blue eyes.

Private Ward spent one year with the 4th Battalion, before being posted across to the 1st Battalion on 4th February 1903. In January 1904 he was awarded his first good conduct badge and shortly afterwards appointed Lance Corporal. In August 1905 John was deprived of his Lance Corporal chevron for mis-conduct which meant his Class 1 service pay was also forfeited.

Four months later, December 1905 he was granted permission to extend his service to complete eight years with the Colours. In January 1906 he was re-appointed Lance Corporal and his 6d Class 1 service pay re-instated. In January 1907 his service pay went up to 7d when he was awarded his second good conduct badge.

On 16th March 1907 LCpl Ward qualified for promotion to Corporal.

Unfortunately more trouble came that July and he was again deprived of his Lance Corporal appointment and reverted to Private. He was deducted one good conduct badge which wouldn’t be restored for another year.

John completed his term of service with the Lancashire Fusiliers on 24th January 1910 and was transferred to the Army Reserves. He  became ‘time expired’ on 6th January 1914 having completed his full time and reserve commitment totaling twelve years.

During his period of pre-war service John Ward had served in the following places;

Home: 07/01/02 – 08/02/03
Gibraltar: 04/02/03 – 21/02/05
Malta: 22/02/05 – 29/04/06
Egypt: 30/04/06 – 13/12/06
Malta: 14/12/06 – 26/11/07
India: 27/11/07 – 20/01/10
Home: 21/01/10 – 06/01/14

He had also passed the following courses of instruction;

Range Finding:  18/09/05
Cycling:  11/12/05
Military Topography:  15/10/06

First World War

Shortly after War broke out, on 9th September 1914 John Wallace Ward signed up  into the Army Special Reserve, joining the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was now given the regimental number 4209.

In the interim John was unmarried and still living on Black horse street and had been working as a pipe fitter. He was now 31 years old.

At his re-enlistment medical, John had grown taller as was now recorded as being 5ft 8.5in and weighing 143lbs.

John was posted into the newly raised 8th (Service) Battalion and was almost immediately appointed Lance Corporal. Quick to notice his talent, John flew through the non-commissioned ranks in the North Lancs Regiment being promoted Corporal in January 1915, Sergeant in February 1915 and Company Quarter Master Sergeant in March 1915.

On 3rd July 1915 John married Bertha Hall at St Peters Church, Belmont.

John sailed to France on 25th September 1915 which was the date the 9th (Service) Battalion sailed.  The 8th (Service) Battalion, in which he belonged,  had left nearly three weeks earlier on 6th September. Presumably he met up with his Battalion soon after he arrived.

C.Q.M.S John Ward remained with the 8th Battalion in France until he was posted back to the Depot on 22nd January 1917.

On 20th May 1918 John and Bertha had their first child, Ada Wallace in Bolton. The family were living at 46 Grasmere Street, Bolton.

In March 1919 he volunteered to serve an extra year at the at Regimental Depot, Fulwood Barracks in Preston.

John was demobilzed and transferred to Class Z Reserve on 24th March 1920, just month after their second child John Duncan was born. At the time of his discharge they were living at 50 Elcho Street, Preston.

For his war service, John received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory medal.

John Wallace Ward died in Preston on 21st December 1949. His probate amounted to £258 which went to his wife Bertha. She outlived him by nine years, dying in 1958.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to 4209 CQMS. J. W. WARD. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Peter Haslam says:

    Thank’s for a brilliant Bio.He was one of the lucky ones perhaps it was the training he received before the great war.

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