William Ward

Oct 19, 1876

Born in Bere Regis, Dorsetshire, England


Aug 13, 1895

Attested into the 1st Rifle Brigade in Manchester, England

Ø  Number 3996


Aug 12, 1907

Discharged from the Rifle Brigade in Manchester

Ø  Rank on discharge Rifleman

Ø  Trade noted as Labourer

Ø  Entitled to wear the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the Transvaal Clasp

Noted as having the 2nd Class Certificate of Education


Mar 16, 1916

Attested into the 76th Battalion CEF in Barrie, Ontario

Ø  Number 142633

Ø  Next of kin given as Isabel Ward, wife, Midhurst, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø  Previous military experience given as 8 years with Colours and 4 years in the militia with 1st, 3rd and 4th Battn. Rifle Brigade

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Assigned to “C” Company

“C” Company and “D” Company were quartered in the Armouries in Barrie, Ontario


Apr 23, 1916

Embarked the SS Empress of Britain in Halifax, Nova Scotia



May 5, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Jun 28, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Jun 29, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.

After a short stay at the base depot, Private Ward joined the 21st Battalion at the front


Oct 8, 1916

I could not determine when he was wounded, but the last entry in the battalion’s war diary for casualties was October 5, 1916 when they recorded 2 killed and 16 wounded in the previous 3 days of fighting.  One would assume that Private Ward was among those listed as wounded.  He would have been evacuated to a field ambulance for first aid before being transported to the No. 9 Casualty Clearing Station.

Private William Ward died of his wounds at the No. 9 Casualty Clearing Station and buried in the nearby Contay British Cemetery, Contay, France


Following the war, the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Memorial Cross and the Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) were sent to the family


William Ward is honoured on the Barrie, Ontario War Memorial



 While on the train to Halifax from Barrie, William Ward wrote a letter to his children.  That letter is transcribed here.

Letter courtesy of Amanda House

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