Lance Corporal Herbert Joseph Ward, 2129
- Batt -
- Unit - Leicestershire Yeomanry
- Section -
- Date of Birth - 1879
- Died - 13/05/1915
- Age - 35
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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland. He was the son of John Ward, a coal account collector, born 1849 in Glenfield, Leicestershire and his wife Elizabeth Ward (nee Moore, married in the 3rd quarter of 1875 in the Leicester district), born 1854 in New Parks, Leicester. Herbert Joseph was born in the 3rd quarter of 1879 in New Parks, he had one sibling, Wilfred Harry, a schoolboy, born 1877 in New Parks, in April 1881 the family were residing at 96, Catesby Street, St. Mary’s, Leicester, this being the family home of Herbert’s maternal grandfather Joseph Moore, a retired railway platelayer, born 1818 in Glenfield and his wife Mary Moore, born 1820 in Glenfield and their children, (Herbert’s Uncles), Cornelius Moore, an engine stoker, born 1857, Vincent Moore, born 1862 and Walter Moore, a worsted yarn dyer, born 1864, all the Uncles were born in New Parks. In the 3rd quarter of 1890 in the Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire district, Herbert’s mother died aged 36. In April 1891 Herbert was a schoolboy and was residing in the family home at Leicester Road, Syston, Leicestershire together with his widowed father, a coal merchant and his sibling, Wilfred, a coal merchant’s assistant, also residing in the family home was Herbert’s maternal Uncle, Vincent Moore, an ironmonger. In March 1901 Herbert was residing in the family home at Leicester Road, Syston, together with his father, a coal merchant, his stepmother, Helen Frances Ward, born 1862 in Syston and his half blood siblings, Grace Elizabeth, born 1890, Edith Helen T., born 1897 and Lilian May., born 1901, all his siblings were born in Syston. In April 1911 Herbert was employed as an electrical engineer’s clerk and was residing in the family home at Leicester Road, Syston, together with his father, a coal carter, his stepmother and half blood siblings, Grace, a hosiery trade blouse maker, Edith, a tailoring apprentice, Lilian, a schoolgirl and Percy John, a schoolboy, born 1903 in Syston.
The War Diary records: 13 May-15 - BELLEWARDE FARM. Position of Regiment at midnight 12th/13th May was 700 yards west of road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and YPRES – MENIN ROAD, extreme right resting on railway running north east from YPRES, and extending to the farm about 300 yards north, north west of railway. “B” Squadron occupied north, “C” Squadron south part of the front line trenches. The trenches were bad, 5 feet deep and 2½ feet wide at the bottom. Parapets at the front and back slanted very much, and were made of loose soil. There were few sand bags, and no dug outs or other protection from shell fire. “A” Squadron occupied the Support trenches 300 yards in the rear of the advanced trenches and on the left flank of “B” Squadron. Machine gun section in “C” Squadron trench close to the railway. HQ in dug outs on road joining ZONNEBEKE ROAD and MENIN ROAD, 150 yards north of the railway. During the night the trenches were somewhat improved. Heavy shell fire from 3.30am to 6.00am, but few casualties. The enemy then began to pour over their parapets with the evident intention of attacking, but being met by heavy fire from our men, they retired again to their trenches. A second and more violent bombardment began, and was kept up until 7.30am. Our losses during this bombardment were much heavier, and the machine guns were knocked out and a trench blown in. At 7.30am the enemy attacked and occupied the advanced trenches vacated by the Regiment on our left, from there they gained part of “B” Squadron trenches. They then advanced to within 200 yards of the Support trenches and dug themselves in, having steel shields as a protection. Those of the enemy who had occupied the “B” Squadron trench advanced along the trench, and Major B. R. LIEBERT, Lt. W. S. FIELDING-JOHNSON and Squadron Sergeant Major J. P. SWAIN with what was left of “B” Squadron, retired down the trench and joined “C” Squadron. Here Major W. F. MARTIN ordered barricades of sand bags to be placed across the trench. Some of the trench party fired over this barricade at the enemy advancing from the flank, others at the enemy advancing from the front. Major MARTIN, Major LIEBERT, Lt. C. PEAKE and 2nd Lt. T. E. BROOKS were all killed. The casualties were so heavy that Lt. FIELDING-JOHNSON, the only surviving officer decided to retire down the trench, to cross the railway and join the 3rd DRAGOON GUARDS on the other side of it. He had great difficulty in crossing the railway, which was swept by the enemy’s machine guns. Finally the crossing was effected by building a sand bag parapet across the railway, and Lt. FIELDING-JOHNSON joined the 3rd DRAGOON GUARDS with Squadron Sergeant Major SWAIN and 14 men, the only survivors of the two Squadrons of LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY who had occupied the advanced trenches. At about 6.00am Lt. Col the Hon. P. C. EVANS-FREKE decided to establish a small advanced post at a building about 150 yards in advance of the Support trenches. He personally placed 2nd Lt. T. H. SIMPKIN with 15 men in charge of this post. While returning to the Support trenches he was shot dead. The supports held their position until 12.00 noon, when the Brigade Major, Captain D. P. TOLLEMACHE arrived. The enemy by this time were very near at hand carrying shields which appeared to be quite bullet proof, and were digging themselves in. Major W. F. RICARDO displayed great gallantry in holding on to the Support trenches, although wounded four separate time. When the counter attack was made by the ROYAL HORSE GUARDS, the 10th HUSSARS and the ESSEX YEOMANRY, the remains of “A” Squadron, led by Captain TOLLEMACHE and Lt. T. W. BEST, joined in the charge. The counter attack drove the enemy out of the new trenches which they had made near our Support trenches, but did not retake our advanced trenches, consequently the dead and wounded from these were never recovered. The Regiment was relieved during the night of the 13th/14th May by the ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS, and reached their huts at BRIELEN at about 4.00am on the 14th May. The casualties of the action on the 13th May were as follows:- Killed, Lt. Col. The Hon. P. C. EVANS-FREKE, Major W. F. MARTIN. Major B. R. LIEBERT, Lt. C. PEAKE and 2nd Lt. T. E. BROOKS. Other ranks killed, 47. Wounded Major W. F. RICARDO, Captain C. M. MARTIN, Captain E. R. HANBURY, Captain G. R. CODRINGTON and Lt. T. W. BEST. Other ranks wounded, 90. There were 39 other ranks missing.
On Friday May 21st 1915 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY IN ACTION.
GALLANT STAND AGAINST ODDS.
MANY WOUNDED AND MISSING.
COLONEL FREKE’S BRAVE ACT.
Exactly twelve months ago the Leicestershire Yeomanry Regiment were located in Colonel J. F. Laycock’s field on the Scalford Road for the purpose of undergoing their annual training, and unhappily many of those who took part in those proceedings are now no more, while numerous others are lying in hospitals more or less seriously wounded. Up to the time of going to press no official information had come to hand as to what actually transpired, but it appears that the Leicestershire Yeomanry covered themselves with glory and honour in the desperate fighting which occurred throughout the whole of yesterday week in front of Ypres, and helped to save the British lines on the Menin – Ypres road by holding up hordes of the enemy and massed artillery until such time as reinforcements could arrive on the scene. It will be recalled that the Leicestershire Yeomanry were honoured by being one of the first Territorial Cavalry Regiments called to the front, and they left at the beginning of November. They had the distinction of being brigaded with the 1st and 2nd Life Guards, but as there was little or no work for cavalry they performed the duties of infantry, and soon distinguished themselves by the bravery they displayed in company with more seasoned comrades. So far they had been exceedingly fortunate in regard to casualties, having only lost two or three men out of over 500, for which reason they were christened “God’s Own.” Sickness and accidents had, however, from time to time thinned the ranks, and drafts had been sent out from Melton in order to keep the regiment up to war strength of 500. For several weeks they had been waiting in reserve behind the lines, but on Sunday week they were lent to an infantry division, and about half the regiment left for the firing line to do relief duty on the Menin-Ypres road, the rest remaining behind in charge of the horses. Wednesday night was occupied in digging trenches, and as soon as daylight made its appearance the following morning the German artillery commenced a most violent bombardment which was kept up with great intensity for several hours, eventually causing the Yeomanry to retire to the reserve trenches. Later the German infantry attacked them in dense masses, but the Leicestershire’s gallantly stuck to their allotted task, though in doing so they suffered very heavy casualties, estimated at over 200, and it is stated that out of some 270 men who took part in the engagement only about 30 came away unscathed. Both officers and men appeared to have displayed the most utmost daring, and both sustained heavy losses. It is to be deeply regretted that at least seven officers were killed and four wounded, their names being as follows:-
Lieut. Colonel the Hon. P. C. Evans Freke, (Commandant), Major W. F. Martin, Major Liebert, (late 7th Hussars), Lieut. T. E. Brooks, Lieut. Thomson, Lieut. Colin Peake, Second Lieut. Turner.
Major W. F. Ricardo, Captain G. Codrington, Captain E. R. Hanbury, Captain O. F. Martin.
It appears that Colonel Freke, the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, lost his life whilst the Yeomanry were retiring to the reserve line of trenches, and was fearlessly standing on a parapet at the time he was struck. Just previously he had gallantly rescued a wounded Private in the midst of a shower of bullets. Major Ricardo, in command of the A or Melton Squadron, is also stated to have acted with the utmost coolness, and had continued to direct the men after he had been wounded. When the news became known in Melton and district that the Leicestershire Yeomanry had suffered severe losses it was naturally the principal topic of conversation, and, of course, the greatest anxiety prevailed amongst the relatives of men in the ranks who were unable to obtain any definite information as to the safety or otherwise of those they held dear. So far as can at present be gathered, only one member of the Melton Troop has lost his life, viz., Pte. F. H. Smith, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Smith, Thorpe End. Some were fortunate enough to come through the ordeal uninjured, while others were among those left behind in charge of the horses. A list of casualties amongst the non commissioned officers and men has been received from the Adjutant of the regiment in France. This list has not yet been officially confirmed from the War Office, but it has been thought best to publish the names as received from France in order to relieve the anxiety of relatives and friends. It is believed that a large number of those reported missing are wounded and are now lying in the various hospitals in France. It is understood that no prisoners were taken by the enemy, and as a matter of fact some of those reported missing are known to have been brought to hospitals in England. The list referred to is as follows:-
3538 R. Sergt. Major Parker, 2016 Pte. T. H. Maddock, 1644 Sergt. H. Aspden, 1725 Pte. F. A. Simpkin, 1992 L. Corpl. J. R. Gamble, 1827 Pte. J. W. Hoyes, 1822 Pte. F. W. Mabbott, 2661 Pte. H. Ray, 2131 Pte. W. Sleath, 1987 Pte. F. H. Smith, 1863 Pte. J. Tomlinson, 2343 Pte. F. Watts, 1643 Sergt. L. S. Burton, 1464 Sergt. J. A. Berry, 1291 Corpl. R. G. Cox, 1805 L.Corpl. H. S. Trotter, 1874 Pte. F. P. Brown, 2559 Pte. E. E. Bucklar, 2022 Pte. G. H. Conquest, 2192 L.Corpl. E. Holmes, 1764 Pte. F. H. Matthews, 1726 Pte. J. C. Morrison, 1936 Pte. M. W. Rowley, 1983 Pte. V. W. Saunders, 2129 L.Corpl. J. H. Ward, 2081 Pte. E. C. White, 1580 Sergt. H. Kealey, 1589 L.Corpl. W. Kent, 2145 Pte. C. H. Adams, 2511 Pte. G. Barker, 2122 L.Corpl. A. Bramley, 2589 Pte. M. Hickling, 1920 Pte. P. Jones, 1996 Pte. H. Mason, 2203 Pte. H. Spence, 2708 Pte. B. S. Tomlin, 1912 Pte. J. Williamson, Interpreter R. Du Can,
1479 Sergt. P. P. Harris, 2099 Pte. J. E. Swann, 2111 Sergt. A. S. Campbell, 2187 Pte. J. W. Newton, 1831 Pte. W. H. Cain, 1964 Corpl. F. Payne, 1895 L.Corpl. H. W. Fowler, 863 Pte. A. B. Baines, 2285 Pte. S. Barnard, 2678 Pte. G. W. Bates, 2037 Pte. G. Castle, 1829 Pte. H. H. Fielding, 2067 Pte. R. D. Hardy, 2158 Pte. E. M. Harvey, 1821 Pte. H. N. Lock, 2869 Pte. C. W. Morgan, 2220 Pte. F. Pears, 2448 Pte. R. K. Peers, 1969 Pte. C. H. Roberts, 2034 Pte. C. S. Lovelock, 2512 Pte. F. Wilford, 1031 Sergt. A. E. Stafford,1802 L.Corpl. F. Sheffield, 2309 Pte. J. Aitcheson, 2638 Pte. H. Catlin, 1961 Pte. S. Coaton, 2079 Pte. A. J. Duckering, 2677 Pte. J. Hamilton, 2033 Pte. R. Hardy, 1884 L.Corpl. S. T. Hiddon, 2692 Pte. F. G. Jowers, 1989 Pte. A. Lord, 2550 Pte. A. McNeil, 1372 Pte. S. G. Maltby, 1935 Pte. C. W. Murphy, 1898 Pte. B. Porter, 1990 Pte. S. H. Silvester, 1875 Pte. C. C. Stafford, 1729 Pte. K. H. Tasker, 2318 Pte. A. Underwood, 2018 Pte. A. G. Vessey, 2087 Pte. W. C. Warden, 2569 Pte. W. H. Stapleford, 1062 Sergt. H. A. Swain, 1222 Sergt. R. Perkins, 1756 Corpl. H. T. Hack, 2130 Pte. R. Colpas, 2585 Pte. E. E. Gardner, 1812 Pte. E. W. Grainger, 2223 Pte. J. Gray, 1679 Pte. F. Hammond, 1991 Pte. W. H. Hollingshead, 2277 Pte. P. H. Hunt, 2516 Pte. H. H. Morris, 1791 Pte. W. H. Moseley, 1810 Pte. A. Neale, 2566 Pte. W. F. Shedden, 2313 Pte. T. H. Talbot, 1302 Arm. S. Sergt. D. Shaw (8th Ord Coy).
1938 Pte. P. Clifford, 1660 Corpl. J. C. Needham, 1732 L.Corpl. L. J. Moir, 2124 Pte. G. Holland, 2108 Pte. J. H. Hopkins, 1738 Pte. F. M. Martin, 2107 Pte. J. W. Matts, 2106 Pte. E. W. L. Shaw, 2006 Pte. H. Shaw, 2150 Pte. C. E. Weetman, 1774 Pte. P. E. Bowen, 2160 Pte. S. Smalley, 1722 Corpl. W. Longwill, 2245 Pte. S. Barratt, 2183 Pte. T. Chadwick, 1716 Pte. F. Coleman, 2322 Pte. F. Pollard, 2367 Pte. A. L. Wood, 1914 Pte. W. Woods, 2500 Pte. F. C. Wright, 844 Sergt. A. Wright, 1939 L.Corpl. A. T. Powell, 2231 Pte. C. W. Bear, 1997 Pte. R. R. Bevin, 2567 Pte. S. Clay, 2658 Pte. F. W. Daley, 2685 Pte. S. W. Darlington, 2523 Pte. T. S. Elliott, 1728 Pte. A. R. Fewkes, 2278 Pte. H. Hansen, 2624 Pte. L. Hill, 2089 Pte. W. Hutt, 2501 Pte. G. Morley, 2251 Pte. A. Rhodes, 2502 Pte. C. F. Richardson, 1915 Pte. G. V. Tiptod, 2260 Pte. J. T. Wagstaff, 2337 Pte. B. Ward, 910 Sergt. W. Moore, 1261 Sergt. C. Stuchbury, 1478 L.Sergt. J. Parker, 1684 Corpl. F. Burton, 2317 Corpl. G. Morrison, 2025 Shoeing Smith B. Holmes, 1904 Pte. T. Brooks, 2117 Pte. A. Bunker, 1974 Pte. G. O. Chester, 2062 Pte. H. Clapcott, 1995 Pte. G. Clowes, 1471 Pte. E. Corah, 2323 Pte. H. Coy, 2451 Pte. A. V. Dawley, 2134 Pte. J. W. Dawson, 2560 Pte. A. Deville, 1760 L.Corpl. B. Diggle, 2113 Pte. L. Dowland, 1754 Pte. H. Grudgings, 2591 Pte. F. Harris, 1978 Pte. G. E. Hawker, 2368 Pte. A. Herrick, 2562 Pte. E. Johnson, 2146 Pte. R. G. Johnson, 1955 Pte. W. Lacey, 1843 Pte. J. J. Lucas, 2609 Pte. J. J. Morley, 1678 Pte. D. Moore, 1845 Pte. W. Moore, 2641 Pte. F. Newton, 2394 Pte. G. Parlby, 2031 Pte. T. Peberdy, 1844 Pte. C. E. Pritchard, 1927 Pte. J. Roberts, 1967 Pte. A. Smith, 2027 Pte. W. Smith, 2646 Pte. T. Sherriff, 2144 Pte. W. J. Steer, 2097 Pte. C. Tatlow, 2000 Pte. J. W. Taylor, 1779 L.Corpl. F. W. Thompson, 1859 Pte. H. Williams.
The Adjutant’s list contained the name of Pte. C. S. Lovelock as being killed, but his father has received a letter stating he has been wounded. The 81 “missing men,” we understand, include all the members of the machine gun section.
In his letter the Adjutant says:- “I cannot tell you how much I regret the loss of all these gallant officers and men. No regiment could have put up a better fight. The Brigadier, the Divisional Commander, and the officers of other regiments who took part in the action are loud in their praise of the Leicestershire Yeomanry. No praise could be too high.”
And in the same issue the following article was published under the heading. LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY IN ACTION. – THE KILLED AND WOUNDED. - LANCE-CORPORAL A. J. WARD. – Lance Corporal A. J. Ward, whose name is included in the list of those killed, resided with his parents at Syston, and previous to going into training he was employed by Messrs. Mason and Brown, of Rutland Street, Leicester. As a cricketer he was well known in the town and county, having played for a number of clubs. On several occasions the County Club recognised his abilities both as a batsman and bowler by inviting him to play in the second eleven matches. For a number of years he played for the Syston Town C.C., and was always looked upon as being probably the best all round man playing on the North Leicestershire League. Last season he had the satisfaction of winning the batting prize offered by the League. A number of years ago he took a keen interest in Association football, the clubs with which he was connected including the now defunct Syston Swifts, Syston Victoria, and Syston Robin Hoods. Several other organisations and institutions in the village will greatly miss his presence. On Friday May 28th 1915 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “MELTON AND THE WAR.” – MEMORIAL SERVICE AT SYSTON. – As an expression of regret for those members of Prince Albert’s Own Leicestershire Yeomanry belonging to the neighbourhood who fell in action near Ypres on May 13th, as well as of sympathy with the relatives, a memorial service was held on Saturday evening in the Parish Church.-The Vicar, Rev. T. R. J. Avery, officiated, and the form of service used was the one drawn up by the Bishop of Stepney for those who fall on active service. Psalm 46 and the “Maginificat” and “Deus” were rendered by the chair, and the hymn “Peace, perfect peace” was feelingly sung by a large congregation, the organist, Mr. H. Freeman, playing “Crossing the bar” as a concluding voluntary.- Amongst the company present were the local company of the Home Defence Corps (commandant, H. Hallett). Lance Corporal H. J. Ward, one of the fallen, being well known in sporting circles, the Town C.C. was represented by Messrs. A. Cooper (captain), H. R. Rowley (vice captain), and J. E. Buckley (secretary), and a number of playing members; the Constitutional Club (of which deceased was some time secretary) by Messrs. J. T. Main (chairman), A. E. Harrison (secretary), H. Rowell (steward), and about 40 members. Several members of the local football team were also present, and a number of men in uniform on leave. Later in the evening a mourning peal was rung on the church bells.
On Saturday May 22nd 1915 The Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury published the following article under the heading. “LEICESTERSHIRE YEOMANRY.” – THE CASUALTIES. – Lance Corporal H. J. Ward, whose name is included in the list of those killed, resided with his parents at Syston, and previous to going into training he was employed by Messrs. Mason and Brown, of Rutland Street, Leicester. As a cricketer he was well known in the town and county, having played for a number of clubs. On several occasions the County Club recognised his abilities both as a batsman and bowler by inviting him to play in the second eleven matches. For a number of years he played for the Syston Town C.C., and was always looked upon as being probably the best all-round man playing in the North Leicestershire League. Last season he had the satisfaction of winning the batting prize offered by the League. A number of years ago he took a keen interest in Association football, the clubs with which he was connected including the now defunct Syston Swifts, Syston Victoria and Syston Robin Hoods. Several other organisations and institutions in the village will greatly miss his presence.
On Friday June 18th 1915 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “DISTRICT WAR ITEMS.” - SYSTON’s ROLL OF HONOUR. – The roll of honour exhibited in the Constitutional Club, brought up to date, records the names of 30 members, out of a total of about 300 – who have given their services to King and country – in two cases even to the extreme sacrifice, viz., Capt. H. J. Ward (Leicestershire Yeomanry), and H. Keeling (died). The complete list is as follows:- S. G. Annis, G. Baker, R. Bird, C. Bird, E. Butler, W. J. Byatt, J. Clack, G. F. Deacon, Rev. J. Evans, B. Gamble, W. Goodwin, F. Harrison, H. Keeling, F. Main, J. Marshall, W. McInerney, F. Meadows, F. North, W. North, W. Oswin, A. T. Pritchard, R. Ratcliff, W. Smith, W. Swann, F. Talbott, H. J. Ward, R. Wheatley, L. Wickwar, and F. Wildbore.
On Friday May 12th 1916 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS.” – IN MEMORIAM. WARD – In loving memory of our brother, Lance Corporal H. J. (Bert) Ward, Syston, of the 1/1 Leicestershire Yeomanry, who fell near Ypres on May 13th 1915. “He fought the good fight. He has finished his course. He kept the Faith.” From Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Ward, Aldershot.
- Conflict - World War I
- Unit - Leicestershire Yeomanry
- Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
- Burial Commemoration - Ypres (Menin Gate) Mem., Belgium
- Born - New Parks, Leicester
- Enlisted - Leicester
- Place of Residence - Syston, Leicestershire, England
- Memorial - SYSTON MEM., LEICS