Private, London Regiment, ‘B’ Coy. 2nd/19th Bn.
Service no. 614287
Died of wounds on 3 April 1918, aged 23
Remembered at Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel and Palestine (including Gaza) and at the war shrine at St Michael’s Church, Stockwell Park Road, London SW9 0DA
Chris Burge writes:
Frederick Ward was born in Lambeth and baptised on 20 May 1894 at St Andrew’s, Stockwell, when his parents Edwin and Agnes Ward (née Woolsey) were living at 19 Stockwell Green, and his father worked as a decorator. In the 1901 census Frederick was the third eldest of five siblings living with their parents in four rooms at 8 Clark’s Row (between Ingleton and Robsart Streets, near Brixton Road; Ingleton Street was demolished after 1945 becoming Ingleton Street Open Space, then renamed The Slade Garden in 1958 and is known today as Slade Gardens). His father Edwin was then employed as a ‘laundry carman’. Hardship followed when Edwin died in 1902, aged 46. The family suffered further loss in 1903 when Frederick’s younger brothers Ernest and Christopher died.
When Frederick’s 51-year-old mother Agnes completed her 1911 census return, the household consisted of five other people: her children Agnes, 22, Edwin, 21, and Frederick , 16, and boarder Charles Ward, a widower aged 59. Agnes entered ‘no occupation’ for herself and Elsie, who was disabled. Edwin worked as a restaurant porter and Frederick as a milkman’s assistant. They lived in five rooms at 5 Ingleton Street, off Brixton Road.
Edwin was married with a young child when he volunteered in October 1915, serving as a motor driver in the Army Service Corps throughout the war. Frederick was conscripted late in 1916 and was first sent to Salonika, landing on 1 March 1917. Frederick spent three months there in miserable weather. Morale was low and the men were glad to leave in June 1917 when the battalion was moved to Egypt. The battalion took part in the campaign in Palestine in 1917 and 1918. They were present at the hugely symbolic capture and subsequent defence of Jerusalem in December 1917. ‘B’ company fought at ‘Talaat ed Dumm’ in February 1918. Late in March 1918 they were part of the forces that attacked Amman for the first time. Frederick Ward was wounded and evacuated to the 76th Casualty Clearing Station where he died on 3 April 1918.
Frederick’s brother Edwin returned to his family at 15 Medwin Street in April 1919. Agnes and Elsie lived at 5 Ingleton St until his mother passed away in 1932, aged 73. Elsie later lived with Edwin’s family in Sevenoaks, Kent.