I do not know if this is the right William Ward, because I do not know his connection to Saltney, except for his brief employment at the L. and N. W. Wagon Works, which, I believe, may have been in Saltney. However, his name was John William Ward and he died, so his story must be told somewhere, I apologize if he is the wrong man, but any information would be gratefully received.
John William Ward was born on the 17th April 1888, according to the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, (please read below) and I have a difference of opinion on one or two things that I have found out during my research, one is the fact that it states that John William was the son of George Ward by his 1st wife, but I believe that George married 3 times and John William was the son of his 2nd wife Sarah Ann, but, of course, any help would be gratefully received. De Ruvigny also states that John William was educated in British Schools whilst he was in India, but I can find no proof that he was in India other than with the Army, as he was in England when he was 12 years old, and in India in the Army 10 years later. His father George was not, to my knowledge in India at all during those years and certainly not in the Army.
I have plotted the family from one census to another, and everything points to John William just joining up at some point between 1901 and 1911, probably circa 1906/7 as they say he served for 8 years being discharged in 1914. However, I cannot find any Army Service Records to substantiate/deny this theory. Also throughout the censuses, he is referred to sometimes as William and sometimes as John.
I start with his father George Thomas Ward, who was born circa 1855 in Duffield, Derbyshire, I believe he married Ellen Bevan in St. Oswald’s Church, Chester in 1878 (Cheshire West CE15/8/111) and the 1881 census shows them living at 5, Drury’s Court, Chester (St. John) with their new son Artemus, age 1, born in Chester as Ellen was. George, 25, was a Tailor and Ellen was 22. Artemus Henry Ward was born and 1879, his birth registered at Chester Castle, Chester. (Cheshire West CAS/56/76)
I also believe that Ellen Ward was to die in 1883, age 25,(Cheshire West CAS/43/43), but I believe that she could have been Anne’s mother, Anne was born circa 1882. (see 1891 census).
I also believe that George T. Ward married again to Sarah A. Stanley in 1885 in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended ceremony in Chester (Cheshire West ROC/21/127) as the 1891 census shows the new family living at 20, St. Annes Place, Chester. George Thos. Ward, 36, Tailor and his wife Sarah Ann, 29, who had been born in Birkenhead. Son Artemus, 11, daughter Anne, 9 and son John, 3 had all been born in Chester.
Again, tragedy struck George and his family’s life as I believe that Sarah Ann Ward was to die in Chester age 35, in 1896 (Chester Vol. 8a Page 213).
1901 shows the family still at 20, St. Annes Place, Chester, but George T. Ward had married Mary Dentith, in 1900, again in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended ceremony in Chester, (Cheshire West ROC/41/124) . George Ward, 46 was a Tailor working for someone elase as he is described as a worker. His wife Mary, 40 had been born in Chester, as had son William, 12 and daughter Anne, age 19.
Brother Artemus was to marry in Broughton Church, Flintshire on the 10th April, 1907 to Emily Crossley, and they were to have 3 children. They were living at 38, Vernon Road, Chester, on the 1911 census
Artemus was also in the Army, Age 36 years 5 months and served in the RG.A., Regtl. No. 85156, his Address:- 38, Vernon Road, Chester and Occupation:- Printer Appointed Postman, previous Military Service:- 8 year Devonshire Regt. He enlisted on 7th December 1915, in Chester. He was to survive and I believe he died in June 1970, age 90, his death was registered in Chester. (Volume: 10a Page: 418).
George’s new wife Mary filled in and signed the census papers for 1911, head of the household was George T. Ward, 53, Tailor, his wife Mary, 50, both, she states, were born in Duffield, Derbyshire. They had been married 10 years and no children had been born to them.
John William Ward was now in India and the 1911 census shows him possibly have been at Jullundur, Punjab, India, when looking at the census a Major J. Hay, R.F.A. (Page 1, Sch 1) was with the 89th Battery, Royal Field Artillery and who was also on the same group of census papers as John William WARD, who was on page 206, Sch 23) (See De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour) –
WARD, John William Private, 22 Single Infantry, Soldier born Chester, Cheshire. Please read De Ruvigney’s Roll of Honour below.
John William Ward in the UK, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 – WARD, John William, Private, No. 9280, 2nd Battn. (23rd Foot) The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 2nd son of George WARD, of 20, St. Annes Place, Chester, Tailor, by his 1st wife: born Chester 17th April 1888; educ. British Schools there; served in India for eight years; returned to England in Feb. 1914, and, on obtaining his discharge; joined the Reserve, being then employed at the L. and N. W. Wagon Works; was called up on the outbreak of war 4th Aug. 1914; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders; took part in the retreat from Mons, and subsequent engagements, and was killed in action at the Battle of Loos. 25th Sept. 1915; Unmarried.
John William Ward in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, tells us that he was born and resided in Chester, but enlisted in Wrexham. This also confirms his regimental details.
John W Ward in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 gives no Theatre of War he entered it on the 11th August 1914. He must, as can be seen by the date, been one of the first to be sent to France in August 1914.
John William Ward in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 gives the Sole Legatee as his father George WARD, paid £24. 10s 11d on the 31st December 1915 and War Gratuity of £6. 0s 0d to sole Legatee George T. Ward on 10th July 1919.
I do hope that this is the right William Ward, but in any case, this John William Ward will be remembered forever.