Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Stephen Luke Ward was born on the 9th of April 1881 in Hackney, London, Middlesex to boot closer and shoemaker Stephen Ward and Charlotte Ward nee Darke.
Stephen Lukes’ father Stephen Ward was born about 1857 in Westminster St James or St Pancras in Middlesex to boot closer Luke Ward, born about 1825 in Dublin Ireland, and Eliza Ward, born about 1830 in Paddington, Middlesex.
Stephen Ward married by Banns Charlotte Darke on the 20th of May 1877 at St Martin’s church, Kentish Town.
Charlotte Darke was born in the 4th quarter of 1849 in Stepney Middlesex, to communal traveller and builder William John Darke, born about 1818 in Stepney Middlesex, and Emma Darke, born about 1823 in West Ham, Essex. At the time of the 1851 Census, William John was a builder employing 15 men.
Stephen Luke Ward had 5 sisters: Charlotte Ward born about 1878 in London Middlesex; Florence Eliza Ward born on the 16th of October 1879 in Hackney London Middlesex; Beatrice Emma Ward born on the 4th of October 1882 in Hackney London Middlesex; Gertrude Ward born on the 16th of February 1884 in Hackney London Middlesex; and Nellie Ward born on the 9th of July 1885 in Hackney London Middlesex.
All of the children including Stephen Luke were baptised on the 2nd of November 1885 at St Michael and All Angels in Hackney, London, Middlesex. At this time the family lived at 14 Bayford Street in Hackney.
At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at 15 Conrad Street, Hackney, London, Middlesex. Stephen was working as a boot closer and Charlotte was looking after their children, Charlotte and Florence Eliza.
At the time of the 1891 Census, the family moved to Chatham Place in Hackney, London, Middlesex. Stephen was still working as a boot closer. Charlotte, Florence Eliza, Stephen Luke, Beatrice and Gertrude were scholars. The household was completed by Stephen senior’s mother Eliza Willson and his step father, railway servant John Willson, grandchild Frank Harris and a boarder, cigarette maker Florence Willis.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Stephen now working as a boot repairer, and his daughter Florence Eliza, were living at 34 Plashet Grove in East Ham, London. The house had 7 rooms.
Stephen Luke enlisted into the 8th Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment on the 9th of September 1914 in Exeter for the duration of the war. His regimental number was 1764 and he was a private. He was 34 years and 153 days old. He was previously serving in the Essex Volunteers. At the time of Steven Lukes’ enlistment his father Stephen Ward lived at 2 Oakdene Road in Brockham Green, Surrey.
Stephen Luke was over 5ft tall and weighed 122lbs. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He also had 3 vaccination marks on his left arm.
Stephen Luke was discharged as medically unfit on the 26th of October 1914, having served 48 days at home. His right foot was very flat, his left foot had an old painful scar on the sole and he was also found to be mentally very dull.
Stephen Luke re-enlisted to the 7th Battalion Seafront Highlanders (Ron-shire Buffs) in July 1915 in Shoreditch, Middlesex. His regimental number was S/9353.
He disembarked on the 2nd of October 1915 in France.
On the 19th of December 1915 the 7th Battalion Seaford Highlanders trench was gassed and shelled by Germans. The gas attack ceased about 7.30am.
Stephen Luke Ward died of wounds on the 20th of December 1915.
He is buried at the Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) in Zillibeke. His grave reference number is: I.F.3. A.
At this time his parents still lived at 2 Oakdene Road, Brockham Green, Betchworth, Surrey.
Stephen Luke’s father Stephen Ward received £4, 5s and 11d on the 22nd of December 1916 and £3 in 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
Stephen Luke Ward was in the Army over 5 years prior to the war. His last letter home was sent a few days before death.
Stephen Luke Ward received the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star.
Stephen Ward senior of Oakdene Road, Brockham Green died on the 11th of March 1929. He resided in Brockham for his last sixteen years and until two years before his death he was still working as a shoemaker. He was also a regular worshipper at Christ Church in Brockham and a member of the local branch of the Conservative Association. He was 72 years old.
Son of Stephen and Charlotte Ward of 2, Oakdene Road, Brockham Green, Betchworth, Surrey
Regiment 7th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders
Date of Death 20th December 1915
Place of Death Flanders
Cause of Death Died of Wounds
Cemetery Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Ypres, Belgium