Private William Ward


© Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research. Thank you to David Ward for bringing William Ward’s Memorial plaque to the Museum.

William Ward Birth Registration Transcription ©

William James Ward was born in the 1st quarter of 1887 in Westcott to gardener Alfred William and Jane Elizabeth Ward (nee Wilson).

William’s father Alfred was born about 1858 in Dorking, Surrey to gardener James Ward born about 1824 and Caroline, born about 1827, both in Dorking, Surrey. His mother Jane Elizabeth was born in the 2nd quarter of 1858 in Great Bookham to agricultural labourer James, born about 1828 in Great Bookham and Ellen, born about 1834 in Ireland. Jane was baptised on the 30th of May 1858 in Great Bookham. Alfred and Jane married in the 3rd quarter of 1879 in the Registration District of Dorking, Surrey.

William had ten siblings: Alfred born about 1880; Arthur born about 1882; Rose born about 1884; Mary born about 1889; Gerty born about 1891; Henry born about 1893, all in Westcott, Surrey; Lionel born about 1896; Joseph born about 1899; Albert born about 1901 and Cecil born about 1904, all in Dorking.

At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at 2 Victoria Cottages, Westcott. Alfred was working as a gardener and Jane was looking after their son Alfred.

William Ward 1891 Census ©

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Longmore Farm in Westcott. Alfred was still working as a gardener and Jane was looking after their children: Alfred, Arthur, Rose, William, Mary and Gerty.

William Ward 1901 Census ©

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at 19 Orchard Road in Dorking. Alfred was still a gardener and Jane was at home. The household further comprised of their children: Alfred, newspaper boy William, Gerty, Henry, Lionel, Joseph and Albert.

William Ward 1911 Census ©

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family was still at 19 Orchard Road. Alfred was working as a gardener and Jane was a laundress. The household further comprised of their children: general labourer William, grocery assistant Henry, dryer and cleaner Lionel, Joseph, Albert and Cecil. Jane Elizabeth stated that she had given birth to eleven children of whom ten were alive. The house had five rooms.

William Ward enlisted in Guildford, Surrey into “C” Company of the 2nd/8th Battalion, the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment). He was a Private with regimental number 306966. At the time of his enlistment he resided in Dorking.

William Ward was killed in action on the 27th of April 1917 in France. His body was never found.

William Ward Thiepval Memorial Roll of Honour ©


William Ward Thiepval Memorial Panel Listing ©

He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in France on Pier and Face 10C, 10D and 11A.

William Ward Medal Roll Index Card ©


William Ward British War Medal and Victory Medal Award Roll ©

He received the British War and Victory medals.

William Ward Soldiers Effects ©

William’s father Alfred received £4, 18s and 9d on the 1st of September 1917 and a further £3, 10s on the 26th of January 1920 in Soldier’s Effects.

David Ward with William Ward’s Dead Man’s Penny

David Ward; Great grandson of William Ward brought William’s Memorial Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) to Dorking Museum on 4th May 2019, as part of our WW1 ‘Lest We Forget’ day.

Born Westcott, Surrey
Lived Dorking, Surrey
Son of Alfred and Jane Ward of 19 Orchard Road, Dorking
Regiment C. Company, 2nd/8th Battalion. Sherwood Foresters Notts & Derby
Number 306966
Date of Death 27th April 1917
Place of Death France
Cause of Death Killed in action
Age 31
Memorial Thiepval Memorial, France
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