Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Ward Family of Luton

5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, Newmarket 1915

Wednesday 17th February 1915: The Ward family of Luton, which came to our attention in November when we learned that nine family members were serving in the forces, has – perhaps inevitably – appeared in the lists of casualties. Five sons of reservist Mr Robert Ward were serving with the army, but news has been received that 24 year old Alfred (known as “Samson”) was killed in action on 31st January 1915 serving as a lance-corporal with the 1st Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment.[1] Alfred’s brother Arthur has returned from the front wounded and frostbitten and their eldest brother Fred remains a prisoner of war in Germany. Their younger brothers James and John are at Bury St. Edmunds and Newmarket with the 5th Battalion and 5th Battalion Reserve respectively.

Source: Luton News, 18th February 1915

[1] The war diary for the 1st Bedfords shows that on 31st January 1915 they were in trenches at Wolverghem. The entry reads “Quiet day. A little shelling and sniping. Casualties – 2.”  He is commemorated at the Menin Gate memorial. 

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