Lance Corporal Frank Oliver Ward


Frank Oliver Ward was born on 16 March 1890 at Camberwell, London, the second or third of four children of carpenter Albert Thomas Ward and his wife Frances. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 11 Broomfield Road, West Ealing, with his parents and two of his siblings, and working as a printer.

Ward enlisted in the Dragoons of the Line in the early years of the war (No.7737). While in training at Aldershot, on 3 July 1915, he married Nina Gertrude Pierce in St John's Parish Church, Ealing.

Posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, Ward embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, possibly at the end of June 1916, having been posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July.

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Ward, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Ward was issued regimental number 41376 and posted to A Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Ward was one of the many wounded during the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 at the beginning of  the German spring offensive. He rejoined his battalion later that year, and was wounded again during the Advance to Victory offensive, perhaps on 4 September in the attack near Wulverghem.

Following his discharge at the end of the war Ward returned to Ealing and again worked as a printer. He died there in 1970.