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Pte. James Pailing Ward MM.

British Army Gloucestershire Regiment 8th Btn.

from:Tiddington, Warwickshire.

(d.18th Apr 1918)

James Paling Ward was born in Twyford, Leicestershire, son of George Paling Ward and Lydia Anne Ward. He is listed in the 1911 Tiddington Warwickshire census aged 16, living at home with his parents and employed as a Domestic Gardener. He enlisted at Birmingham and went to France with 8th battalion Gloucestershire Regiment on the 18th of July 1915. His award of the Military Medal for Bravery in the field was gazetted on 16th August 1917, having been notified in battalion special order of the day for 2nd July 1917. This was for his part during the Battle of Messines on 7th June 1917. The battalion war diary records:-

Wytschaete Beek Onraet Wood

7th [June] Attack launched at 3.10 a.m. by 19th Division

8.10 am. Battalion attacked Black Line in front of Onraet Wood & took its objective. Patrol pushed out & line in front of Oostaverne Wood also held.

3.10.pm. Further attack was launched against village of Oostaverne and Odonto Trench. Battalion took its objective and consolidated position. The result of the day’s operations was highly successful and over two hundred German prisoners were taken.

Private J P Ward was killed on 18th April 1918 when 8th Battalion was retreating during the great German offensive of April 1918. On the 18th April the battalion was withdrawing from its trenches near Beaver Corner, arriving in a field near Wippenhoek siding about 2 miles east of Abeele.

James Pailing Ward is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing at the Ypres area of Belguim. And also on the war memorial at Tiddington Warwickshire.

His brother, Mark Whitworth Ward also served in 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment. He was killed in action on 3rd July 1916, during the battle of the Somme.

Kevin Gemmell

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