Francis Samuel Ward

Royal Air Force

Personal Details

Born: 25 February 1875 in Clerkenwell, London.

Family: He was the nephew of William H Ward, a watch repairer and jeweller, and his wife Mary A; he had at least one sibling, Arthur J. He married Ada Elizabeth Ovell on 11 April 1903 in Croydon, Surrey. They had four children, Sidney Francis, Clifford, Winifred M and Frank who was born 1905 but died before he was six months old.

Residence: The 1881 Census shows him living with his uncle and aunt in York Road, Fisherton-Anger, Alderbury, Wiltshire. In 1901 he was living as a boarder in Clerkenwell, London. The 1911 Census shows him living with his wife and sons at 10 Bargates, Whitchurch; the 1919 Absent Voters’ Register shows him living at 3 Piccadilly, Whitchurch which is the same address as shown on the 1939 Register and his address at the time of his death.

Employment:  In 1901 he was a steamship’s steward; in 1911 he was a window cleaner and in 1939 he was a Sunday newsagent.

Died: 20 February 1951, aged 75, at 38 Talbot Street, Whitchurch and was buried on 23 February the same year in Whitchurch cemetery.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Air Force (previously Royal Navy)

Rank: Private

Service Number: 275407

Date of Enlistment: Prior to 22 July 1918

Date of Discharge: 30 April 1920

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Medals and Awards

Francis was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.



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