Private Charles Ward

2nd Battalion, Yorkshire Light Infantry

26th June 1900
Charles Ward VC
      At Lindley, on June 26, 1900, where so many of our brave men fell, about 500 of the enemy succeeded in getting to close quarters with a picket, which was attacked from three sides. Both the officers were wounded, and every man, with the exception of six, was placed hors-de-combat. A reinforcement to save the post was absolutely necessary, but a message to that effect would have to be taken to the signalling station. Ward volunteered to do this, but, as it meant almost certain death to any man attempting it, his gallant offer was at first refused. He, however, insisted on being allowed to go, and, with 150 yards of open ground to cross, swept by the heavy rifle-fire of the Boers, succeeded in reaching the signallers. His message delivered, he resolved to return again, risking his life with the object of encouraging his few remaining comrades to maintain their defence, by assuring them that the much needed help was asked for and would soon be at hand. He contrived to reach the hard-pressed post again, but not before being severely wounded.

    Charles Ward, son of Mr. George Ward, was born at Leeds, July 10, 1877, being educated at Primrose Hill School in that city. On April 29, 1897, he enlisted into the 1st Battalion Yorkshire Light Infantry—the old 51st of Peninsula and Waterloo fame—with which, under Colonel G. P. F. Byng, he served for two years, joining the 2nd Battalion at Wynberg, Cape Colony. Owing to his severe wound he has only two clasps to his medal, Cape Colony and Free State. When he gained the Victoria Cross his Company and Commanding Officers were Captain Wittycombe and Lieut.-Colonel Barter, C.B., with Major-General A. H. Paget, C.V.O., as Chief. So highly was Ward's conduct appreciated that the citizens of Leeds, on his discharge from the service, presented him with a testimonial and £600, together with a commemorative medal in gold by Mr. William Owen.


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