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.