Author Topic: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company  (Read 11659 times)

Offline Steve Ward

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2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« on: May 26, 2015, 03:54:54 PM »
Dear all,

May I introduce myself. I am the great nephew of 2nd Lt Philip Ward who was KiA on the Menin Road at Polderhoek Chateau, December 27th 1917.

I have been working on a website in memory of Philip, whose story, like that of so many others, had been all but forgotten. I would be very very grateful if anyone can help me in my research please. I had a wonderful email from his old school, Rossall, which informed me that he had been recommended for an MC for his part in the counter attack of December 14th 1917. He was involved in retaking a pillbox called Jericho. On my site I have posted a panorama from the Imperial War Museum showing no mans land and the pillbox, a great find. Sadly he was killed by shellfire 13 days later.

If anyone has access to personal diaries from that time I would love to hear from them.

Many thanks,
Steve

https://ltphilipward.wordpress.com/
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2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Pete Th

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 06:35:53 PM »
Hi Steve, welcome to the forum. What a great tribute to your great uncle.

Thanks for sharing

Pete
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 10:51:51 PM »
hiya steve.
you and your dad have created a fine memorial for 2/Lt ward and a brilliant family tree,a lot of hard work has gone into your site.

a few years ago,i was curious why 2/Lt ward had no grave,i started searching around for anything I could find.
I strongly believe that he and two of his men,who were killed the same day,are buried as unknowns,side by side in poelcapelle british cemetery,and I think 2/Lt ward is buried in grave ref. VIA.A.9.

I wouldn't stick my neck out with something as sensitive as this,unless I was fairly sure,the grave hes buried in,is in the same row as 2/Lt Kendrick yorke-jones,who was killed the day before[grave ref VIA.A.2.]

you need to be sure in your own mind if it is his grave and not take my word for it.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 05:09:42 AM »
Hi Steve, welcome to the forum. What a great tribute to your great uncle.

Thanks for sharing

Pete

Thanks Pete, I appreciate that.

Cheers,
Steve
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 05:13:04 AM by Steve Ward »
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 05:12:21 AM »
hiya steve.
you and your dad have created a fine memorial for 2/Lt ward and a brilliant family tree,a lot of hard work has gone into your site.

a few years ago,i was curious why 2/Lt ward had no grave,i started searching around for anything I could find.
I strongly believe that he and two of his men,who were killed the same day,are buried as unknowns,side by side in poelcapelle british cemetery,and I think 2/Lt ward is buried in grave ref. VIA.A.9.

I wouldn't stick my neck out with something as sensitive as this,unless I was fairly sure,the grave hes buried in,is in the same row as 2/Lt Kendrick yorke-jones,who was killed the day before[grave ref VIA.A.2.]

you need to be sure in your own mind if it is his grave and not take my word for it.

mack ;D

My goodness Mack, that would be incredible if that is correct. Please can you give me any more details about how you came to that conclusion, and why he would have been buried at Poelcapelle which is quite far away from his posting when he died.

Any idea which company Kendrick was in?

Thanks,
Steve
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 11:52:02 AM »
hiya steve.
poelcapelle was used for the concentration of graves from that area,from 1st December till 31st December,only seven 2/Lts were killed or died of wounds from all the Manchester battalions.

heres the list
john,yeardley Wilkinson
Samuel,benjamin yates
both buried Bethune town cemetery

Charles,w gray
buried st.julien dressing station

john Rowley
Kendrick yorke-jones
both buried poelcapelle british cemetery

Philip ward and john Houghton are unaccounted for,2/Lt Houghton was killed nearly two weeks before 2/Lt ward near Jericho with the 18th manchesters,the fact that the unknown 2/Lt is buried in the same row as 2/Lt yorke-jones and only a few graves away,suggests that both were disinterred from the same location.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 12:26:21 PM »
Wow, is there any way that this can be verified/proved??
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 12:29:28 PM by Steve Ward »
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2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2015, 12:41:28 PM »
Wow, is there any way that this can be verified/proved??
sadly the CWGC wont do anything about it steve,once a soldier is buried,its very very rare that the CWGC will allow a disinterment.

theres another query about Philip,you mention that he was recommended for the MC but it wasn't awarded because they don't award them posthumously,can I ask where the posthumous bit came from

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2015, 01:03:21 PM »
Ok, I had a feeling that would be the case with CWGC, shame but understandable. Do you have any record of what is written on the grave stone please?

Regarding MCs not being awarded posthumously, I really can't remember where I got that from, but I remember that it said that posthumous awarding was a result of a change in the rules towards the end of the 20th century. This Wikipedia ('wrongipedia'??) page alludes to it in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Cross on the 3rd bullet point of Notable Awards. I guess from your question that I might have got the wrong end of the stick...

Cheers,
Steve
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2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2015, 01:22:04 PM »
hiya steve
I haven't seen the headstone so I cant help with that,sorry

awards.
if a soldier is killed or dies of wounds during the action on or around the date of the engagement,he doesn't qualify,but Philips recommendation was for an action two weeks previous,you will on occasion see an award referred to as posthumous,this means the soldier has died since the recommendation

mack ;D

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 01:36:54 PM »
hiya steve
there is one thing you could try,ask the CWGC for the original map co-ordinates for the men reinterred in VIA.A.graves 1 to 10.

mack ;D

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 01:40:17 PM »
Many thanks Mack. I will be going to Ypres on my way home from Bangkok this summer, I will now certainly visit Poelcapelle as well as Tyne Cot. Wow, I am still bowled over by your news. Amazing!

Cheers,
Steve
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Steve Ward

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2015, 04:06:35 AM »
Just received articles from the wonderful Leigh Local Studies, Wigan Council. In Philips's Memorial Service a letter from Major Colley was read, which included,

"...Your son was killed in the morning of the 27th in the support line, while he was [passing] rum to his men. A trench mortar killed him instantaneously, and he suffered no pain. He was buried at company headquarters and everything possible was done."

This certainly confirms that Philip's body was recovered and buried, and could well have been moved with the others to Poelcapelle. I can't wait to get out there to have a good look-see!

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOveUlpSGRyRkk1VHlYWGhTLTY2aktFbmVUbXpV&authuser=1
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9W1GN6EBoOvMHJnRlJxWnJyT1BMUDF0bkcxRG5SVEpkTmNR&authuser=1
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sMzjbzMDTACLtbIkTR9r9pYtKsgx9NOPauTpYXoqryk/edit?usp=sharing (transcript)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 05:37:24 PM by Steve Ward »
Remembering

2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Bn. Manchester Regt. KiA 27/12/17

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2015, 03:21:50 PM »
Great work Steve,
This is incredible detail.  It would be wonderful if you do find certainty of his grave.
T
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
http://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/about/

Offline mack

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Re: 2nd Lt. Philip Ward 17th Battalion "C" Company
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2015, 07:48:01 PM »
the closest thing to certainty,is to find out where the body of the unknown officer was exhumed from,the CWGC should have the map reference,if it matches up with the location of company HQ,you should have a good argument that it is Philips grave.

mack ;D