Fred Ward was born in 1880, the son of Thelstan and Ann Ward, who at the time of the 1881 census were living at Killinghall Road, Eccleshill.In 1907 Fred married Edith Pullan and at the time of the 1911 census they were living at Grove Lodge, Apperley Bridge and had a one-year-old daughter, Edith May.On 29 June 1917, the Shipley Times & Express carried this report:Pte Fred Ward, West Yorks, of Apperley Bridge, has died of wounds.Before joining the army he was engineer at Woodhouse Grove School and took a great interest in the Sunday School. He was superintendent teacher, trustee and poor steward.The matron of a hospital in France has written to Mrs Ward as follows:“My thoughts are with you for I know how keenly you must feel the sad news about your husband, Pte F Ward, No 235046. He was brought to this hospital dangerously
wounded in the abdomen.“Everything that could be done was done and he had every care and attention but all of no avail and he died very peacefully at 10.15 a.m. on 25th May.“I am happy to be able to tell you he did not suffer but just slipped away. He is buried in a cemetery near here and a cross will be put up to mark the grave.“With my heartfelt sympathy and may God give you courage and grace to bear your sorrow bravely.”The following week, the paper carried another report:At a service held recently in the Wesleyan Church, Woodhouse Grove, Apperley Bridge, the Rev Edward Rees referred to the death of Pte Fred Ward, who was killed by a German shell a few weeks ago.The reverend gentleman spoke of the deceased as a brother beloved, whose departure is deeply regretted
by all who knew him.Before joining the army, Pte Ward held the office of Poor Steward in the Church and was an active worker in the Sunday School.The headmaster of Woodhouse Grove School, Mr W J Walker, had borne witness to Pte Ward’s sterling worth and high sense of duty as a trusted servant at the school where he acted as engineer.One of his comrades had written to say that when Pte Ward was wounded, “he stuck it like a hero” and expressed regret that he was causing so much trouble to those who were helping him.His friend said that if ever a man did his duty that man was Fred Ward. “He never grumbled at anything he had to do and was in every way a true friend and comrade.”One of the stretcher bearers who carried him to the clearing station, wrote: “Fred Ward was one of the
best chaps it was possible to come across and he was admired and respected by everybody with whom he came in contact.”Mr Rees proceeded to say that those who had known him long before this final test of his character felt sure that, whoever might fail in the day of trial, Fred Ward would be faithful.They thanked God for the memory of this good man who was as modest and lowly-minded as he was upright and sincere. He was attached to the Grove and looked forward to his return. Instead he had been laid to his rest in the land where so many of our best and truest sons are lying.He had done his duty and we must reverently leave the questions we cannot answer. It was well with our brother.A large number of friends and relatives attended the service which was of a most helpful character throughout.
On 21 May 1918, Fred’s family took up most of the local paper’s In Memoriam column with their tributes