Gilbert WARD
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 64424
Unit: C Company, 1st Battalion QUEEN'S (ROYAL WEST SURREY) REGIMENT
Date of Death: 27 October 1918
Age: 21
Cemetery: Awoingt British Cemetery, Nord, France

Edward Ward and Sarah Chadwick are believed to have married in 1896 at St Mary's Church, Moston, Manchester. They lived at 166 Coppice Street, Oldham and Gilbert was born in the area the following year. Edward was employed as a solicitor's clerk. By 1914, they had been living at 1 Huntley Road, Cheadle Heath for some time. Gilbert had been educated at Stockport Grammar School. It's not known what he did for a living but, in his spare time, he was Assistant Scoutmaster of the 1st Cheadle Heath Troop.

When War came, Gilbert was not an early volunteer and it may have been as late as 1916 when he joined up as a conscript. He was assigned to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (service number 5027) but this was for training purposes only. Before going overseas, he was transferred to the Surreys.

Gilbert was badly wounded in action and died at an army field hospital. It cannot be known for certain when he received these wounds but men did not stay long at these casualty clearing stations. It is probable, therefore, that he was injured during the last time the Battalion was in action - on the morning of the 26th. The Battalion's War Diary, held at the National Archives, notes that they carried out "special operations" north east of the village of Englefontaine. A report of the operations is no longer with the Diary and little further is known, other than the village was wrested from German hands that day, with the Queens attacking from the north and another battalion attacking from the south.

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