Corporal Ernest Alfred Ward, 1896-1918
Ernest Alfred WARD (c.1896–1918)
Ernest Alfred Ward was born in c.1896, the son of Henry George Ward (born in Marston and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 23 December 1868) and Emily Knibb (born in Abingdon c.1871 but decribed as of St Clement’s in Oxford at the time of her marriage). His parents were married on 7 June1892 and had the following children:
* Emily Louisa Ward (born in Marston and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church in September 1892)
* Cecil John King Ward (born in Marston and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 26 August 1894)
* Ernest Alfred Ward (born in Marston and baptised at St Nicholas’s Church on 20 September 1896)
* Henry George Ward (born in Marston in 1898, birth registered third quarter).
Ernest’s father was originally a farm labourer. The 1901 census shows the family living in Old Marston. Ernest was then a schoolboy of four, and his father a gardener. The situation was similar in the 1911 census, when Ernest (14) was an errand boy.
In the First World War Ernest Alfred Ward served as a Corporal in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 201394). He was killed in action at the Somme in France at the age of 21 on 21 March 1918. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Pozières Memorial (Panel 50 and 51) and on the Roll of Honour of St Nicholas’s Church, Old Marston.
Ernest’s brother Henry was also killed at the Somme twenty months earlier on 23 July 1916.