WARD, James

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Retlaw, Alberta
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
36 years 10 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:         4th Canadian Infantry Division
                                             10th Infantry Brigade
                                             50th Battalion  -  Calgary
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   696874
RESIDENCE:                    Retlaw - Alberta
DATE OF BIRTH:            October 6, 1880
                                             Varna – Goderich / Stanley Townships – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           August 25, 1917                   36 years     10 months
MEMORIAL:                     Vimy Memorial – Vimy
                                             Pas de Calais - France
MOTHER:                          Mrs. Martha Ward – Egmondville – Ontario
FATHER:                           Mr. Thomas Ward – Wetaskiwin – Saskatchewan
BROTHER:                        Mr. Edward Ward – Orofino – Clearwater – Idago – USA
FRIEND:                             Mrs. G. / Miss Berna Hernderson / Sylvia Henderson – Gull Lake - Saskatchewan
Occupation:                        Farmer                                  Religion:     Methodist
Enlistment:                         April 26, 1916 – Retlaw - Alberta
Enlistment Age:                 35 years     7 months

During the months of July and August 1916, Private Ward was absent without leave for 4 days total and forfeited his pay for that period he was absent. Private Ward sailed with his unit from Halifax on October 4, 1916 on the SS Saxonia and disembarked in Liverpool on October 13, 1916. Private ward then went to Seaford with the 21st Reserve Battalion on January 10, 1917, then to Bramshott and overseas on March 21, 1917 leaving the reinfocment area on April 19th and joined the 50th Battalion already in the field. 
The final act in the fight for Hill 70 took place on August 25, 1917 when the 50th Battalion advanced and attacked Aloof Trench behind a very effective rolling barrage. They achieved their objective with light casualties.  
On the day of the attack the weather was fine with dry ground and light winds from the north-west. The Battalion was located at Resevoir Hill. The objective was to capture Aloof Trench, destroy all dugouts and establish posts to secure junctions of Cotton/Aloof & Colza/Aloof Trenches.
At 2 am the enemy artillery opened up onto the infantry starting their advance to Aloof Trench. Once again they felt they were advancing into the Valley of Death. They advanced unchallenged and failed to come up against the enemy. They feared death from every turn as they advanced up the enemy trench. No enemy. It was bare! During the night the enemy had pulled back knowing that in the morning the Canadians were coming.
They pushed forward another 200 yards with strong patrols and machine gunners.
Enemy artillery then fell on Battalion front but was ineffective and stopped about 5:30 am.
The casualties at midday of August 25th were 18 men missing, 38 men wounded and 11 men having been gassed.
The lone fatal casualty of this day was Private Ward who was killed in the line of duty, in the field and performing his duties.