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Person Details
He was born in 1900 (birth registered Jul/Aug/Sep), the fourth child and second son of Artemus and Maria Elizabeth Ward. Claude had four siblings; Mary Elizabeth, Evelyn Doris (also described as 'Doris Evelyn'), Albert Victor and Horace Donald. In 1901 Artemus, a printer's paper cutter, and Elizabeth and their four children, Mary Elizabeth (7), Evelyn Doris (4), Albert Victor (3) and Claude William (1), were living at 211 Waterway Street, Meadows, Nottingham. Their youngest child, Horace Donald, was born about 1910 for he was one year old at the time of the 1911 census when the family was living at 8 St Saviour's Street, Meadows, Nottingham. When Claude enlisted in 1917 the family's address was 96 London Road, Meadows, Nottingham. A statement of Claude's living relatives was completed by the family in 1919; both his parents were still living and they and their four surviving, unmarried, children were now living at 72 Henry Road, West Bridgford.
He was employed as a warehouseman (hosiery) when he enlisted in 1917.
27 May 1918
1760589 - CWGC Website
96 London Road, Nottingham
15th Bn Durham Light Infantry
He attested in Nottingham on 5 July 1917, transferred to Army Reserve 6 July 1917, rejoined on mobilization 11 September 1917 and was posted (Training Reserve Bn) at Catterick 13 September 1917. He transferred to 4th DLI at Seaham 5 December 1917. He committed three minor misdemeanours while serving in England: 29 December 1917, 'Improper conduct in not saluting an officer', 3 days confined to barracks; 12 January 1918, 'Loss by neglect 1 oil bottle, 1 mess tin cover', pay for deficiencies; 4 February 1918, 'Allowing his pack to become unserviceable by (?)', to pay for damage. He embarked from Folkestone in April 1918 for France and served in France from 3 April 1918. In the two months before his death he reported sick three times with minor illnesses. He served a total of 329 days: Home: 5 July 1917-2 April 1918 (272 days), France 3 April 1918-27/29 May 1918 (59 days). His service record is annotated: 'Posted missing France 27/29 May 1918. Death presumed by the War Office on lapse of time as having occurred on or since 27/29 May 1918.’ His family did not receive confirmation of Claude's death until the following year. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 22 August 1919: 'Ward. Missing May 27th 1918 now reported killed, Private CW Ward, age 18 years, Durham Light Infantry, son of Mr and Mrs A Ward, London Road. Mother, father, brothers, sisters, and (-).' His service documents include a letter dated 21 August 1920 from the Colonel in Charge, No 1 Infantry Records, York, to Claude's mother, at 72 Henry Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham: ‘Madam, With reference to your letter of the 18th instant respecting your late son No 75692 Pte CW Ward 15th Bn Durham Light Infantry, I regret I am unable to inform you the colour of his eyes as this information is not shown in the late soldier’s documents.’ His mother's letter is also in the service documents; it is almost illegible but the words, ‘colour of his eyes’, is clear.
Remembered on