Sergeant Philip W Ward

Philip Walter Ward was the son of Walter and Edith Ward of Fincham, Norfolk. Philip joined the Fincham Home Guard in 1941, aged 16.

In 15 April 1943 he was called up into the General Service Corps in Beverley. He was posted to the Cheshire Regiment Depot where he trained as a machine gunner and then to 2nd Bn Cheshire Regiment before volunteering for airborne forces.

Private Ward qualified as a military parachutist on course 115, which ran at RAF Ringway in May 1944. It was noted on the course that he "worked hard". He was initially posted to No2 Airborne Forces Holding Unit at Clay Cross near Chesterfield, before being posted to 9th Parachute Battalion at Bulford as a reinforcement.

Posted to Normandy in July 1944, he served as No. 2 on the Vickers MMG of Cpl James McGuinness MM. He participated in the break-out to the Seine in August and saw action at Dozule, Pont L'Eveque and Beuzeville.

Pte Ward fought in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944-5 and took part in the funeral of the young men shot by the Germans as spies in Bande.

He parachuted in as part of the Rhine Crossings during Operation Varsity in March 1945, subsequently advancing to the Baltic with the 3rd Parachute Brigade.

Following the end of the war, Sergeant Ward served with the 9th Bn in Palestine until demob in September 1947.

With information kindly supplied by John Ward.

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Philip Ward

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  • MMG Platoon, 9th Para Bn. Jerusalem, 1945. 

    MMG Platoon, 9th Para Bn. Jerusalem, 1945. 

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  • Philip Ward with old comrades. Merville Battery, 2018.

    Philip Ward with old comrades. Merville Battery, 2018.

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