1900, Lindley

WARD, CHARLES, Private, was born 10 July 1877, at Leeds, the son of Mr George Ward. He was educated at Primrose Hill School, Leeds. On 29 April 1897, he enlisted in the 1st Battalion York­shire Light Infantry, and served with this battalion for two years, joining the 2nd Battalion at Wynberg, Cape Colony. Owing to the severe wound he received, he has only two clasps to his South African Medal, for Cape Colony and Free State. When he won the Victoria Cross his company and commanding officers were Captain Wittycombe and Lieutenant Colonel Barter, CB, with Major-General A H Paget, CVO, as Chief. On his discharge from the service the citizens of Leeds presented him with a testimonial and £600, together with a commemorative medal in gold by Mr William Owen. His Victoria Cross was gazetted 28 September 1900: "Charles Ward, Private, 2nd Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Date of Act of Bravery: 26 June 1900. On the 26th June,1900, at Lindley, a picquet of the Yorkshire Light Infantry was surrounded on three sides by about 500 Boers at close quarters. The two officers were wounded, and all but six of the men were killed or wounded. Private Ward then volunteered to take a message asking for reinforcements to the signalling station, about 150 yards in the rear of the post. His offer was at first refused, owing to the practical certainty of his being shot; but on his insisting, he was allowed to go. He got across untouched through a storm of shots from each flank, and having delivered his message, he voluntarily retired from a place of absolute safety and recrossed the fire-swept ground to assure his commanding officer that the message had been sent. On this occasion he was severely wounded. But for this gallant action the post would certainly have been captured".

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