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Ward, Richard Ernest Harding - MC TD

Rank : Lieutenant Colonel

Army Number : 89628

Unit : 2/5th Bn, 7th Bn, 1/5th Bn

Biography :

Educated at Tonbridge School, Richard ('Dick') Ward made one appearance for Leicester FC's 1st XV in 1929. He was commissioned as 2nd Lt in 2/5th Bn The Leicestershire Regiment (TA) on 17.6.1939, and posted to the ITC of the Regiment at Glen Parva Barracks on 8.9.1939. Attended a month-long Wireless Telegraphy course at Hythe, Kent in Nov/Dec 1939. Posted as an instructor to 164 OCTU at Colchester on 24.4.1940. Posted to 7th Leicesters at Nottingham in rank of Acting Captain in Sep 1940 and promoted Temporary Major on 12.6.1941. Attended course at Senior Officers School in Spring 1942. From 5.6.1942 to 20.6.1943 (wef 9.9.1942 as Temporary Lt Col (and War Substantive Major)) he was CO 1/5th Leicesters at Minster and later at Wrotham, Kent (where the Bn's role was Pre-OCTU training). After a year in command and successfully seeking active service at his own request, he spent July 1943 at No 5 Infantry Depot at Wrexham before proceeding to North Africa. On 8.8.1943 he was posted as 2IC of 5th Bn The Sherwood Foresters in Tunisia, relinquishing his Lt Colcy. On 16.9.1943 (at Salerno, Italy) he became 2IC of 5th Bn The Hampshire Regiment. Awarded the M.C. (L.G. 13.1.1944) for his work in command of that Bn at Cava, Salerno, Italy, 25-28 Sep 1943. Formally appointed CO on 12.10.1943, three days later during the crossing of the Volturno River on 15.10.1943 he was severely wounded in the lower face (compound fracture of the mandible). After 14 months' hospitalisation in Naples, Malta, Cairo, Bristol and Bradford and sufficiently recovering from his wounds, he became 2IC of 5th Bn The East Yorkshire Regt at Malton on 30.12.1944, and was CO from 17.1.1945 to 11.4.1945 in the temporary rank of Lt Col. He thus commanded three battalions in three different regiments during the war. Awarded T.D. on 21.4.1950. After the war he was appointed CO of 1st Bn The Leicestershire Home Guard from 1952-10.9.1955, when he retired from TARO. In civilian life he was Director of Freeman Hardy and Willis in Leicester (a position he was authorised to maintain throughout the Second World War), and a Governor of Leicester Royal Infirmary. He died on 9.1.1996, aged 90 years.

Date of Birth : 25.6.1905

Place of Birth : Leicester

Date of Death : 9.1.1996

Place of Death : Leicester

Civil Occupation : Shoe trade - Freeman Hardy & Willis

Period of Service : 1939-55

Conflicts : WW2

Places Served : UK, Tunisia, Italy

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