Herbert Arthur Ward
Service Country: United Kingdom
Date of death: 30/04/1916
Cemetery: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, II. A. 6.
Age of death: 20
Cause: Killed in action
Service number: 3198
Unit: 1st/6th Battalion
Regiment: London Regiment (City of London Rifles)
A few days before the day of Herbert Arthur Ward’s death, men of the 6th London Regiment were occupying the front trenches when they were faced with the enemies bombarding their headquarters and communication trenches with “shrapnel” along with the use of active trench mortars throughout the day. The enemies’ airplane flew over the front trenches causing guns to fire on it causing it to come down behind the German trenches within minutes. However, following a heavy exchange of trench mortars rifle grenades and artillery, the enemy “exploded two mines on the front of the centre sub section at 7pm”, which resulted in two large craters. The crater was immediately seized and consolidated and the enemy were working on the far end of the craters and patrols were seen approaching towards the British front line. The next day was used to strengthen the defences by wiring intervals between craters. The re-entrenchment and an additional Lewis gun made it seem difficult for the enemy to attack with success.
However, 30th April 1916 arrived and German activity increased. It was 6:45pm when the Germans made their move. They exploded two mines close together under the centre of the line held by the battalion. Over 40 men were killed as a result of this explosion. The front trench was no longer recognisable and there were four large craters to be defended.
From this information, it can therefore be assumed that Herbert Arthur Ward’s unpredictable death on the 30th April 1916, was due to the chaotic and turbulent action in the trenches.
The National Archives: War Diary WO 95/2729/2
By Wiktoria and Ashta, Year 12