Thomas Ward - A Colour-Sergeant in the 84th Regiment of Foot

In November 2014 I was working in Walkley Cemetery (Friends of Walkley Cemetery). The section we were clearing was section B and during the course of the clearance I came across the family grave of Thomas Ward. (It was in the same row as that of the Wells family who son Walter died in France in 1917). I was intrigued by the paet-inscription "Late Colour Sergt 84th Regt" My colleague mentioned that he had been in correspondence with a descendent of Thomas in regard to locating family graves in the cemetery. I contacted the descendent and sent a photo of the cleared grave and asked permission to use details for this article. The reply I received was astounding as you will see from the article

B616 (MI)
In loving memory of / THOMAS WARD / (Late Colour Sergt 84th Regt) / the beloved husband of / FANNY WARD / who died May 26th 1898 aged 70 years / "Thy will be done" /
Also of SARAH ANN wife of the late / GEORGE CLARKE / and sister-in-law of the above / THOMAS WARD / who died Nov 23rd 1904 aged 66 years / "In sure and certain hope of a / glorious resurrection"

The burial registers of the Cemetery have this additional information

B616 (Burial Registers)
WARD Thomas 30 May 1897 174 Walkley Crescent Rd 72 Thomas Smith
WARD Fanny Tivifitt 31 Jul 1916 174 Walkley Crescent Rd. 76 Sydney T.G. Smith
CLARKE Sarah Ann 26 Nov 1904 174 Walkley Crescent Rd. 66 Sydney T.G. Smith

Thomas and Fanny were married in East Barkwith, Lincolnshire, England (a village about 13 mils north east of Lincoln

Name: Thomas Ward
Gender: Male
Age: 35
Birth Date: 1824
Marriage Date: 1859
Marriage Place: East Barkwith, Lincolnshire, England
Father: John Ward
Spouse: Fanny Twofit Doubleday
FHL Film Number: 1450479 Reference ID: 2:3HGDK05

Two years later in 1861 the couple are in Salford, Lancashire.

Name: Thomas Ward Age: 37
Estimated Birth Year: 1824
Relation: Husband Spouse's Name: Fanny T Ward
Where born: Buttervant  Co, Cork, Ireland
Civil Parish: Salford Ecclesiastical parish: St Bartholomew County/Island: Lancashire Country: England
Street address: Registration district: Salford
Sub-registration district: Regent Road ED, institution, or vessel: Infantry Barracks Regent Road Salford
Household schedule number:1 Piece:2923 Folio:75 Page Number:3
Household Members: 
Name Age Thomas Ward 37 Fanny T Ward 22

In the 1881 Census they are living in Sheffield

Name: Thomas Ward
Age: 54 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1827
Relationship to Head: Head Spouse: Fanny T. Ward
Where born: Ireland
Civil Parish: Sheffield County/Island: Yorkshire Country: England
Street address: 20 Paradise Sq 
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Chelsea Pensioner
Registration district: Sheffield Sub registration district: West Sheffield ED, institution, or vessel: 2
Piece: 4641 Folio: 22 Page Number: 3
Household Members: Name Age Thomas Ward 54 Fanny T. Ward 40

But what these documents hide is the colourful life Thomas had in the British Army.  Papers relating to the discharge of Thomas from the Army still survive in the National Archives. The proceedings of the discharge that took place in the Curragh Camp Ireland on 11th June 1864 are below. Thomas served in the British Army for 21 year and 4 days during which he spent 17 years and 5 months in the East Indies. He started his service on the 10th June 1839 as an "under age" private (14 years old) and then drummer and over the years he secured numerous promotions, reaching the rank of colour-sergeant in December 1857. He also received recognition in the form of a Good Conduct Medal and the Lucknow Star for the part he played in the siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny 

Thomas really did have an exemplary Army record and according to the papers, he left the Army with a record any man would have been proud of. His intended address on leaving the Army was 14 Robert Street Grosvenor Square London.  


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This page was last updated on 22/11/14 08:58