A Rare Veteran of Arnhem Group to the Parachute Regiment
A Rare Veteran of Arnhem Group to the Parachute Regiment - 1939-1945 Star; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; War Medal 1939-1945; General Service Medal 1918-1962, GVIR, 1 Clasp - PALESTINE 1945-48 (5350636 PTE. F. WARD. A.A.C.); Korea Medal (C/KX.859169 F. WARD L.S.M. R.N.); United Nations Korea Medal; General Service Medal 1962-2007, 1 Clasp - BORNEO (KX.859169 F. WARD. MECH. 1. R.N.); Naval General Service Medal 1915-1962, QEII, 1 Clasp - NEAR EAST (KX.859169 F. WARD. MECH. 1. R.N.); and Royal Naval Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, QEII (KX.859169 F. WARD. MECH. 1. H.M.S. PEMBROKE.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, tarnish marks on the silver medals, glue residue on the replacement ribbons from previous board mounting, better than very fine. Accompanied by a Parachute Regiment Cap Badge (silvered bronze, 40.3 mm x 67.5 mm, intact slider), a Royal Navy Petty Officer's Cap Badge (gold and silver bullion, silver anchor, maroon felt in the crown, touches of red, green and blue embroidery in the base of the crown, on a black felt base, 59 mm x 90 mm) and a Reproduction Photograph of Ward in his Royal Navy Uniform (black and white, board-mounted, 90 mm x 107 mm). Also included is his father, Frank Ward Senior's Special Constabulary Long Service Medal, GVR (FRANK N. WARD) on its original ribbon, extremely fine. Footnote: Frank Ward was born in 1926. He enlisted with the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a Private, on January 9, 1942 but told the recruiting officer that he was born in 1924, thus making him actually sixteen years old when he enlisted and not the required age of eighteen. The following year, from May 15, 1943 to December 9, 1943, Private Ward was in active service himself in North Africa and was part of the Allied invasion of Sicily. Upon the ceasing of hostilities in Italy, Ward was transferred to the Army Air Corps on March 4, 1943, joining the Parachute Regiment, the infamous "Red Devils", in the North Western Europe theatre. Ward participated in the Battle of Arnhem in Holland in September 1944, as part of Colonel John Frost's gallant band of men of the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, that captured and held the Bridge at Arnhem. They securing one end of the bridge and were confronted by tremendous odds. However, the men were captured by the German armored units that swamped the small band of Paratroopers. Although captured, Ward managed to escape during the chaotic aftermath of the battle and worked his way back to Allied Lines. In a letter from General Dwight D. Eisenhower to Major-General R.E. Urquhart D.S.O., Commander, 1st Airborne, dated October 1944, the General stated that "For nine days they checked the fury of the Hun and when, on the 26th September, they came out a proud and haughty band - paratroopers, air-landing men, glider pilots, clerks, cooks and batmen, soldiers all - 2,000 strong out of 7,500 that entered the battle." 1,485 Allied troops were killed or died from their wounds as a result of Operation Market Garden, with 6,525 taken Prisoner of War. In the book, "Heroes in History", it quotes an extract from a despatch of the War Correspondent for the Combined Press, describing the fine qualities of the men who fought at Arnhem: "If, in years to come, a man says to you "I fought with the Arnhem Airborne Force" take your hat off to him, for he is of the stuff of which England's greatness is made. The few of Arnhem will rank in glory with the few of the Battle of Britain." In his Release Leave Certificate, it noted that "Private Ward has served in the Army for four and a half years, three and a half with the Parachute Regiment. He saw active service in Sicily and at Arnhem where he was taken P.O.W. A good clean soldier, he can be relied upon to give his best at any job he is doing." After the conclusion of the Second World War, Ward continued to see further active service in Palestine, from March 24 to December 16, 1946, before being discharged from active service on September 6, 1948. After a brief stay in civilian life, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, seeing action during the Korean War of 1950-1053, the Near East Suez Crisis of 1956 and the Borneo Campaign of 1960, concluding his career in the Royal Navy as a Mechanician First Class. Ward retired in 1967, after serving twenty-five years in the Armed Forces and died in 1994.