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Commemorative Stone To Be Laid To Honour Mansfield Soldier

5th July 2017
News, Mansfield

Commemorative Stone To Be Laid To Honour Mansfield Soldier

A new stone commemorating the military service of Mansfield soldier, Driver Albert Henry Ward will be unveiled at a special ceremony at the Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial at Carr Bank Park, Mansfield on Saturday the 22nd of July. The ceremony will begin at 11am.

The ceremony will mark the end of a long journey for Driver Ward’s family as they will finally see recognition for the price he paid in serving his country.

Albert Ward who lived on Leeming Lane North, Mansfield Woodhouse, joined the army for three years in 1929 at the age of 18, then as soon as war broke out ten years later, he signed up again.

In September 1939 Albert was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force. He was transferred to RASC and served with it until being rescued from Dunkirk. He later saw active service in North Africa where he was wounded and hospitalized in May 1943. On discharge from hospital, he was sent to Italy, then Egypt, Syria and Palestine. In February 1945, he was back in Italy, then Greece, back to Italy, and then Austria until May 1945.

In May 1945, he was diagnosed as having Tuberculosis, hospitalized in Italy until February 1946, taken to Chester military hospital in the UK, then discharged in September 1946 as "permanently unfit for any form of military service, with 100% pulmonary tuberculosis". He later died on the 26th November 1948, aged 37 in Ransom Wood Sanitorium, just outside Mansfield.

Albert’s death certificate clearly states the cause of death as being due to Tuberculosis.

 Due to that fact that Albert died after the war he does not appear on any roll of honour for military personnel; even though his cause of death is directly attributable to his service and active duty in the war.

Albert’s Granddaughter, Karen Dowsing, has been trying for years to get some recognition for her Grandfather, which is why she approached Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial Fund to see if his name could be added to the 10 other service men from the District already commemorated.

Karen spoke of her delight at finally getting recognition for her Grandfather; “I'm so proud of him and I find this all really touching. It's taken me so long to get him commemorated and it’s been a long road, but now, everything that is being done for him makes it all worthwhile.”

“Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial exists to pay tribute to those from Mansfield and District that have paid the ultimate price because of their Military service. The main wall of the Memorial carries the names of those killed in action since the end of WWII, whereas the two Rose Gardens either side of it are dedicated to those who died due to service but cannot be featured on the wall. We are honoured to be able to pay respect to Driver Ward and the price he paid for defending his country by place a stone bearing his name in one of the Rose Gardens. He fought through virtually the entire War and his death is clearly due to that service and as such it is only right that he is remembered,” said a Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial spokesperson.

The ceremony to recognise Driver Ward will include the laying of wreaths by Karen and Albert’s sisters. The Mayor of Mansfield, will lay a wreath on behalf of the District Council and the Last Post will be played at 11.11am with members of the Royal British Legion lowering their Standards in respect.

Veterans, services’ personnel and members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony and are asked to arrive not later than 10.45am at the Memorial which is at the Bath Lane end of Carr Bank Park.

 

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