Arthur Ward Centenary
1st July 2017

Photo: Ranmoor Church & the War MemorialRemembering Arthur Ward

The Ranmoor Bell Ringer who died in the First World War

Memorial Plaque as it would have originally appeared

by Bob Rae 

Photo: St Marie's Pealboard 04/02/1901 Photo: Pealboard 20/05/1910 Photo: Pealboard 7/06/1913

The Bell Ringing Wards

Arthur Ward’s father, Henry, seems to have been the one who encouraged his sons to take up bell ringing. According to a Peal Board in the ringing chamber of St Marie’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Sheffield, Henry was one of the ringers who marked the interment of Queen Victoria in the Royal Mausoleum by ringing a Peal of Bob Major on St Marie’s bells on February 4 1901.

There is no record of Henry ringing at Ranmoor, but Arthur and his 4 older brothers, Alfred, Francis, Maurice and Fred, were all ringers at St John's.

1901 Census  (Ref: RG13/4352 94 6 ED33 e33)
Address: 54 Napier St, Sheffield, WR Yorks

Ref Name NAME Rel cond ageM ageF  Occupation  born  calc
 33-1 Henry  WARD head  44    Table Blade Forger, Cutlery  Norton, Derbys  1857
 33-2 Theresa WARD 

   38  -  Heeley, Derbys  1863
 33-3 Alfred Henry
 Coffin Furniture Maker  Norton, Derbys  1883
 33-4 Francis

 16    Tin Plate Worker  Norton, Derbys  1885
 33-5 Maurice

 13    Green Grocers? Assistant  Norton, Derbys  1888
 33-6 Fred
 11    -  Sheffield, Yorks  1890
 33-7 Arthur

 9    -  Sheffield, Yorks  1892
 33-8 Elsie

   7  -  Sheffield, Yorks  1894
 33-9 Mary

   4  -  Sheffield, Yorks  1897
 33-10 Ernest

 1m    -  Sheffield, Yorks  1901

Alfred, the eldest of the Ward brothers, began ringing at Ranmoor in April 1901 receiving a half salary of 5s 7d a quarter - around 30.45 in today's money - before becoming a fully fledged ringer on a salary of 10s 8d in October 1901- around 62.04 today.

Just over a year later, in July 1902, his younger brother, Francis, joined the St John's band, starting on a half salary that had by then risen to 6s 8d a quarter - 37.22 today - and going on to secure a full ringer's salary of 13s 2d a quarter by March 1903 - 73.64 tooday. In June 1905 Alfred and Francis both rang in a quarter peal of Bob Major at a Sunday evening service, six days before ringing a Quarter Peal of Grandsire Triples for the wedding of Leonard Munns and Miss Reuss. The following month, Maurice Ward joined his brothers as a ringer, earning a half salary of 5s 7d a quarter - or 31.24 in today's money.

Peal Boards in St John's ringing chamber, recording the achievements of its ringers show that in 1905, when Arthur would have been only 13, Francis, a 20 year old tinsmith and metal worker, and older brother Alfred, 22, a coffin furniture maker, were part of a band that rang a Peal of Stedman Triples in two hours 55 minutes.

Later that year, Francis took part in the first Peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major to be rung at the church over a period of three hours and three minutes. It was another three years before Francis, this time with Maurice, a 20 year old insurance agent, took part in the first peal of Original Major at St John's, lasting two hours 57 minutes. By February 1909, Francis had advanced enough to conduct his first Quarter Peal - a Quarter of Grandsire Triples, taking 49 minutes.

In April of the same year, Arthur joined brothers Francis, Maurice, Alfred and Fred ringing for Sunday services. As an inexperienced ringer, he received a salary of 6s 6d a quarter- half that of an experienced ringer and worth about 36.05 in todays money. Later in the year, Alfred, Francis and Maurice were among eight ringers to notch up another first at St John's, the first peal of Oxford Treble Bob Major, taking three hours and six minutes.

In January 1910 Arthur gained recognition as an experienced ringer and his salary increased to 11s a quarter. However, he still lacked sufficient experience to join Alfred, Francis, Maurice and Fred, by then a 20 year old engineering craftsman, when they became part of a Ranmoor band that rang a full muffled Peal of Bob Major to coincide with the funeral of King Edward VII on Friday May 20 1910.

Ward Family achievements recorded on St John's Peal Boards

 Ward Family Members
Bell Ringing Method
17/05/1905  p017
 Alfred & Francis
Peal of Stedman Triples
20/09/1905  p020
First Peal of Double Norwich Court Bob Major
26/06/1908  p027
 Francis & Maurice
First True Peal of Original Major
21/08/1909  p028
 Alfred, Francis & Maurice
First Peal of Oxford Treble Bob Major
20/05/1910  p030
 Alfred, Francis, Maurice & Fred
Fully Muffled Bob Major
07/06/1913  p033
 Francis, Maurice & Arthur
Half Muffled Kent Treble Bob Major
03/09/1913  p034
 Francis & Maurice
First Peal of Superlative Surprise Major

Arthur Ward was the fifth son of Theresa and table blade forger Henry Ward, who himself began ringing in 1888 and rang for 22 years at St Marie's in Sheffield, nowadays the city's Roman Catholic Cathedral.

By the time Arthur was 19 and working for a silver and electroplating company as a silver finisher, the family had moved to Heeley – where Arthur's mother had been born – and was living in Thirlwell Road.

1911 Census  (Ref: RG14/27807 RD509 SD5 ED29 e28)
Address: 47 Thirlwell Rd, Heeley, Sheffield, WR Yorks

Ref Name NAME Rel cond ageM ageF  Occupation  born  calc
28-1 Henry  WARD head m 58yr  54    Table Blade Striker (Forger) 
 Norton, Derbys  1857
28-2 Theresa WARD 
   48  7 of 8 children alive
 Heeley, Derbys  1863
28-3 Francis WARD 
 Tinsmith & Metalworker  
 Norton, Derbys  1885
28-4 Maurice WARD 

 23    Agent 
 Norton, Derbys  1888
28-5 Fred WARD 

 21    Engineers Turner 
 Norton, Derbys  1890
28-6 Arthur WARD 
 19    Silver Finisher 
 Sheffield, Yorks  1892
28-7 Mary Ellen

 14    -  Sheffield, Yorks  1897

 Three years later, aged 21, he joined Francis, 28, Maurice, 25, and five others to ring a muffled peal of Kent Treble Bob Major, lasting three hours and 29 minutes, following the funeral of the Vicar of St John's Ranmoor, the Rev James George Williams.

Following Arthur's death and before his brother Maurice's release from a German Prisoner of War Camp, Francis Ward and wounded veteran, Edward Cockey, joined St John's vicar, The Rev J R Lee Nichols and eight other ringers, including 14 year old Arnold Haynes, to ring throughout the day to mark the end of the War, on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918.

By January 1919, Maurice Ward was back from Germany and ringing again at Ranmoor, with Francis, but that was the last year that they would ring together regularly at the church. Maurice continued to ring at St John's until 1935, while Francis transferred to Sheffield's Anglican Cathedral, returning to Ranmoor to ring on special occasions.

Although neither Maurice nor Francis were present on June 28 1919, when Ranmoor's bells were rung to celebrate the signing of the Peace Treaty at Versailles, Edward Cockey was there, along with 85 year old Francis Allen, who had rung at the conclusion of the Crimea War, and Arnold Haynes, 70 years his junior.

Francis was there when the memorial plaque in the ringing chamber commemorating the death of his brother, Arthur, was unveiled on September 27, 1919, and, with Edward Cockey, took part in ringing a half muffled peal of Bob Major, lasting three hours 19 minutes, with 5,088 changes to mark the occasion.
Francis Ward also took part in a Peal of Grandsire Triples on November 29 1919 and rang in a similar Peal on January 17 1920, to mark the ratification of peace with Germany.

Later that year, on July 1, Francis Ward and Edward Cockey were among Ranmoor ringers taking part in a half muffled Peal of Kent Triple Bob Major in memory of the Sheffield City Battalion.

In March of the following year, Francis returned to St John's, Ranmoor, to take part in ringing a Peal of Grandsire Triples on the 40th anniversary of the first Peal ever rung at Ranmoor.

Two months later, he was back again to ring a half-muffled Quarter Peal of Double Norwich, with Edward Cockey, to mark the unveiling of the Memorial Cross at St John's, by the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Leonard Burrows.

Francis also returned in July 1924 to take part in a half-muffled Peal of Kent Treble Bob Major, in memory of long serving Ranmoor ringer Sam Thomas who died on June 28 and had been ringing since October 1896. Records show Francis continued to be registered as a ringer at Sheffield’s Anglican Cathedral until 1965, when he would have been 80 years old and would have been ringing there for half his lifetime.

Photo: 1937 Sheffield Cathedral ringers,
1937 Photograph of 12 Sheffield Cathedral ringers,
including Francis Ward (front row, 2nd from right)

Back Left: L Charlesworth, J. Thorpe, H. Naylor, M. Wilson, F. Adams,
Front Left: H. Bower, H. Thorpe, R. Long, J. Palmer, P. Knights, F. Ward, J. Holman.

 Read more about Arthur Ward in the First World War (I/IV)

 Read about more about Ranmoor's Fallen (III/IV)

 Read about Visit to Arthur Ward's Grave (IV/IV)
 See also Arthur Ward Memorial Plaque

See also Centenary Quarter Peal

End of Article

Versions of this article have appeared in:
  Inspire (Ranmoor Parish Magazine, June 2017),
  The Ringing World (June 16 2017, RW5538:0596 and Roll of Honour 23 June 201, RW5539:0623), and
  The Star, Sheffield (01/07/2017) Brief  article online, fuller article in print in Retro section, and
  Hallam News, Aug 2017 Ed331, p12, and
  ITV Calendar news, 1st July 2017.

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