13 October 1889 — 3 October 1963
Trooper. Auckland Mounted Rifles. Serial no. 24945
Benjamin Ward, the youngest child of Benjamin Ward and Mary Ann Lys, Ruahine, Southland, was born in Woodend, on the southern outskirts of Invercargill. Benjamin was working as railway fireman when he enlisted on 10 February 1916.
On 10 July 1916, Benjamin embarked on the HMNZT 58: ’Waihora’ for Egypt with B Squadron, 14th Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles (116 troops under Captain Millard). On 21 August 1916, a day after arriving in Suez, he was posted to the Auckland Mounted Rifles Training Regiment, Moascar, and on 2 October he joined the regiment in the Field.
Ben served the remainder of the war with the ANZAC Mounted Division in Sinai and Palestine — apart from several periods of illness (tonsillitis, 20 February 1917 — 29 April 1917; swollen knees, 1 November 1917 — 22 November 1917; dental work, 13 February 1918 — 12 May 1918).
Following the capture of Amman on 25 September 1918, he was diagnosed with malaria. (In October 1918 almost the entire the regiment was struck down with malaria. By November the regiment had 11 officers and 331 other ranks in hospital; 22 died of the disease.) On 3 December 1918, Ben was approved for medical discharge (post malarial disability) and was repatriated to New Zealand on the S.S. Nestor, arriving 23 February 1919. Public - Michael - Other relative - 11 November 2019 - Sources: Military Personnel File; Family history.