Sidney William Ware V.C. (1892-1916)

Sidney William Ware was born on November 11, 1892 at Whatcombe in the Parish of Winterbourne Whitchurch, Dorset, England. the son of William Ware, a dairyman, and his wife Maude. He was one of eight brothers of a family of 13.

Sidney was educated at the Church of England Boys’ School at Winterbourne Whitchurch. He was always a very steady and trustworthy man who was very fond of football and reading. Like many young men of his generation he probably saw little future in working the land and enlisted into the Army on the 29th November 1911. He served with the 1st Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders and was with his battalion at Agra in India at the start of the First World War in 1914.

His battalion, which was part of Debra Dun Brigade of the 7th (Meerut) Division, immediately returned to Europe with the Indian Expeditionary Force and landed in France in October, where it was in action almost immediately. Corporal Ware was wounded in November and after ten days leave on discharge from hospital, he returned to France. His battalion remained with the same brigade, now re-titled the 19th Indian Brigade, still part of the 7th (Meerut) Division, with it he was sent to Mesopotamia. Here he was again wounded in January 1916, before returning to duty a few months later.

It was then that he won his Victoria Cross on the 6th April 1916. During an engagement when the order was given to withdraw to the safety of a communications trench, Corporal Ware, whose cool gallantry had been very marked during the advance, was one of the few men remaining unwounded. He then picked up a wounded man and carried him some 200 yards to cover and then returned for many others, moving to and fro under very heavy fire for more than two hours, until he had brought in all of the wounded and was completely exhausted. However, although he was not injured on this occasion, he was not to be presented with his Victoria Cross as, a few days later, on the 10th April, he was seriously wounded and brought back to the Persian Gulf. He died at the Rawalpindi Hospital on the 16th April and was buried in the Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.

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