b. 11/11/1892 Whitechurch, Dorset. d. 16/04/1916 Mesopotamia.
Sidney William Ware (1892-1916) was born on 11th November 1892 at Winterbourne, Whitechurch, Dorset, the son of William Uriah and Maud Ware. He was educated at the Church of England Boys' School, Whitchurch and enlisted into the British Army on 29 November 1911. He served with the 1st Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's) 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 Dehra 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.
On 6th April 1916, at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, 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 10 April, he was seriously wounded and brought back to the Persian Gulf.
He was evacuated to Rawalpindi Hospital, near Basra, where he sadly died of his wounds on 16th April 1916. He was buried in Amara War Cemetery, 150 miles south of Baghdad, but in 1933, due to deterioration of the soil, the headstones were removed, and the names of all of the men buried there were placed on a memorial wall.
He was gazetted on 26th September 1916 and his parents received his VC from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 28th February 1917. In addition to his VC, he was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. His medals are held by the Queen’s Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George, Inverness-shire, Scotland.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: QUEENS OWN HIGHLANDERS, FORT GEORGE.
BURIAL PLACE: AMARAH WAR CEMETERY, AMARAH, IRAQ.
Sidney Ware's medals including VC on display at Queens Own Highlanders Museum, Fort George (Picture courtesy of Thomas Stewart).
ORIGINAL GRAVE -
PLOT VI, ROW H, GRAVE 1.
St Marys, Winterbourne, Dorset (Steve Lee)
War Illustrated, 14th October 1916
Both the above memorials are in St Peter's, Milton Lilborne, Wiltshire (courtesy of Memorials to Valour)