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View Full Version : Sgt J. A. Ward (VC) & Mr Churchill



snafu73
09-25-2008, 05:44 PM
When I saw the following letter in a national newspaper here in the UK I knew there would be some people here who would appreciate it being posted here:

"...Sgt James Allen Ward won his VC in 1941 for climbing onto the wing of his Wellington bomber, 13,000ft above the Zuider Zee, secured only by a rope round his waist, to put out a fire on the starboard engine.

Winston Chuchill summoned the shy New Zealander to Downing Street, but the lad was struck dumb by the occasion. Churchill told him: 'You must feel very awkward in my presence.'

'Yes, sir,' whispered Ward.

'Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours,' said Churchill."

My eyes where quite moist when I read that.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

snafu73
09-25-2008, 05:44 PM
When I saw the following letter in a national newspaper here in the UK I knew there would be some people here who would appreciate it being posted here:

"...Sgt James Allen Ward won his VC in 1941 for climbing onto the wing of his Wellington bomber, 13,000ft above the Zuider Zee, secured only by a rope round his waist, to put out a fire on the starboard engine.

Winston Chuchill summoned the shy New Zealander to Downing Street, but the lad was struck dumb by the occasion. Churchill told him: 'You must feel very awkward in my presence.'

'Yes, sir,' whispered Ward.

'Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours,' said Churchill."

My eyes where quite moist when I read that.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

WTE_Galway
09-25-2008, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by snafu73:
When I saw the following letter in a national newspaper here in the UK I knew there would be some people here who would appreciate it being posted here:

"...Sgt James Allen Ward won his VC in 1941 for climbing onto the wing of his Wellington bomber, 13,000ft above the Zuider Zee, secured only by a rope round his waist, to put out a fire on the starboard engine.

Winston Chuchill summoned the shy New Zealander to Downing Street, but the lad was struck dumb by the occasion. Churchill told him: 'You must feel very awkward in my presence.'

'Yes, sir,' whispered Ward.

'Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours,' said Churchill."

My eyes where quite moist when I read that.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I for one am impressed.

Low_Flyer_MkIX
09-26-2008, 12:44 AM
Appreciated indeed. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

On a similar - but much lighter - note, I was reading a book about Bomber Command last night and came across the story of David Walker, who was summoned to Buckingham Palace to recieve a DFC from the king.

He stood in line behind a big, burly Royal Marine Commando. Ahead of him were a dozen ATS who had been well-instructed for the brief ceremony - three paces forwards, curtsey, shake hands and receive medal. The nervous commando was so mesmerised by this routine that when his name was called he automatically followed suit. One, two, three, curtsey, two, three, shake, two, three...his face was scarlet when he marched away.

WTE_Googly
09-26-2008, 05:50 AM
It should be remembered that Ward was killed over Hamburg by a night fighter, barely 2 months after the action for which he was decorated.


I am somewhat reminded of another story, this one about a pilot who was posthumously awareded the VC solely on the evidence of a German U-boat officer:


"...Schamong remembered the Atlantic action vividly: "We opened deadly
fire from our `two 20mm cannons' and the first salvo at a distance of
2000m set the plane on fire. Despite this, Trigg continued his
attack. He did not give up as we thought and hoped. His plane. . .
flew deeper and deeper. We could see our deadly fire piercing through
his hull. And when Trigg was almost over us we saw his `ash cans'
coming down on us and (they) exploded and damaged the boat to death."

It was not surprising Schamong expected Trigg to "give up" because on
an earlier patrol the sub's flak frightened off a Grumman Avenger
from a US carrier escorting an Atlantic convoy.

Schamong told Arculus that he informed interrogators after his rescue
that "such a gallant fighter as Trigg would have been decorated in
Germany with the highest medal or order...".

http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/u-boat-cap...nner-found-7724.html (http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/u-boat-captain-who-shot-down-nz-vc-winner-found-7724.html)

waffen-79
09-26-2008, 05:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by snafu73:
When I saw the following letter in a national newspaper here in the UK I knew there would be some people here who would appreciate it being posted here:

"...Sgt James Allen Ward won his VC in 1941 for climbing onto the wing of his Wellington bomber, 13,000ft above the Zuider Zee, secured only by a rope round his waist, to put out a fire on the starboard engine.

Winston Chuchill summoned the shy New Zealander to Downing Street, but the lad was struck dumb by the occasion. Churchill told him: 'You must feel very awkward in my presence.'

'Yes, sir,' whispered Ward.

'Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours,' said Churchill."

My eyes where quite moist when I read that.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I for one am impressed. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1

Excellent find

I've always admired the bigman

fixedwingtofly
10-01-2008, 02:53 PM
I am related to Sgt James Allen Ward VC on my paternal grandmothers side, being her mothers sisters boy. I have always been aware of him in our family and it inspired me to become a pilot myself. I have seen reference to this meeting with the great man (Churchill) but asumed it was a tale. I would be very interested to know wher you saw this letter and perhaps have a copy of it.

snafu73
10-01-2008, 06:58 PM
Hi fixedwingtofly, the letter appeared in the "Daily Mail" on the 12th September. The letter was submitted by a Mr Harold Heys of Darwen Lancashire.

If you PM me your email address I can take a digital photo of the letter and email it to you.

If you want to contact the Daily Mail directly you can try the following:

letters@dailymail.co.uk

Or write to:

Daily Mail Readers' Letters,
y2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT

Maybe the Daily Mail could put you in touch with Mr Heys to ask him where he picked up this story.

I hope I've been some help.