John Lester Ward

Date published: 07/02/2013
© Newbury Weekly News







          We much regret to record the death of Mr. John Lester Ward, which occurred suddenly on Friday morning at his residence “Hughenden”, Enborne-road, Newbury. Mr. Ward was only taken ill on Christmas Day. He was 59 years of age.


          Born at Hampden, Buckinghamshire, Mr. Ward served his apprenticeship to the drapery trade at High Wycombe, an at the age of 21 came to Newbury to manage the outfitting department of the Drapery Bazaar for the late Mr. Arthur Camp. When the business was amalgamated with that of Messrs. Joseph Hopson and Sons to form Messrs. Camp Hopson and Co. Ltd., Mr. Ward was appointed one of the first directors, and only this year, following the death of Mr. Fred Hopson, he was elected by his colleagues as chairman of the board.


          Mr. Ward's life interest was music. A talented amateur musician, he was an excellent ??? and he possessed a true bass voice. He was a wonderful lead and if any voices had a tendency to stray he had the happy knack of pulling them together. Really he was worthy of a place in any choral society in the country. He was also such a competent soloist that if it happened  that a soloist failed to turn up, John Ward could be relied upon to fill the gap, no matter whether it was oratorio or anything else. At more than one occasion he has saved the situation.


          He joined Newbury Choral Society as long ago as 1898, and held the office of honorary secretary for ten years until October, 1922. A year later he was appointed superintendent of the bass section of the chorus and held this position until his death. He had also been a member of the committee since 1909, and for the past five years had been chairman of the committee. Mr. Ward was a member of the Nomad Glee Singers, which had consisted of Messrs. Henry Flint, John Ward, Frank D. Bazett, and Gifford Wells. He has also been a member of the Newbury Congregational Church Choir for over 30 years, and he was a deacon of that church. Another office he filled was that of a Trustee of Coxedd and Pearce's Charity.


          Mr. Ward was a most unselfish man. Here is just one illustration: last summer he had a place to sing in a royal concert, but he gave it up because someone else expressed a desire to take part. During the War, Mr. Ward served with the 62nd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery in France.


          He leaves a widow and three daughters, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt.






          By the wish of the family the funeral on Monday was private, but his colleagues on the Board of Directors of Camp Hopson and Co. Ltd., members of the firm associated with him in business, and a few others, were present at the interment in the Newtown-road Cemetery. The Rev. John Wilding, minister of the Newbury Congregational Church, officiated.


          Members of Camp Hopson and Co. Ltd in attendance were: Mr. H. Camp, Mr. Paul Hopson and Mr. B. de Castro (directors), Mr. D.P. Laing (secretary), Messrs. C. James, R.A. Boden, H.H. Beesley, N.D. Stone, F.E. Butler, G. Wintle, A. Wilsher, J. Spencer, L. Rowden, A. Elisha, F. Willis, E.H. Beesley, A. Fisher, E. Green, A. Brooks, C. Peters, R. Hall, F. Preston, W. Hill, E. Maisey, R. Mildenhall and E. Burgess.


Long list of wreaths sent followed.

Newbury Weekly News 2 January 1936

Mrs Pattison p. 179 P (L) ½



Sources:Newbury Weekly News 2 January 1936

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