19th September 1896 - 12th May 1916 (age 20)
9th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment
Ralph Wardman was a house painter raising his family in Front Street, Sowerby in a little house on the Thirsk side of what was then the local School. The terrace of houses is still there with a path running behind towards the Parochial Hall. Ralph was married to Harriet Harland, and they had two sons, Ralph and Albert. Sadly, their third son, Ernest lived only 17 days and he was buried at St.Oswald's on 2nd December 1892. Harriet died in April 1894 at the age of 37 and she also lies in St.Oswalds's graveyard. Her death was almost certainly a result of childbirth, a daughter Harriet Ethel having being born in the same month.
By the end of the same year, Ralph had married again, to Fanny Norris. The couple's only child was Harry, born on 19th September 1895, being baptised at St.Oswald's on 12th January 1896. Fanny's sister was Catherine Ayre the mother of Frederick and he also appears on the Sowerby memorial. Records show that Harry entered Sowerby Junior School on 5th February 1902, having transferred from Sowerby Infants.
Harry Wardman died of wounds in northern France on 12th May 1916, his remains lie in Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension plot A.25. The 9th Yorkshires were in trenches at that time, so it is likely that Harry died as a result of trench warfare.
His mother, Fanny, died at World's End, Sowerby in April 1923 at the age of 67. Ralph survived to the age of 74, and he appears to have been the last Wardman to have been interred at St.Oswalds, in December 1936.
Harry Wardman's grave at Bruay - "Gone But Not Forgotten"
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about Harry Wardman on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about Harry Wardman on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Information about Harry Wardman on the Yorkshire Regiment - First World War Remembrance website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website