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Lieutenant-Colonel John Ward CB CMG (21 November 1866 – 19 December 1934) was an English politician, trade union leader and soldier.

Ward was born at Oatlands, Surrey, the son of Robert and Caroline Ward. His father, a plasterer, died when he was three and he and his mother moved back to her home village of Appleshaw, near Andover, Hampshire. He had no real education and began working at a variety of odd jobs when he was seven years old. At the age of twelve he began work as a navvy on the Andover and Weyhill Railway, lodging with a man in Weyhill. He continued working as a navvy on jobs all over the country, including the Manchester Ship Canal, for the next seven years. It was only during this time that he learned to read and write.

In 1885, he enlisted in the British Army and served in the Sudan campaign, where he worked on the uncompleted military railway from Suakin to Berber. He was now becoming increasingly interested in politics and in 1886 joined the new Social Democratic Federation. On 9 November 1886 he took part in the meeting in Trafalgar Square which had been specially organised by the SDF to test the legality of the proclamation of Sir Charles Warren, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, that demonstrations of the unemployed could not be held there. He was arrested, but due to his military record escaped with a fine.

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