Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Henry Ward continued

Hastings Observer, 10th September 1927

Death Of Mr.Henry Ward continued

Mr Ward began to study art and architecture at the early age of 15 in the office of a well-known London architect.  Thence he pursued his studies in Paris for some time and eventually returned to London.  Never enjoying really robust health, he first came to Hastings for that reason, about 50 years ago.

It was while he was at Hastings on holiday that Mr Ward began his association with Mr Vernon, a celebrated local architect, whom he was eventually to succeed.  He entered Mr Vernon's office to help him for a fortnight, and remained there as a valued assistant.

After a very short time he achieved a triumph which established his reputation in the town.  He entered the winning design in the competition for the Hastings Municipal Buildings, which were constructed to his plans in 1881.  The site of this building is a particularly awkward shape to deal with, and there can be no doubt but that the winning design was a clever piece of planning.  It brought the youthful architect recognition in his election as an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects - an honour conferred in those days only after some practical success.

After that Mr Ward's success was assured, and as has been said, he succeeded Mr Vernon as principal of the business, which he has carried on for the last 40 years at 8, Bank Buildings.  In the years that followed he designed many large buildings and churches, in addition to innumerable residences throughout the south of England, where his reputation was widespread.

Among some of the larger buildings in this locality designed by him are the Robertson-street Congregational Church, and the village churches associated with it; the "Observer" building in Cambridge-Road; a new front and an additional storey to the Victoria Hotel, St. Leonards: the new Plummer Roddis building in Robertson-Street; St. Stephens Church in Bexhill; the Municipal Buildings, Bexhill; and the Congregational Churches in Bexhill and Eastbourne.  He has been responsible for the design of many fine buildings at Guildford and Aldershot.  A particularly artistic piece of work was the design of an establishment for Messrs. Blundell Bros., at Luton.  Mr Ward has designed all the shops at various southern towns for Messrs. Plummer Roddis Ltd., with the sole exception of their premises at Bournemouth.

The late Mr Ward's skill and artistic ability is too widely known and recognised to need further praise in these columns.

The new Plummer Roddis building was the climax of his career.  It was one of the finest designs that ever came from his board, and he had spent infinite pains and time in its production.  He lived to end his task in that connection, finishing his own part of the work on July 4th.  Next day he was taken ill.  He had lived to see practically the completion of one of the dreams of his latter years.

Essentially a modest and retiring man, he lived a simple and unassuming life though his genial personality made him a most popular man among a host of friends.  He took no part in public or political life, being entirely wrapped up in his home and his professional work.

Continued on NEXT PAGE