Lieut Colonel John William Arthur Ollard OBE, OSJ, KSG, DL.
John Ollard, usually known as Jack, was born in Wisbech in 1893. He later studied at Downing College, Cambridge. In 1912 he was given a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Cambridgeshire Regiment, serving in G (March) Coy. Jack was mobilised along with his Coy at the outbreak of the war and he sailed with the 1/1st Battalion in February 1915.
By the time the Cambs reached France Jack was in charge of the Machine Gun Section. He was heavily involved in the fighting only a month later when his MG teams almost single-handedly held back a German attack in the village of St. Eloi.
Suffering from Gas Poisoning and Shell Shock he was returned to the UK to recuperate and was posted to the 3/1st Battalion. He was later posted to the Northamptonshire Regiment as Adjutant; retiring with the rank of Captain in 1919. He was re-employed in 1941 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and commanded the Wisbech Home Guard and Air Raid Precautions teams.
Whilst running the successful solicitors practice Ollard and Ollard with his brother Kenneth he joined the Isle of Ely County Council in 1922, becoming Alderman in 1934, and Chairman in 1957; also served on Wisbech Town Council from 1926, becoming Alderman in 1931; Mayor of Wisbech 1927; Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, 1935; High Sheriff, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, 1943. He was appointed an Officer of St. John in 1943, Knight Commander of St. Gregory in 1948, and made Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Wisbech in 1944, and an Order of the British Empire in 1960. Colonel Ollard died on 28th January 1961.
Ollard at the 1914 summer camp.
This site went live on the 14th February 2015 to mark 100 years since the 1/1st Cambs went off to war.
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