Ref NoDCS/2/2/3
TitleBasil Ward
Admin/Biog HistoryBasil Robert Ward (1902-1976) was an architect and designer, originally from New Zealand. He was born on the 22nd July 1902 in Hawkes Bay (North Island) in New Zealand to Louis Ernest Ward (d. 1938) and Agnes Theresa Ward (née Kilgour). After studying at Napier Boys School he was articled to James Augustus Louis Hay from 1918-1923. Ward then moved to Wellington where he worked for Messrs Crichton, McKay and Haughton. During his time in Wellington, Ward was involved in many student competitions and a friendly rivalry developed between him and fellow architectural student, Amyas Connell (1901-1980).

In 1924 Connell and Ward travelled to England together by boat where they took further examinations in order to secure qualified status in England. After a lengthy application process to apply for the Rome Prize (a scholarship to study at the British School at Rome in Italy) Ward was awarded second prize. He was subsequently unable to take up the full Henry Jarvis Scholarship however as he had not enrolled in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) but he was awarded a one year travelling scholarship instead. After being unable to renew the scholarship Ward moved to Rangoon with his new wife, Beatrix, Connell's sister, and they stayed there until 1930. Whilst there he teamed up with T.O. Foster and was managing partner of Foster and Ward. He worked on a number of projects including the design of the new offices of the port trust, the National Bank of India and buildings for the new university of Rangoon. On his return to London, Ward teamed up with his former friend, Amyas Connell, to form Connell and Ward and together they worked on a number of building projects including New Farm, Sinah Lane houses on Hayling Island, Usherwood, The Sun Houses, Saltdean, and the Concrete House. They also worked on the interior for a health shop on Welbeck Street in London with Hargroves.

On the 22nd May 1934, the Connell, Ward and Lucas architectural practice was officially formed when Connell and Ward were joined by English architect, Colin Lucas (1906-1984). The partnership lasted until 1939, ceasing trading at the outbreak of the Second World War (1939-1945) and in just five years they designed over twenty private houses and other projects.

During the Second World War, Ward served in the Royal Navy. At the end of the war Ward worked on a variety of projects before becoming partner in the Ramsey Murray White and Ward firm, which subsequently became Murray Ward with the partners having offices in Heddon Street, London. From here the architects were involved in a number of major projects including designs for Hammersmith Hospital, the University of Oxford and the Rolls Royce company in Derby. Ward also did two personal projects including work on a cricket pavilion at East Molesey in Surrey and alterations to a house called Temple Gardens, which he had designed and built in 1936 at Moor Park. Ward also worked on the Provincial Insurance Building in Kendal, leading to a move to the Lake District with Beatrix.

In addition to his work in practice, Ward also wrote many articles, including a significant number on the work of Connell, Ward and Lucas. He also gave lectures on this subject. He taught extensively in a variety of positions including: Lethaby Professor of Architecture at the Royal College of Art (in around 1953) where he introduced a new edition of William Richard Lethaby's book 'Form in the Civilisation'; teacher (and later head of school) at the Manchester Polytechnic (now the Manchester Metropolitan University) and part-time arts teacher at the University of Lancaster where he helped to set up a visual arts centre, run by his friend Dr Geoffrey Beard. From 1974 Ward was one of the Centre's Research Fellows. Ward was also Chairman of the RIBA Drawings Collection.

In his personal life, Ward married Beatrix Connell (sister of Amyas Connell). Ward died in 1976.
DescriptionContains research material relating to Basil Ward, including:

-copy of the following article: Ward, B. and Reynolds, I. 'Inside information or The Cult of the Irreducable', ARK, Number Two - Domestic Art
-copy of a letter to Ward, dated 16 February 1938, thought to be from P. Morton Shand (member of MARS Group),concerning the appointment of a new member
-material relating to lectures given by Ward on the architect, W.R. Lethaby, for the Royal College of Art Lethaby Lectures in 1955
-copy of a letter to Ward, dated 22 January 1954, from the Assistant Registrar, Royal College of Art, concerning the Lethaby Lecture
-print-outs of photographs showing Ward and some of his building projects in Kendal, Derby and Hammersmith after the Connell, Ward and Lucas partnership ceased trading in 1939
-autobiographical notes written by Robin Rockel, an architect, including references to his association with Ward, and correspondence between Rockel and Sharp
-autobiographical notes written by Gordon MacLean Murray, an architect who worked in partnership with Ward following World War II, entitled 'Basil Ward'
-copy of a speech written by Ward on the work of Connell, Ward and Lucas given as the sessional paper at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in March 1976
-copy of the entry relating to Ward in the Register of Students ledger in the archives of the British School at Rome
-notes (thought to be written by Sharp) for an interview with Ward in January 1973
Extent1 file


Image CaptionCopy of a speech written by Ward on the work of Connell Ward and Lucas for the RIBA forum, dated 1976
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