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Kris Ward RN

Old 24th Nov 2018, 23:39
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Kris Ward RN

To those who might have flown with Kris Ward in the Royal Navy, its my sad duty to tell you he died last week.

His funeral will be at Tynemouth Crematorium on Tuesday 27th, at 12:45.

RIP Kris
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 03:46
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I didn't know Kris personally, but I know of him and of course, I think everybody interested in military aviation knows of his father.

Very sad news, R.I.P. Kris.
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 05:07
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Nooo. Too young. Kris was one of my first students on SUAS in 1992. Obviously talented then and a great RN career later.

RIP Kris
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 08:51
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RIP Kris. Dreadful news.

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Old 25th Nov 2018, 10:54
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What awful news. My condolence to Ward family and friends.
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 12:30
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A fun guy who's going to leave a big hole.
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 16:22
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RIP Kris. Such sad news. Kris contacted me back in 2007 after I took an image of him going through the Mach Loop. Condolence to family and friends.

Blue skies, Kris.

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Old 25th Nov 2018, 17:35
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Horrible news. RIP.
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Old 25th Nov 2018, 19:13
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Dreadfully sad news. I had the pleasure of working with Kris shortly before his own 'Prime Minister's Questions' moment in the immediate aftermath of SDSR 2010. I can speak only as I found and he was good company, with a slight air of mischief (particularly if light blue uniform was involved); a proud member of the FAA, and above all an all-round good egg. The world is a little duller tonight for his passing.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 04:55
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Comprehensive and respectful Obit in The Times today. Copy-pasted for those without a sub.
During his four deployments as a Harrier pilot over Afghanistan Kris Ward flew 160 armed reconnaissance missions in support of coalition ground troops. Towards the end of one mission in 2007, when he was running short of fuel, he was called to the aid of a team of US special forces pinned down by more than 70 Taliban fighters. They had already suffered one very serious casualty and their radio operator’s thumb had been shot off.Without any ammunition left Ward called in another Harrier and kept the Taliban at bay by flying at an extremely low level. This brave if dangerous tactic interrupted the assault and gave the second Harrier time to deliver a 1,000lb airburst bomb on target. The surviving Taliban fighters dispersed.
A few days later two bearded special forces soldiers entered the Harrier operations room. They had travelled a considerable distance to get there. At 6ft 4in, Ward was pretty tall, but one of these soldiers was 6ft 8in. The American picked up the British pilot in a bear hug and said: “Man, you saved my life!”Kristian Nigel Ward was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1973, the elder son of Alison (ne Taylor), who was in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and Commander Nigel “Sharkey” MacCartan-Ward, a Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot who would go on to win the DSC during the Falklands conflict, when he commanded 801 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), a force of Sea Harriers based on HMS Invincible. Kris’s father flew more than 60 missions, achieved three air-to-air kills using cannon fire and Sidewinder missiles, and was considered the leading British night pilot of the conflict.Kris was eight years old at the time, and his father’s gallantry made a big impression on him. He recalled vividly the morning of April 1, 1982, when, during a visit to his grandparents’ house, a telephone call came through for his father, telling him simply: “This is the duty commander. You are to prepare your squadron for war.”“At that moment,” his brother, Ashton, who now runs an executive search company, recalled, “Kris became a man, far too young. He took on the responsibility of taking care of me and looking after mum as best he could.”Until then Kris had, in addition to good hand-eye co-ordination on the sports field, a strong will, which led to a few confrontations. His fondness for mischief even resulted in some parents banning him from playing with their children. He was educated at Hazlegrove preparatory school, where he broke a chair over the head of one child who had been taunting him about his father not coming back from war. From then on Kris had an immovable desire to be a Harrier pilot in the Royal Navy.At his next school, King’s Bruton, he played a lot of rugby and joined the RAF branch of the Combined Cadet Force. He would do headstands to stunt his growth because he was worried about being too tall to fly a Harrier. His rebellious streak continued and, before he had a licence, he went for a “joy ride” in his mother’s car, only to be caught and taken to Weymouth police station. Fortunately for his future naval career he was not prosecuted.He read oceanography and mathematics at the University of Southampton and, after graduating, joined the Royal Air Force. While waiting for his basic flying training he spent time with 899 NAS at Yeovilton where he flew 50 hours in the two-seat Harrier. At this point his entire RAF course were switched to helicopter training. Support from 899 aviators enabled him to transfer to the navy, and he later completed operational flying training on the Sea Harrier. He only just fitted into the cockpit, but luckily he had just enough clearance room to use an ejector seat.He met Sarah Carlisle, a nurse, at his Royal Navy passing-out ball at Linton-on-Ouse. They married in 2000 and had two children: Jamie, who works for Swissport at Newcastle airport; and Lucy, who is at school and wants to be a fighter pilot.When Ward qualified in 2001 he and his father made headlines. “Sharkey” Ward came out of retirement briefly to fly with his son. They flew over the Bristol Channel in a two-seater Harrier, at which point Ward offered his father the controls.After the Sea Harrier’s withdrawal from service, Ward operated the Harrier GR7 and GR9 as a weapons instructor and was a squadron executive officer of 800 NAS within Joint Force Harrier; two roles that only the finest aviators can fill.As a fighter pilot who had — with his colleagues — put his life on the line, he was disappointed by the outcome of the 2010 defence review, which withdrew all Harriers from service.
A bearded Kristian in the cockpitSuch was the strength of his feeling on the subject that he challenged David Cameron, the prime minister at the time, live on national television. “I have flown 160-odd missions over Afghanistan in the Harrier,” he concluded, “and I am now facing redundancy. How am I supposed to feel about that, sir?” Cameron thanked him for his service to his country, but said the decision to retire the Harrier was “right” at a time of “difficult decisions”. On the way out of the building he said to Ward privately as he was walking past him: “I hear you.”Although two new carriers were in production, they would not come in time for Ward and his peers, and the scrapping of the Harriers ultimately led to him leaving the navy in 2012. He became a senior captain and the Newcastle pilot base manager for the Jet2 airline, flying the Boeing 737. Here, he felt, company management “displayed loyalty downwards” and he felt rewarded and fulfilled.It later emerged that his demanding service in Afghanistan had resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder. However, that was not the reason for his somewhat un-PC nickname, Kris “Mental” Ward. Nor was he named this for the calculated risks he would take, such as flying at more than 500 knots at low level at night over Afghan mountain ranges. Initially he was named “Budget”, because he always looked after the bar kitty, but his colleagues felt this was too generous. With the name Sharkey already taken, he became “Mental” Ward. In any event, leadership, heroism and compassion were hallmarks of his life, which was always run in the fast lane.Asked what sort of a pilot his late son was, Sharkey Ward gave as objective an illustration as a father could, in the circumstances: “Strafing ground targets successfully with gunfire from a high-speed jet in a dive requires complete control of the aircraft and supreme skill,” he said.“For safety reasons, the closest the aircraft gets to the 15ft by 15ft canvas target before pulling up is 700 yards. Most pilots, including yours truly, achieve a best score of about 25 per cent hits on the target flag. During advanced flying training on the Hawk, students had four strafing sorties. On each of the first three, Kris scored more than 75 per cent then 45 per cent on the final trip — completely unheard of in modern times.”Lieutenant-Commander Kristian Ward, pilot, was born on October 1, 1973. He died suddenly on November 15, 2018, aged 45
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 15:23
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What a shame
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 18:51
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Bloody hell. He was the year ahead of me in UAS and I played rugby against him and he was bloody good fun in the bar afterwards.

Had no idea he had died. It’s a bit worrying to read Obits in The Times about ones contempories.

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Old 29th Dec 2018, 19:46
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A real tragedy! I never knew Kris but I knew his father well (indeed, I was his QFI on JP's at Linton). All I can say is that Kris was too young and talented to go! "Sharkey", my thoughts are with you!!

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Old 31st Dec 2018, 08:57
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Very sad news.

Kris was converting to the GR7 on 20(R) Sqn when I was at Wittering. Good bloke with some raucous banter.
​​​​​​Si vis pace.
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