Armstrong, John Ward (1915–87), Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh, was born 30 September 1915 in Belfast, eldest of four sons of John Armstrong, an official of Belfast corporation, and Elizabeth Armstrong (née Ward). He was educated at Belfast Royal Academy and TCD, whence he graduated (1938) with a BA and a first-class divinity testimonium. He subsequently obtained from Dublin University the degrees of BD (1945), MA (1957), and DD (h.c.) (1981). He was ordained deacon in 1938 and priest in 1939 and was successively curate of Grangegorman, dean's vicar in St Patrick's cathedral, and rector of Leeson Park, Dublin. In 1958 he was elected dean of St Patrick's cathedral, where he had been prebendary of Tassagard from 1950. He was elected bishop of Cashel in 1968 and translated in 1980 to Armagh, where he remained until his retirement in 1986.
As a member of the liturgical advisory committee he played a leading part in the revision of the prayer book, culminating in the publication of the Alternative prayer book 1984. A committed ecumenist, he was a member of the British Council of Churches and the Irish Council of Churches, of which he was chairman in 1970. He did much to further the work of the Glenstal and Greenhills ecumenical conferences, and was for several years chairman of the Ballymascanlon inter-church conference. He was a lifelong member of the Boy's Brigade, the badge of which he regularly wore, and was actively involved in the work of the Leprosy Mission, of which he was chairman from 4 January 1960 until his death.
He married (1941) Doris Winifred, daughter of William John Harrison, later chief clerk of the Dublin Circuit Court, and Florence Nancy Harrison (née Rich); they had two sons and three daughters. He died in Skerries, Co. Dublin, on 21 July 1987. Portraits of him by David Hone and Basil Blackshaw hang respectively in St Patrick's deanery and the synod hall, Armagh.