Private 16689 Arthur Ball

 Ball Arthur 96 366x600

Died of Wounds Home on Friday, 11th August 1916, age 29.
Buried in Grave C. 7. 11. at Coseley (Christ Church) Old Churchyard, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

18th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. 104th Brigade of 35th Division.

Son of Mrs Elizabeth Ball, of 145, Park Lane West, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/394990/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Arthur Ball registered March quarter 1897 in Dudley.

1891 Census
9 Lower Green, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Ball (32, Blacksmith, born Tipton), his wife Eliza Ann (29, born Tipton), and their 3 children: William (5, Scholar, born Tipton), Arthur (4, born Tipton), and Florence (3, born Tipton).

1901 Census
9 Lower Green, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Ball (42, Sad Iron Handle Maker, born Deepfields), his wife Eliza A. (39, born Tipton), and their 8 children: William (15, Sad Iron Handle Maker, born Tipton), Arthur (14, Labourer in Fitting Shop, born Tipton), Florence (13, born Tipton), Alfred H. (9, born Tipton), Edward (5, born Tipton), Martha (4, born Tipton), Enoch (2, born Tipton), and Ellen (1 month).

Marriage of Arthur Ball and Elizabeth Barnsley, March quarter 1910 at St Paul's Church, Tipton.

1911 Census
1 School Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Arthur Ball (24, Moulder of Cast Iron Pots, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (22, born Oldbury), and their daughter Alice May (7 months, born Tipton).

Arthur's wife, Mrs Elizabeth Ball, died on 16th January 1913. Her death was registered in March quarter 1913 in Dudley.

Personal Data

The 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Arthur Ball died in 1916, it can be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

After Arthur's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/17/11d (3 pounds, 17 shillings and 11 pence); this was paid in March 1920 to his mother, Elizabeth, for Arthur's daughter Alice. His War Gratuity was £6/10/0d (6 pounds and 10 shillings), this was stated as being paid to "Mother, and guardian of child, Elizabeth" in September 1919 - this relates to Arthur's mother. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Arthur had enlisted in approximately February 1915.

A Dependant's Pension of 5/0d (5 shillings) per week was paid from 19th February 1917 for Harry's daughter, Alice May, born on 21st August 1910. The pension was actually paid to Mrs Elizabeth Ball (Harry's mother) who was described as the Guardian of Alice May, who was described as 'motherless'.

Action resulting in his death

Arthur joined the Lancashire Fusiliers soon after the outbreak of war, he is likely to have first landed in France with the 18th Battalion on 29th January 1916. The Division came into action during the second phase of the Battle of the Somme at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge; they were also heavily involved in the fighting for Arrow Head Copse and Maltz Horn Farm, and the fighting for Falfemont Farm. It could have been at any of these actions that Arthur was seriously wounded.

Arthur was evacuated back through the Casualty Clearing chain, eventually to England where he died from his wounds on 11th August 1916 in King George's Hospital, London. King George's hospital was located in Stanford Road, Lambeth, and was thought to be the largest military hospital at that time with approximately 1500 beds. It was a newly-built 5 storey warehouse for His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and had been commandeered at the outbreak of war, and opened as a hospital in May 1915. It had direct communication to nearby Waterloo Railway station by underground tunnels.

Arthur's body was returned to Tipton where he received a military funeral, and he was buried in the Old Churchyard at Christ Church, Coseley, on 19th August 1916. It was reported that the funeral had attracted a crowd of 'several thousands'.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 26th August 1916
Saturday afternoon last, the remains of the late Private Arthur Ball, of Elliott Road, Tipton, were interred in the churchyard attached to the Parish Church, Coseley. The deceased, who was 29 years of age, had lost his wife. He leaves two young children, and friends will be glad to hear that both are well, notwithstanding their bereavements. Private Ball's parents live in Lower Green, and are much respected.
The deceased soldier joined the Lancashire Fusiliers soon after the outbreak of war, and succumbed in hospital from wounds received in action. His body was brought home, and the sadness of the case was such that when it was decided to give the dead hero a military funeral the greatest interest was shown in the affair.
The cortege was headed by the Dudley Port Excelsior Band playing the Dead March, a Union Jack covered the coffin, and there were many wreaths, some of a most beautiful description. There were several mourning coaches. The firing party was composed of six members of the Volunteer Training Corps, with Sergeant Ogden in charge. Eight Regular soldiers acted as bearers. The members of the Tipton Fire Brigade, Tipton Ambulance Corps, the Volunteer Detachment, and the Tipton Baden Powell Boy Scouts (the latter in charge of Divisional Scoutmaster A.E. Parsons and Scoutmaster Aston) took part in the procession, which was watched by thousands of people. It proceeded from Elliott Road (Park Lane), Beehive Bridge, Canal Street, Owen Street, Sedgley Road West, Swan Village, West Coseley to Christ Church, Coseley, where the interment took place. The band played over the grave, followed by three volleys from the firing party, and the 'Last Post' played by a bugler wounded on active service. Several thousand people crowded the churchyard and its precincts.

Tipton Herald 9th September 1916
Mr and Mrs Ball and family (Lower Green, Tipton) wish to thank their kind friends for their expressions of sympathy and condolences in their sad bereavement.