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Frank Ball

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Frank Ball
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Personal Information
Date of Birth c March 1893
Place of Birth Perth, Western Australia
Death 2 May 1915
Place of Death Gallipoli Peninsular, Turkey
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 7 months
Description 5'6" (1.52m) tall ; 133lbs
60.328 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Maddington, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr William Ball
Military Information
Reg Number 812
Date of Enlistment 21 Sep 1914
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 1st Reinforcements
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1914 ‒ 1 Feb 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A35 Berrima
Fate Killed in Action 2 May 1915
Monument Gosnells War Memorial
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Lone Pine Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Prior to his enlistment Frank lived in Perth, working as a labourer.

War Service

Following basic training at Blackboy Hill camp near Perth, he travelled to Melbourne and joined the 16th Battalion in training at the Broadmeadows camp. Frank embarked with the rest of his unit from Melbourne on board “HMAT Berrima (A35),” on the 22 December 1914. Arriving in Egypt in February 1915, the men proceeded to Tel-El-Kebir Camp to continue training.

Frank transferred from the 1st Reinforcement draft to the battalion proper on 22 Mar 1915, and was allocated to A Company. On 11 Apr 1915 he travelled by train with the rest of the battalion to Alexandria where they arrived early the next morning. On arrival they waited on the wharf until early afternoon to board HMT Haida Pascha, sailing for Lemnos on 14 Apr 1915.

On 17, 18 and 19 April the battalion practised landings on the coast of Lemnos Island from ship's boats. Heavy rain over the next few days put an end to the training and they waited aboard ship.

Not a part of the "Screening Force', the 16th Battalion and HMT Haida Pascha remained in Mudros Harbour on Lemnos until around lunch time on 25 Apr 1915 before steaming to Anzac Cove where the battalion landed in the late afternoon of Day 1.

At nightfall on 2 May, the 16th Battalion attacked up a hill called the Bloody Angle towards Quinn’s Post, and throughout the night they continued to fight and dig trenches. Those that dug in were to become exposed to enemy fire, with it being almost impossible to communicate with them or to resupply them. The Turks occupied high ground above them and were able to enfilade them from strongly held positions with the result that those who could were forced to retreat back past Quinn's Post to the gully below.

Frank was reported missing on 2 May 1915. At a Court of Enquiry held at Serapeum in Egypt on 6th, 8th and 28th Apr 1916, Frank was declared to have been killed in action on 2 May 1915 at Bloody Angle, Gallipoli. The 16th Battalion's War Diary gives no clue as to how he may have died, especially in the way that no one around him noticed his death.

However, in the Red Cross File held at the AWM for 1470 Pte EM Farrell, [1], Frank Ball's death is mentioned in a statement by 1490 Sgt V Ketterer..."Early on the morning of 2 May, Farrell was in a trench near Dead Man's Ridge with five others. Two of these - Ptes Machin and Kelly, got safely back but Farrell and two others must have been blown to pieces. The other two men, Ball and Peter Knight have been posted as "killed", but Farrell's name is up as missing only..."

  • Lone Pine Memorial and Cemetery
  • CWGC


Notes

Brother of 1874 LCpl Ernest Ball DCM, and 62766 Pte Horace James Ball who both returned to Australia. At time of enlistment Frank's NOK (father) is at Broome Hill. In Aug 1921 his father has moved to Gosnells, but in Oct 1921 had moved again to Nokaning (north of Merredin), and then Kununoppin.


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