William George Ball
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||c1894|
|Place of Birth||Wraxall, Somersetshire, England|
|Death||14 Oct 1917|
|Place of Death||Passchendaele, Belgium|
|Age at Enlistment||21 years, 7 months|
6'0" (1.83m) tall ; 143lbs|
64.864 kg; fresh complexion ; brown eyes ; dark brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||(NOK's) Yelbeni, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr Herbert Ball|
|Date of Enlistment||24 Jul 1916|
|Unit/Formation||44th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement posted to 3 Platoon A Company|
|Date of Embarkation||9 Nov 1916 ‒ 10 Jan 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A8 Argyllshire Fremantle to Devonport|
|Fate||KIA 14 Oct 1917|
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll |
Australian War Memorial
British War Medal |
At the time of his enlistment Bill was working for Mr TC Barnes at Kellerberrin, Western Australia
Entering Blackboy Hill camp, Bill was allocated to the 79th Depot Company until 1 Aug 1916 when he was posted to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion. On 4 Sep 1916 this changed the 5th reinforcement draft.
On arrival in England Bill was sent to the 11th Training Battalion at Durrington to receive trench related training for France, and on 19 Apr 1917 he proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone. On 23 Apr 1917 he was taken on the strength of the 44th Battalion, along with 57 other reinforcements at Ploegsteert in Belgium.
On 14 Oct 1917 the 44th Battalion was in the front lines east of Ypres and was on the receiving end of very severe shelling which caused few casualties. However, Bill was listed as Wounded in action, later changed to Wounded & Missing in Action. Early advice in relation to his being wounded resulted in his mother and aunt writing to authorities numerous times as their letters to him were marked "Hospital". In the end his mother wrote a very terse letter to the Secretary of the Department for Defence.
Despite him being used as a runner, there appears to have been now attempt to locate him until his family began questioning his whereabouts. Following a Court of Inquiry on 14 Jun 1918 his status was altered to Killed in Action on 14 Oct 1917.
The best information as to his fate was provided by 2097 Pte H Gliddin and is contained in his Red cross file held by the AWM.
"I saw him coming back from the line after a run as he was a runner, and was wounded in the head, but not wounded very badly as he was walking out himself. He did not reach the dressing station so I think he must have been hit again. This was on the night of 13th or 14th October 1917. He was in the same section as I...."
No obvious connection to Gosnells, but he is the only W Ball to enlist in WA. If he is the correct one, his name should be included on the Gosnells War Memorial.