John Ball

Memorial: Thornbury - St Mary's Church

Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 20147

Parents: Samuel John and Sarah Ann Ball

Marital status: Single

Home address: Mill House, Kington, Thornbury, Bristol

Pre-war occupation: Apprentice to a baker and confectioner

Date of birth: 1897

Place of birth: Thornbury, Bristol

Date of death: 02/09/1916

Buried/Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 5A and 5B.), France

Age: 19

Further information:

 Bronze Tablet and Wooden Memorial Board

John Ball was the younger son of Samuel Ball who worked for a number of years as a groom at Kyneton House, Kington. The 1911 Census shows that Samuel was a farm labourer and that John, aged 14, was an errand boy. John had a twin sister called Elsie. Before the war John was apprenticed to a baker and confectioner in Cirencester

In May 1915, shortly after his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the 12th Battalion (Bristol’s Own), Gloucestershire Regiment. John did his training with the 15th Battalion and left for France in December 1915. He sent a last postcard home from England, postmarked 23rd December 1915, which contained the message ‘Dear Mother, Very sorry to have to tell you we are moving to France tonight but for goodness sake keep cheerful. Your Loving Son, John'

John served in France for eight months during which time he was wounded once and contracted trench fever, on both occasions being hospitalized in France. He was Killed in Action during preparations for the Battle of Guillemont, part of the Somme offensive. John Ball has no known grave and is remember on the Thiepval Memorial in France

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916

John’s older brother, Walter, also served during the war

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Thornbury Roots Website, Thornbury and District Museum Research Group, CWGC and Forces War Records