Reginald Thomas Annesley Ball-Acton

Memorial: Iron Acton - St James the Less Church

Regiment: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

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

Rank and number: Major

Parents: Charles Ball-Acton, C.B. and Georgina Cecilia Ball-Acton

Marital status: Married

Pre-war occupation: Army Officer

Date of birth: 02/10/1877

Place of birth: County Wicklow, Ireland

Date of death: 22/05/1916

Buried/Commemorated at: White House Cemetery, (Sp. Mem. 9.), St. Jean-les-Ypres, Belgium

Age: 39

Further information:

The highest ranking and oldest of the Iron Acton casualties was Reginald Thomas Annesley Ball-Acton, a Major in the 1st Battalion (51st Foot) The King’s Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

Although born on 2nd October 1877 in County Wicklow he was educated at Rugby School, Oxford Military College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and served with the 2nd Battalion (105th Foot) in the South African War between 1900-2. He resigned his commission soon after the end of the war and took up farming in South Africa and Argentina but re-joined his regiment on the outbreak of war in August 1914. Reginald had married Isabel Richmond of Holm Ray, Iron Acton on 17th April 1913. Reginald went to France in December 1914 and was wounded at the end of January 1915 and invalided home.
After spending time with the 7th Battalion at Hull for a year he returned to France in March 1916. On 22nd May Major Ball-Acton volunteered to go out on a large patrol from the trenches at Wieltje to ‘Argyle Farm’ which, on finding it empty, came across a German patrol which bombed them causing three casualties. The wounded men were taken back to the British trenches and the patrol went out again only to encounter hostile machine gun fire which resulted in Major Ball-Acton being shot in the neck and killed. 2nd Lieutenant Bond and Private Garnet brought him back at great risk, thinking he was alive and Lieutenant Bond was awarded the Military Cross for his conduct. Major Ball-Acton was buried in an unmarked grave at White House Cemetery, St. Jean. In the absence of any documentation from parish or church archives we can only assume that it was at the request of his parents-in-law or wife that Major Ball-Acton was included on the memorial

Reginald Thomas Annesley Ball-Acton is also remembered on the Chipping Sodbury and District War Memorial Cottage Hospital board, now at Yate and District Heritage Centre under Iron Acton

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

Yate and District Heritage Centre, CWGC and Forces War Records