Monday, 7 March 2016
Replying to my quest for information about my great uncle, Jack Nixon, Frank Ball, writing to me in 1986 from his home in Polegate, wrote,
"I am afraid I cannot help you... I was hit in both legs by German shrapnel in High Wood on 15th September 1916 and as a result returned to Blighty and remained there marked category B2".
Francis Patrick Ball was born in Shoreditch on the 27th April 1896, the son of Charles and Amelia Ball. His birth was registered in the second quarter of that year but it was not until the 22nd March 1903 that he was baptised at St John's, Hoxton. By then, his father was dead. Frank appears on the 1911 census living with his widowed mother and two brothers - Alfred and Steven - at 31 Herbert Street, Hoxton. His trade is noted as a telegraph messenger for the Post Office and so it is hardly surprising that he would later join the Post Office Rifles. His entry on the silver war badge roll notes that he joined the 8th Londons on the 17th July 1915, whilst the British War and Victory Medal roll confirms that he served overseas in France from the 3rd February 1916 until the 25th September 1916. He also later served in Egypt between December 1918 and August 1919.
Frank Ball died in Sussex in 1992.