Private Alfred Victor Ball

Date of Birth c. 1899
Age at Death 19
Date of Death 23 March 1918
Service Number 42809
Military Service 7th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Merton Address 17 Kings Road, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Alfred was born in Battersea in 1899, and was baptised in the Parish of All Saints, Battersea in February. His mother Jane, and his father, Alfred Valentine Ball were living at 84 Warriner Gardens, Battersea. Alfred Snr. was employed as a Postman with the GPO.

By 1911 the family had moved to Mitcham, living in Grove Road, Eastfields, Mitcham. Sadly, the census records that Jane had lost one of her children. Alfred was now aged twelve and at school.

Alfred enlisted at Wandsworth. He attested initially as a Private with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. His secondary unit was with the Lincolnshire Regiment, 7th Battalion Machine Gun Corp.

On 21 March 1918, the German Army launched the Spring Offensive - a large-scale operation against the Allied Front on the Somme battlefield and codenamed Operation Michael.

During The Battle of St Quentin (21 March – 23 March 1918), the 7th Lincolnshire Regiment were stationed at Hermies and suffered heavy losses during a large scale attack. Sadly, Alfred was killed in action on the 23 March.

The Forces War Records Website records the following entry for the 21 March:

….. the 51st Division were pushed back and shortly after 11.00am a large attack was launched on 7th Lincolnshire Regiment in Hermies. The attack was repulsed with the aid of the Divisional Artillery, but not without heavy loss on both sides.

Two companies of the 7th Border Regiment were sent to assist 7th Lincolnshire Regiment and together they held off another six attacks throughout the afternoon....

Alfred is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France and locally on the Mitcham War Memorial.

By 1918 the family had moved to 17 Kings Road, Mitcham. Alfred’s father received his last pay of £7.10.7 plus a War Gratuity of £4.00.


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