Christian Albert Ball, Age 20
Private, 23509, 6th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
Christian was the son of Mr John Henry and Mrs Helen Ball of 25 Church Road, Malinslee. He had joined the army in March 1916 the day after his mother's funeral; Helen had been one of the hardest working ladies in the area in supporting the soldiers at the front according to an article in the Dawley news. Christian had worked prior to enlistment at the Hadley Castle Car works; he was also a keen footballer and had played for various local clubs, as well as being a bell ringer at St Leonard's Church, Malinslee.
On the 3rd of September 1916 the battalion moved up to craters A8a83 at 10:30am before a further move forward at 6:05pm to Bemafay wood on the same night (3rd/ 4th Sept) 2 companies went forward carrying water, while another 2 companies went forward to wire new positions at Guillemont.
After Christian's death Mr and Mrs Ball received a letter from a Captain Latham giving them information about the death of their son. Captain Latham stated that the young soldier was killed by a German shell on the 4th of September whilst engaged in carrying wiring material to put up entanglements in front of newly captured positions, He was buried with 3 others near to the spot where he fell, a piece of work undertaken spontaneously by several comrades at the imminent risk of their lives. Private Ball the letter went on to say was a very fine promising lad who had been selected and trained as a reserve Stretcher bearer, a work requiring sturdy body and stout heart.
Christian's body was never found and he is commemorated on the massive Thiepval
Pier & Face 12A -12D.
|Victory Medal||British War Medal|
The three other KSLI men killed alongside Christian were the only men from the
battalion killed that day, they were:
Brown, John Sidney Private, 12082 from Wheaton Aston
Gilbank, Edward Sgt, 12282 from Ripley, Surrey (A Military Medal winner)
Walker, Emest Private, 22089 from Whixall