BALL, George Arthur
(Service number 6/2059)
|First Rank||Lance Corporal||Last Rank|
|Date||15 July 1893||Place of Birth||Rangiora|
|Address at Enlistment||Maltby Avenue, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Henry BALL (father), 41 Maltby Avenue, Timaru|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||5th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Transport||Maunganui of Tahiti or Aparima|
|Embarked From||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||24 March 1951||Age||57 years|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 33, Plot 330|
|New Zealand Memorials|
George Arthur Ball was the second son of Harry and Elizabeth Amelia (née Hall) Ball. He was educated at Opawa, Sydneham and Rangiora schools. George was a drapers assistant for J. Ballantyne and Company, Timaru, when he enlisted in January 1915.
George left New Zealand in June 1915 with the Canterbury Regiment, eventually arriving at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli at the beginning of August. In September he was evacuated on the 'Equitoria,' a hospital ship, to England.
Notes from Arthur's diary during the Gallipoli campaign, courtesy of L Paterson, include the following:
"Landed on peninsula between 2am and 3am and walked along the beach through saps (sappers) carrying ammunition until 4am and rested at beginning of gully. Towards noon started to advance up - shells began to pour on us - English blocked us up - Ties warm - Arrived top of Apex at night picks and shovels carried for entrenching lost between firing lines - Lost company - Six of us slept on side of Hill - Picked up 2nd Ba. Company at foot of gully - advanced to top again - a hot reception on arrival - Hell on earth, lost about 2/3 Company, marvel we escaped - Picked up our boys on Rhododendron Hill. At night first time in trenches - In all next day, came out at night. On Rhoda for about 8 days - On Apex in trenches night and day - In rest Otago Gully about 22nd Aug for two days - Walk up to Table Top - on here for four days - From here we saw our Mounteds advance on the left - About 30th went to Apex; what a time we had, for ten days being shelled all the time night and day. On rest about 8 Sept walking up to Rhoda. digging saps around to Apex - this is what they call rest. Sept 11th sent off Peninsula on to Hospital Boat. Net day on Imbros. picked up Ted* again and started journey to England."
*Ted was Arthur's older brother Harry Edward Ball (31 Aug 1891 - 16 February 1953) Ted was also in Gallipoli and was shot in the leg which should have been amputated but he had promised his mother he would return with all his limbs.
After the war George married Agnes Forbes Bruce in 1920 at Chalmers Church, After George’s death, Agnes married his brother, Gordon Noel Ball, and she lived to 99 years. His older brother, Harry Edward Ball, also served in World War I.
On 6 September 1922 an impressive ceremony took place on the premises of Messrs J. Ballantyne and Co., Ltd., Timaru, which goes to prove that the patriotic services during the the war of the firm’s employees is far from forgotten by principals or fellow workers. A most artistic memorial was unveiled by the Mayor, in the presence of relatives of the fallen and the men who saw service. The local manager explained that they had wished to pay tribute to the seven brave young men who left the staff to serve King and country, two of whom had made the supreme sacrifice. Though the tablet would not be exposed to the public gaze it would remain for many generations as silent witness to all who worked in the building of what they owed to the men who fought and died in defence of those principles of liberty and justice which were the basis of our civilisation. The central plate, bearing the names of the men who served, was of beaten copper, while surrounding the plate was a massive oak frame, beautifully carved, and surmounted by a carved laurel branch. It carried the following inscription: “To the memory of the men of this house who served in the Great War 1914-1918”, followed by seven names, including two who made the supreme sacrifice, and among the others Arthur George Ball. The ceremony, which was a most impressive one, terminated with the sounding of the “Last Post” by Leslie Thompson.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 February 2020); NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [10 February 2020]; School Admission record [10 February 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [10 February 2020]; Timaru Herald. 7 September 1922 (Papers Past) [09/02/2020]; SCRoll web submission by L Paterson, 5 June 2021
Researched and Written by
Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG & Timaru Herald; Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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