Ball, Eric Austin

Eric was mentioned in a Newspaper cutting from the Flintshire Observer dated 15th February 1918 where he was described in the Roll of Honour as a Farmer from Sealand.

He is not, however, on any memorial that I know of locally.  I have included him on the Miscellaneous List of Men who should be mentioned somewhere.   

Eric Ball’s father Joseph Ball was recorded on the 1861 census as a Watchmaker. Subsequent censuses show his rise in the world of business and society.  The 1871 census shows that he was a Jeweller and employed 1 man. By the  1881 census he was employing 6 men. The 1891 census lists him as a Justice of the Peace.

I believe Joseph had married Ann Jane Dennett in the June Quarter of 1858 in Liverpool (Liverpool  8b 382).  Sadly I believe she died in 1883 age 45, possible death Certificate for Ann Jane Ball, (W. Derby   8b 459)  and Joseph married Ellen Edith Davies in St. James, West Derby on the 21st October 1886, Joseph was described as a Widower of Full Age and a Jeweler,  Ellen Edith’s father was Edward Davies, an Architect.

Eric Ball was baptized Eric Austin Ball on the 24th April 1894 in New Brighton, Cheshire. He was the son of Joseph and Ellen Edith Ball. Eric was first recorded on a census in 1901.  His family was living atRavenswood”, Warren Drive, Wallasey, Cheshire.   Head of the household was Joseph Ball, 63 a Retired Jeweller and  magistrate who had been born in Liverpool,  (as had all the family).   Joseph’s wife Edith was 44. Their listed children  were, Alfred E 24, a Jeweller’s Assistant, Vivian, 11, Eric, 7 and Leslie, 5.  Their only daughter Doris was 2. Joseph’s 45 year old sister Eliza was listed.There were six servants – five domestic servants and one coachman.

To confuse matters, there is another census entry for 1901  that seems to record some of the same people. Eric A.Ball, 7 and Vivian E.Ball 11 were both listed as Visitors at a Boarding house,  33, Dunnaven Road, Hoylake Cum West Kirby. Also listed was Sarah E. Ball  47 and the Manager of a Jeweller’s Shop in Liverpool.  (I believe that Sarah E. is the sister to Joseph Ball). The owner of the Lodging House (Letting Apartments) in Hoylake-cum-West Kirby was 40 year old Annie Smith.

I now believe that they were entered twice by the different household’s, perhaps they were “in transit” at different times of the day.

By the census of 1911 Eric, 17 was a Farmer’s Apprentice.  The farmer was William Caunce at Yew Tree Farm, Sealand, Flintshire. There was 1 other Farmer’s Apprentice there. He was 18 year old Harold Barber. William Caunce, 42 lived with his wife Sarah, and their 3 children. His widowed sister-in-Law and 2 servants, made up the household.

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on confirms his regimental details and adds that he enlisted at Eccleston Camp in Lancashire. His medal index card, also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals – The Victory and The British War medals. He was also awarded the Territorial Force War Medal  recognising his service in the Denbighshire Yeomanry.

Territorial Force War Medal – Instituted on 26th April 1920.
Only members of the Territorial Force and Territorial Force Nursing Service were eligible for this medal. They had to have been a member of the Territorial Force on or before 30th September 1914 and to have served in an operational theatre of war outside the United Kingdom between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. An individual who was eligible to receive the 1914 Star or 1914/15 Star could not receive the Territorial War Medal.

The front of the medal shows an effigy of King George V with the words GEORGIVS BRITT OMN:REX ET IND: IMP. The reverse of the medal has the words TERRITORIAL WAR MEDAL around the rim, with a laurel wreath and the words inside the wreath FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE OVERSEAS 1914-1919. – Approximately 34,000 Territorial Force War Medals were issued.

Eric Ball in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that he died in Palestine on the 27th December 1917 and his executor’s and the amount of money he had from the Army.Executor’s – Gerald H. SCOTT & Charles H. HILTON – £17.13s. 1d. Executor’s – Gerald H. SCOTT & Charles H. HILTON – £15.0s.0d – Draft.

Eric Austin Ball left a will which was listed  in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations). It gives his name and address 8, Ennerdale-road, New Brighton, Cheshire and says ‘Private in H.M. Denbighshire (Hussars) Yeomanry attached to the Royal Welsh Fusliers died 27th December 1917 in Egypt.   Probate Chester 16th March 1918 to Gerald Hugh Scott gentleman and Charles Henry HILTON, Solicitor.   Effects – £7607.4s.0d’.

 Eric’s brother Vivian was also in the Army.

He enlisted in Wallasey in 1915 and served in The Royal Garrison Artillery and was number 141114. His records tell that he received gunshot wounds to both legs and spent time in hospital in Birmingham for some months.

I have more details about Vivian Ball’s army service should anyone be interested. Please contact through the website.

Jon Ball a descendant of Eric Austin Ball sent me this information:-

“Joseph Ball was Lord Mayor of Liverpool 1905 to 1906.
His wife died 1916 and was not aware of the deaths of two of her sons in WW1. Eric and Sydney, who was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and died 1918.
The Wallasey history website has obituaries for both men including pictures.
To me it seems that Eric was a little different in choosing farming rather than accounting or insurance like his brothers.”

He is remembered on the Wallasey Roll of Honour

Obit for Eric reads:-

News Report

“A True Son of England” It is officially reported that Lance-Corpl. Eric Ball, R.W.F., was killed in action on December 27th, 1917. Eric Ball was a younger son of the late Alderman Jos. Ball, of Liverpool. He joined soon after war was declared the Denbighshire Yeomanry, and was, before the war, engaged in farming at Sealand, near Chester. He was 25 years of age, and his home was at 8 Ennerdale Road, New Brighton. The letter from the Commanding Officer said:- “It is with the utmost regret that I am writing to tell you of the death of your poor brother, Eric, who was killed during an attack on a hill held by the Turks on December 27th. I found him myself during the afternoon, his face was beautifully peaceful, and I feel sure he did not suffer. His loss is a great one to all. I have known him since he joined the Yeomanry, and he has always been cheerful and willing however trying the times, and especially during the last few weeks, which have been the hardest of all, he has been splendid. I hope that it will be a consolation to you to know that your brother died a glorious and painless death, fighting for a noble cause and the honour of old England, of which he was a true son. He was buried on the hill which he helped to capture not very many miles from the Holy City, and I feel confident that he is resting happy now in God’s keeping. The deep sympathy of the company and myself is yours.”

References and Acknowledgments Commonwealth War Grave Commission Wallasey Central Library – Reference Library and the website above, may thanks to them.

Eric’s brother Sydney was also to lose his life as Jon tells us above, here is his obituary form the same website.

News Report

Former Lord Mayor’s Son Killed It has been officially reported that Gunner Leslie Ball, of the Royal Field Artillery, and youngest son of the late Ald. Joseph Ball, of Liverpool, was killed in action on March 31st. Prior to enlisting soon after the outbreak of war Gunner Ball, who was 22 years of age, and resided at 8, Ennerdale Road, New Brighton, was engaged in the Royal Insurance Co. He had been wounded twice previously. This is the second son of the late Ald. Ball to be killed. *[E.C. Ball] References and Acknowledgments Commonwealth War Grave Commission Wallasey Central Library – Reference Library and the website above, may thanks to them


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Sealand Memorial

Back to top