Source Records for James Arthur Ball & Sarah Ann
1891 census: 75 Midland Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire
1901 census: 7 Garden Street, Kimberworth, Rotherham, Yorkshire
1911 census: 22 Jewell Street, Bradford, Yorkshire.
Sarah and daughter Elizabeth are living with Sarah's sister Frances Eleanor and family.
Charles Henry didn't appear to marry, but in his military papers, it seems he had a daughter called Doris Ethel born 30th January 1913. See below.
Charles Henry was an iron boiler moulder, and went into the army to the West Yorkshire Regiment on 3rd October 1906 and was previously in the militia. On 14th February 1907 he caught his knee in a horse whilst doing gymnastics in the gym at Fulford Barracks and was hospitalised with bursitis. He also had a bout of syphilis and malaria later in his military career.
Ball was transferred at an unknown date to the Yorks and Lancs - Corporal 10th Service Battalion. He was sent to France on 12th October 1915. He was wounded and died from a shot from a Very Pistol and its lights. This was some form of signal flare pistol. He was appointed acting corporal on 13th November 1915 being promoted to full corporal on 23rd June 1916.
Court of inquiry was held at HQ 10th battallion Yorks and Lancs.
Noon on 13th August Cpt. Fitts said he handed CSM Metcalf the pistol to give to one of the men to carry on the march, as is the custom in the corp. He wouldn't say the state of it when handed to him, how many rounds it had or whether it was loaded. He thought it was unloaded. He had been using the Very Pistols for about 2 months, and said that there were no orders specifying the disposal of such weapons when leaving the trenches. especially after the confusion of the relief. This was about 7am
CSM Metcalf said at 2.15pm he went to the stores and Ball was seated on a bale of shirts by a shelf. The pistol was at his side. Metcalf picked it up and pulled back the cocking piece and the next thing he heard was a rapport and light coming from Ball's face. He lay him on the ground and shouted for stretcher bearers. He was only a few yards away. He was not playing with the gun. The wound was to his face and left eye.
CSM Edwards said he put the gun on a shelf and noticed it was gone after about 10 minutes. Someone else saw the pistol and said they would have to put it away and then saw the explosion. He thought he did see it on the shelf.
There was a bale of shirts close to the shelf, and it was useful for putting thing on, and maybe someone put it on there by mistake?
The result of the inquiry was that Ball was accidentally wounded by the charge of a Very pistol fired by CMS Metcalf. Captain Fitts was in error for not handing over the pistol and rounds to CSM Edwards without ascertaining whether the gun was cocked. CSM Edwards was negligent. Metcalf was careless in his admittance to taking the pistol. No precautions were taken to prevent the accident and there was nothing to say that Ball had tampered with the pistol. Accidental wounding was thus the verdict of the inquiry.
After his death, his pay was sent to his mother, Sarah at 3 Wortley Road, Masborough as were his medals.
James Ball was married by 5th June 1919 according to the military papers for Charles Henry, and lived in Albion Street, Wellgate, but I have no details I am afraid. There is another thing that says a letter was sent to Ja Ball at 3 Garden Street, Masborough and that also seems to be dated 1919. At one stage, the Ball's lived in Garden Street in the 1800s.
Arthur Ball was listed on his brother's form as being a soldier in 1917 of Wortley Road, Masborough, but again no details.
His Uncle, James Russell, is listed in the same document as living at 55 Albert Street, Masborough.
Another form on the file says they wrote to the family in 1923 about his pension, but it's uncertain who to.
In 1990 a lady called Mrs Doris Ethel Pearce of 100 Meadowhall Road, Kimberworth wrote to the army saying she was his daughter and could she have his war details which were sent to her.
By Nita Pearson