David Ball, Private 267372/267382, 537th Home Service Labour Company
Formerly Private 2048, 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of illness 16th June 1919 in Macclesfield, aged 47
David Ball was born in Macclesfield in 1876, the son of Jane (nee Hackney) and Samuel Ball, a silk weaver. In 1881, five-year-old David was living at 10 Whalley Hayes with his parents and sisters Emma Jane (8) and Polly (1).
By 1891 David’s father had died, and the family, which included another child, Joseph, had moved to Court 8, House 3, King Edward Street, where they lived with David’s widowed maternal grandmother. David, then aged 15, was employed as a silk bobbin lad.
David joined the Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers Militia and at the time of the 1901 census was away from home at Beaumaris, Anglesey, lodging with a number of others at the Prince of Wales Inn, Church Street.
In 1911 David was in Macclesfield with his family at 40 King Edward Street, and employed as a ‘cycle machinist.’ He later became a motor mechanic.
As a former serviceman, David either volunteered or was recalled to service just after the start of the war, on 6 August 1914, joining the local 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 2048. He trained at several locations in England and was drafted to Gallipoli, leaving Devonport on 17 July 1915. Unfortunately the climate did not seem to suit him and he was hospitalised in Egypt on several occasions with dysentery, pyrexia, diarrhoea, appendicitis, and was finally admitted to No. 19 General Hospital in Alexandria on 26 January 1917 suffering from paralysis agitans, which led to him being repatriated to England on the hospital ship Glengorm Castle on 7 March 1917.
After some time in hospital, Private Ball was transferred to the Labour Corps on 1 July 1917, first to the 538th Home Service Labour Company and then to the 537th Company, with service number 267372 or 267382. However, by the end of July it became clear that Private Ball was unfit for service in any capacity and he was discharged from the Army as being no longer physically fit for war service on 25 December 1917. He was awarded silver war badge number 315520 on 10 January 1918.
David Ball later developed tuberculosis and was treated for this at Macclesfield’s Isolation Hospital off Moss Lane, where he died in June 1919 – on 16th, according to his service records, or 18th, according to announcements in the local press. His death was announced in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 27 June 1919:
DEATHS: BALL – on June 18th, at the Isolation Hospital, David Ball, aged 43.
The burial of Private Ball was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 27 June 1919:
INTERMENTS AT THE CEMETERY: BALL – June 21st, at the Sanatorium, David Ball, aged 43 years.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
Census (England & Wales): 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
WWI Silver War Badge Records (Ancestry)
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 27 June 1919
Macclesfield Advertiser: 27 June 1919