Ball, Walter Grice: Service no. 880560

Digitized Service Record

Source: Gathering of Heroes

Ball, Walter Grice: Service no. 880560. Contributed by Mark Rennie Forsythe via the 18th Battalion Facebook Group.

Summary of Service[i] for Private Walter Grice Ball, reg. no. 880560.

January 25, 1897BornBorn at Raleigh Township, Kent County, Ontario, Canada.
March 29, 1916EnlistsEnlists with the 186th Overseas Battalion at Chatham, Ontario at the age of 19-years, 2-months. He was born on January 25, 1897. He is a bookkeeper and has no prior military experience. Naming his mother, Mrs. Margaret Ball of R.R. No. 6, Chatham as is next-of-kin. Standing 5’9.5” tall he has a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His faith is designated as Church of England. His medical examination shows he weighs 131 lbs and indicates his height as 5’8”. Of note is that his first vaccination failed and he had a course of 3 inoculations to tetanus. Most soldiers only required 2 shots.
May 3, 1916TransferredTransferred to Machine Gun Section.
June 6, 1916CB4 days CB. Not stated.
July 15, 1916CB1 day CB. Not stated.
September 27, 1916Signs “Particulars of Family of an Officer or Man Enlisted in the C.E.F.He has no life insurance and his parent Mr. David and Mrs. Margaret Ball of R.R. No. 6 Chatham are both living.
March 25, 1917EmbarksEmbarks for England aboard the S.S. Lapland from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
March 28, 1917Unit Sails 
April 1, 1917Assigns PayAssigns $15.00 per month to his mother, Mrs. Margaret Ball, R.R. No. 6, Chatham, Ontario.
April 7, 1917Arrives EnglandArrives aboard the S.S. Lapland.
April 7, 1917TOSTOS with the 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott Camp.
August 23, 1917Proceeds to ContinentProceeds to go to France.
August 25, 1917Arrive in FranceArrives and 2nd Canadian Infantry Base Depot, Etaples, France and TOS 18th Battalion.
September 5, 1917Arrives at BattalionArrives In The Field. The Battalion is in billets at Villers Au Bois and had a pay parade that day.
November 10, 1917WoundedWounded at Passchendaele with a GSW right thigh, mild.   The Battalion War Diary for that time records an entry for the days 9 to 12, inclusive:   “During the whole of this tour the Officers and men held this part of the line under the most severe conditions possible. Great difficulty was experienced in the evacuating of casualties from the front line to R.A.P.s and dressing stations. Front line trenches were subjected to frequent barrages and the rear country [area] was also heavily shelled and bombed. The supports on this front were reached by a series of tracks, being trench mat walks, and rations had to be carried by mules up these tracks. Each track being subjected to continual shellfire, the transport and ration parties where fortunate in escaping with the loss of 3 men killed and 1 mule which fell off the duckboard track and owing to the depth of the mud had to be shot. Splendid work was done by the Battalion Stretcher bearers in tending and evacuating the wounded.”
November 10, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to No. 1 CFA.
November 10, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 10 CCS.
November 11, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to No. 26 General Hospital, Etaples.
November 30, 1917TransportedTransported to England via HMHS Ville de Liege. Posted to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot. He is admitted to Middlesex Western Hospital, Clacton-on-Sea. This hospital is affiliated with the General Military Hospital at Colchester.
January 9, 1918DischargedDischarged to hospital with a class of DI.
January 11, 1918AttachedAttached to No. 2 CCD. Bramshott.
February 22, 1918Ceases AttachmentCeased to be attached to No. 2 CCD and returned to 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott.
May 9, 1918AppointedAppointed Lance/Corporal with pay.
December 3, 1918On CommandOn Command with 4th Reserve Battalion for return to Canada. Now at Witley Camp.
December 12, 1918SOSSOS from 4th Reserve Battalion to proceed home to Canada.
December 12, 1918SailsSails from Liverpool for Canada. TOS with MD No. 1, London, Ontario, Canada.
January 16, 1919Medical and Dental ExamThe exam at London, Ontario reports that he is 5’8” tall, weighing 141 lbs. His hearing is good to 21’ (conversational voice) and his eyesight is 20/20 both eyes. He has a shrapnel flesh wound on right thigh from a wound received on November 8, 1917 and has no disability related to his military service.
January 21, 1919DischargedDischarged at Military District No. 1, London, Ontario. He is now 21 and has a bull dog and flags tattoo on left arm and sports a GSW on his right thigh.
December 12, 1953Deceased 

Acronyms and Explanations[ii]

AWLAbsent Without Leave: Generally, a soldier would be deducted 1-days pay for every day absent. In some cases, the soldier would be confined to barracks. Sometimes it was a combination of both.
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CBConfined to Barracks: a punishment for minor infractions.
CCDCasualty Convalescent Depot: a depot at a base where men, in their final stages of convalescing, would be prepared for duty depending on their rating.
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CCRCCanadian Corps Reserve Camp
CCSCasualty Clearing Station: this facility was attached to rail transportation from the front to hospitals on the coast of France
CFACanadian Field Ambulance
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
In the FieldThis term relates to a soldier arriving at an active-duty unit after transporting from England, to France, and then to his duty assignment. The routing varied from soldier to soldier and could take 2-3 days to several months.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength

[i] The Summary of Service for this soldier is meant as just that, a summary of his service. It is not intended to be an exhaustive biographical relation of his life or his war service. Some information may be deliberately suppressed by the author out of sensitivity to the soldier. Readers are encouraged to reference the actual service records available at the Library and Archives Canada in PDF format if they wish to learn more about this soldier. Such additional information (i.e. hyperlinks etc.) are for informational purpose only and no claim to verification or accuracy is made by the author of this summary.

[ii] This matrix is by no way exhaustive.


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