Biography Of Albert Ball

Submitted By WesRider
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Albert Ball was born on 14 August 1896 at 301 Lenton Boulevard in Lenton, Nottingham. After a series of moves throughout the area, his family settled at Sedgley, 43 Lenton Road. His parents were Albert Ball, a successful businessman who rose from employment as a plumber to become Lord Mayor of Nottingham, and who was later knighted, and Harriett Mary Page. Young Albert had two siblings, a brother and a sister.[2][3] His parents were considered loving and indulgent. In his youth, Ball had a small hut behind the family house where he tinkered with engines and electrical equipment. He was raised with a knowledge of firearms, and conducted target practice in Sedgley's gardens. Possessed of keen vision, he soon became a crack shot.[4] He was also deeply religious.[5] This did not curb his daring in such boyhood pursuits as steeplejacking;[6] on his 16th birthday, he accompanied a local workman to the top of a tall factory chimney and strolled about unconcerned by the height.[7]

Ball studied at the Lenton Church School, Grantham Grammar School and Nottingham High School before transferring to Trent College in January 1911, at the age of 14. As a student he displayed only average ability, but was able to develop his curiosity for things mechanical. His best subjects were carpentry, modelling, violin and photography. He also served in the Officers' Training Corps. When Albert left school in December 1913, aged 17, his father helped him gain employment at Universal Engineering Works near the family home.[2][8]

First World War[edit]
Initial military service[edit]
Following the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Ball enlisted in the British Army, joining the 2/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment). Soon promoted to sergeant, he gained his commission as a second lieutenant on 29 October.[9][10] He was assigned to training recruits, but this rear-echelon role irked him. In an attempt to see action, he transferred early the following year to the North Midlands Cyclist Company, Divisional Mounted Troops, but remained confined to a posting in England.[2][3] On 24 February 1915, he wrote to his parents, "I have just sent five boys to France, and I hear that they will be in the firing line on Monday. It is just my