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Leading Stoker Leonard Ball

SS/110860 H.M.S. 'Torrent' Royal Navy

Son of Mr Thomas and Mrs Harriet Ball, Rushden
Husband of Bertha M Ball (later Drage) sometime of Harrold BDF

Aged 24 years

Died 23rd December 1917

Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Panel 26

From the "Burnt Records"
In 1910 Leonard left Adams Bros shoe factory, after three years, due to "slackness of trade". He was aged 17 years and 8 months, when he went to enlist on October 31st in the Northants Regiment Special Reserve. He was examined and found to be 5' 5¼" tall, weighing 113lbs, with 34" chest (2" expansion), brown hair, grey eyes, 2 round scars on his left elbow, and scars on the fronts of both knees.
see also Soldier's Notes 1916 June 16th
The Rushden Echo Friday 4 January 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

A Rushden Seaman Drowned - Stoker Leonard Ball - A Jutland Hero

Mr Thomas Ball, of 92 Queen-street, Rushden, has received the sad Admiralty information that his son, Acting Leading Stoker, LB, late of Pratt-road, Rushden, was on HMS TBD —, when this ship, together with two other destroyers was mined off the Dutch coast recently.

Acting Leading Stoker Ball, who was in the Rushden as recently as December 15th last year, had spent eight years in the Navy — four of them as a seaman on HMS Princess Royal. He took part in the Battles of Dogger Bank, Heligoland, Bight and the great Battle of Jutland. He had been married only five months. He was transferred from the Princess Royal to the TBD —, and proceeded upon his first and last journey in the closing month of the old year.

Biographical Notes added November 2011:

Mother named as Martha on the CWG site, but no trace found – no marriage or death.

Thomas Ball married Harriet Wright June Q 1889.
Harriet (nee Wright) born 1864 Islip. Thomas Ball born 1866 Ringstead.
At Moulton in 1901 census, army boot maker working at home.
Children all born Ringstead, Thomas H 11, George J 10, Leonard 8 (28 Feb 1893), Emma 4.

Leonard Ball married Sept Q 1917 to Bertha Mary Skevington.

Thomas - father - died 1919 Aged 52.

Harriet - mother - died 1941 Rushden aged 77, buried grave DB85.

I now feel his mother’s name was given as Martha in error on CWG site. KC

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