- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/12/01
- Latest 1919/12/31
- Inscription 649336 PTE. G. H. BALL; STERLING
- Materials Sterling silver
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles
- Person / Institution Subject, Ball, Private Gordon Herbert
- Measurements Length 30.2 cm, Width 3.1 cm, Thickness 0.2 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Ball, Gordon Herbert
Gordon Herbert Ball was born in McKellar (Parry Sound district), Ontario, on 14 April 1899. He was the fourth of the six children of Herbert and Anna Ball.
A farmer like his father, Ball enlisted in the 159th Canadian Infantry Battalion (1st Algonquins) on 8 May 1916 in New Liskeard, Ontario. Underage, he lied about his birth date, stating that he was born on 14 March 1898. This lie still made him slightly underage (17 years 10 months old, rather than the minimum age of 18); however, the recruiting officers chose to overlook this deception and recorded his age as 18. Ball attempted to mask his identity - and, therefore, his age - by swapping the order of his first and second names. On his attestation paper, and all military documents, his name was recorded as Gordon Herbert Ball, rather than Herbert Gordon Ball.
Ball sailed to England with his unit aboard SS Empress of Britain in November 1916. On 30 January 1917, he was transferred to the 8th Reserve Battalion for further training. After being transferred to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (4 CMR) on 16 June 1917, Ball underwent three more months of training in France before joining his unit in the field in mid-September 1917.
Ball’s time with his unit was short-lived. In October 1917, he was hospitalized because he was suffering from diphtheria. It took him over two months to recover. He was then sent to reinforcement depots behind the lines to return to combat fitness. He finally rejoined the 4 CMR on 8 February 1918. Eleven days later, Ball was fortunate enough to be granted 14 days’ leave in the United Kingdom. He returned to his unit in early March and served until 26 August 1918, when he was killed by a shell while consolidating a defensive position in Lancer Trench during the Canadians’ successful attack on Monchy-le-Preux, part of the Hundred Days Offensive.
Gordon Herbert Ball is buried in Orange Hill Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.