Pte 41444 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion Leeds Pals. Previously Pte 5220 WYR and Pte 60729, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Thomas was probably born in March 1885 to Edwin (Ned) and Mary Ann Ball, for whom I have found no marriage record. He had six siblings, all younger than he; Mary Ann, Charles, Edward, Gertrude, Margretta (Margaret?) and Florence. His sister Mary Ann may have died by 1911 as she does not appear on the census and the total number of children is given as nine, with six still living and three having died, but the names of the other two are not known. (Source: 1911 Census)

Ned’s occupation was given as a coal merchant, as was Thomas’s. Charles was a brass moulder, Gertrude worked as a stitcher in a boot factory and Florence was an errand girl. Margaretta and Florence were both listed as domestic servants and Edward as working with Charles as a brass moulder. However it is likely that Ned was semi-literate and many of the columns were completed by another hand, probably the enumerator’s. (Source: 1911 Census)

In 1891, the family were at 24, Vandyke St; then at 33 Bousfield St in 1901 and finally in 1911 at 12, Haymount Terrace, Burmantoffs. (Source: 1911 Census)

This final address is the one Thomas is listed under in the Absent Voters List– but he is also there under his Northumberland Fusiliers regimental number 60729 – having transferred there from his previous service with the West Yorkshire Regiment as number 5220. (Source: Absent Voters List, Medal Index Card)

Sadly, we cannot ascertain at what date he joined the army, nor the dates of his transfers as his service record has not survived. We do know that he was transferred to Class Z on 13th February 1922 and was awarded the Victory and British War Medals for his service. (Source: Medal Index Card)

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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