Captain Albert Ball
Served with the Sherwood Foresters (1914-1915) & the Royal Flying Corps (1915-1917)
Medals: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order & Two Bars, Military Cross, Légion d'honneur (France), Order of St. George (Russia)
Died on the 7th May 1917 (aged 20)
Albert Ball was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. At the time of his death he was the United Kingdom's leading flying ace, with 44 victories.
Raised in Nottingham, Ball joined the Sherwood Foresters at the outbreak of the First World War and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in October 1914. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) the following year, and gained his pilot's wings on 26 January 1916. Joining No. 13 Squadron RFC in France, he flew reconnaissance missions before being posted in May to No. 11 Squadron, a fighter unit. From then until his return to England on leave in October, he accrued many aerial victories, earning two Distinguished Service Orders and the Military Cross. He was the first ace to become a British popular hero.
After a period on home establishment, Ball was posted to No. 56 Squadron, which deployed to the Western Front in April 1917. He crashed to his death in a field in France on 7 May, sparking a wave of national mourning and posthumous recognition, which included the award of the Victoria Cross for his actions during his final tour of duty. His most renowned enemy, Manfred von Richthofen, remarked upon hearing of Ball's death that he was "by far the best English flying man".
To view the newspaper when he was awarded his VC click here
Alberts grave at the Annœullin Communal Cemetery (Grave 643)
Submitted by: Dorothy Norcross