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Ball, Oswald Frederick Grevatte

Second Lieutenant Oswald Frederic Grevatte Ball was educated at the Brighton Grammar School whence he came up to King's, where he entered the Faculty of Arts. While at school he distinguished himself alike in the classroom and the playing fields where in football and athletic sports he made a great name for himself.

He joined the army after the outbreak of war, and in August, 1915, obtained his commission in the Royal Sussex Regiment. He was soon made bombing instructor to his battalion, but took the opportunity of transferring to the R.F.C., and went out to France, where he saw seven months of service before he met an untimely death at the age of 22 years.

Just as he distinguished himself in the contests in the playing fields at school, so also in France he distinguished himself as an intrepid airman - thus on one occasion he and three others attacked nine enemy machines. Ball's was hit, and badly damaged, but he piloted it in safety to the British lines.

He met his death on April 5th by a tragic misadventure. While returning from a reconnaissance he was compelled through atmospheric conditions to descend somewhat and in so doing was hit by an English shell, both himself and his observer being killed instantly.

He was buried at Aubigny, near Arras.

Quote from the magazine of his old school: "Brief though his period of service was, we rank him with those who 'cared greatly to serve God and their King ..... and passed content, leaving to us the pride of lives obscurely great.'"

King's College Review, Dec. 1917


First name(s)Oswald Frederick Grevatte
Date of birth1894
Place of birthSteyning District
Family detailsSon of Oswald & Maud Ball of Glenthorne, Raven Road Shoreham by Sea, Sussex
Previous educationBrighton Grammar School
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1914
Dept / courseFaculty of Arts
Military unit2nd Regiment Royal Sussex Corps then Royal Flying Corps 13th Artillery Observation Squadron
Date enlistedJoined the army at the outbreak of war
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance and Flanders
Date of death5 April 1917
Age at death22
Rank at deathSecond Lieutenant
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeAubigny Communal Extension
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel; Shoreham War Memorial
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; University of London OTC 1914-19

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