Frank Aylward Ball

Frank Aylward Ball ©

Frank Aylward Ball ©

Date of birth: 22nd April 1893
Place of birth: Portsmouth
Service No.: Insert Number
Rank: Leading Mechanic F / 7
Service: Royal Naval Air Service
Died: 17th March 1916 aged 22 years
Death location: Insert data






This photograph is © Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group have received permission to reproduce this photograph and extracts from the narrative on the Old Tauntonians’ online War Memorial:

Please do not reproduce the photograph or any wording from this page.  If you want permission to use this photograph or narrative please contact the College on


Life before the War
Frank was the youngest of 3 siblings born to John Henry and Emily Charlotte, nee Aylward.  John was born in Leeds in 1865, Emily in Portsmouth in 1862.  They married in Portsmouth in 1884.  Emily died in Southampton in 1933 and John died in the city on 17th January 1937; he left £78 11s 10d to his daughter Ethel.

Frank’s two older sisters were:

Ada Mary    b.1885 Portsmouth and d.1978 Isle of Wight.
Married Austin Grist in Wandsworth in 1910.  They had a daughter and a son born 13 years apart.

Ethel Muriel   b.1891 Portsmouth and d 1963 Gosport.
Married Walter A Martin in Portsmouth in 1949.

It is not known when the family moved to Southampton but Frank was a pupil at Taunton’s School from 1906 to 1908.


War Service
At the outbreak of war Frank enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service.  After training he was assigned to RN Air Station East Fortune in East Lothian, Scotland.

On 17th March 1916 Frank was aboard a plane observing a bomb-dropping test.  With no warning the plane nosedived to the ground from 200 feet;  both Frank and the pilot were killed instantly.

Frank is buried in Hollybrook Cemetery (K.8.280).

The headstone of Frank Aylward Ball

The headstone of Frank Aylward Ball


Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s School:  1906 – 1908

Education & Employment:  Frank was born on 22nd April 1893 in Portsmouth.  A quiet, unpretentious pupil while at Taunton’s, after leving school he entered the electrical engineering profession.  He worked as a fitter for a lift engineering company in London.

Life during the War:  Frank worked as a leading mechanic for the Royal Naval Air Service during the war.  While at the East Fortune Air station, he was a board a plane observing a bomb dropping test when at a height of 200 feet the aeroplane began to nose dive.  Both he and the pilot were killed instantly.  He was remembered by comrades as a man of a light-hearted and gentle disposition, which earned him the affection of many.  He is buried in Hollybrook Cemetery in Southampton.

Frank died on 17th March 1916 aged 22 years.


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 9th June 1915
Updated: Insert dates here

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