Profile Page

Basra War Cemetery, Iraq Basra War Cemetery, Iraq
First Name: Thomas Last Name: BALL
Date of Death: 18/11/1914 Lived/Born In: Stoke Newington
Rank: Sergeant Unit: Dorset2
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-West Ham

Basra War Cemetery, Iraq


At the start of the war in August, 1914, the 2nd Dorset battalion were in Poona, India as part of the 16 (Poona) Brigade, 6th Indian Division. They were soon on their way to the Persian Gulf to protect the oil installations there and on 6th November, 1914, landed at Fao. On the next day they began moving upstream in boats and reached a camp near the oil refineries at Abadan. A week later on 15th November the Brigade set off across the desert for Saihan, three miles upstream, where Turkish troops were said to be concentrating. By 7am the advance guard were due south of the village where they came under fire. 2nd Dorset worked their way around on the left of the enemy, who were entrenched on the edge of a date palms plantation, while the 104th Rifles and 20th Punjabis did the same on the right. These positions were rushed and the Turks retreated into the palm groves leaving their camp to be occupied.

This new position on the river allowed 18 Brigade to move up and two days later, 17th November, the two brigades now advanced on Sahil, several miles upstream, where a strong force of the enemy were holding a line of trenches running north-west from an old fort. At 9.15am contact was made and the British troops were deployed with 2nd Dorset on the right on a front of 300 yards. The advance on the Turkish positions, mainly held by Arab troops, began at 11am over ground slippery with mud after recent rain. Several casualties were incurred when the left of 2nd Dorset came under flanking fire but by 1am, after making a series of short rushes alternated with covering fire, the battalion had come to within 300 yards of the enemy trenches along the edge of a date palm plantation and in the fort. Meanwhile the other battalions of the two brigades were advancing around the left of the Turkish positions. The whole force then rushed the line and as the enemy fell back, the fort was captured and the new positions were consolidated. However this success had not come without a cost. The battalion suffered 170 casualties throughout the course of the day, one of who was Thomas Ball who died from wounds on 18th November.

« Back to Search Results
If you think any of the information shown here is incorrect, Click Here to submit your amends and comments
Copyright 2024 London War Memorial