D.S.O. M.C.

Born 1896 at 301 Lenton Boulevard. (due to renumbering now N0 245 Castle Boulevard).

After several moves the family settled at Sedgeley House, 43 Lenton Road, around 1901.


Primary education Lenton Church School.

Then Grantham Grammar School, Nottingham High School, and Trent College, Long Eaton.

Finished education at 17 years old.

Started Universal Engineering Works at Castle Boulevard, next to the house he was born in.


World War I started 4th August 1914.

Albert at 18 years old volunteered for Army, and in September enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters as a private.

Soon promoted to Sergeant then commisioned as second Lieutenant due to previous training in the Officers Training Corps.

Learned to fly aeroplanes at Hendon and after gaining Aero Club Pilot Certificate, he received his "Wings" and was transferred to the R.F.C. after which he was posted to N0 13 Squadron in France.

This was in February 1916.


He made a forced landing and then crashed and wrote off an aircraft, but flew over 40 operational sorties.

Albert Ball was then transferred to N0 11 Squadron and flew single seater fighter planes, the French Nieuport Scout.

Then he gained his reputation as a lone fighter pilot.


In June 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross and made up to full Lieutenant.

On September 1st he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

After further flying successes he gained a Bar to his D.S.O. and the Russian Order of St. George. 4th Class.

He was promoted to Flight Commander and then to Captain.

He was then given a months leave and posted to Home Base.


His homecoming was reported in many National Papers and also in the Nottingham Evening Post and the Evening News.

In November he was presented with his medals, plus a further Bar to his D.S.O. by King George V at Buckingham Palace.

He was also made a Honourary Freeman of the City of Nottingham.


After a brief spell as fighter plane instructor he was posted to N0 56 Squadron and on 7th April 1917 this Squadron moved to France.

56 Squadron were equipped with SE5 Aircraft.

After a very active month, on May 7th 1917 at 8 o'clock that evening Captain Albert Ball V.C. flew into a cloud after which his aircraft crashed to the ground.

He was first posted as missing in action and later his death was confirmed.


Later a memorial service was held at St. Mary's Church.

The City Council opened a fund, a statue was commissioned and on Wednesday

September 9th 1921 it was unveiled at Nottingham Castle by the Lord Mayor, Alderman H. Bowles and Air Marshall Sir Hugh Trenchard.

Sir Hugh was known as "The Father of the Royal Air Force", and was the Chief of the Air Staff at this time.

Albert's family had the Albert Ball Memorial Homes built in Church Street, Lenton in the early 1920's.

They consisted of eight homes to house widows and mothers of Lenton serviceman killed during the war, and were opened on September 7th 1922.

The homes are still occupied and are very distinctive, being built in the shape of an aeroplane.

A weather vane has a model of an early biplane above it.

Adjacent to the homes is the Lenton War Memorial which has the names of all the Lenton men who lost their lives through the war, and has the name of one Lenton Lady.

Albert Ball's name appears here of course, and there is also a plaque in Lenton's Holy Trinity Church.

His medals are displayed in Nottingham Castle.


It is interesting to note that N0 11, N0 13 Squadron and N0 56 Squadron have been in continuous service since those early days and are still in service.


At some time after World War I members of the Sherwood Foresters decided to hold an annual memorial service at the Castle Grounds on the date and time he was last seen flying.

As the years went by their numbers were so depleted that the Nottingham Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association was asked to carry on this wonderful tradition to a very brave man; and they have continued to do so.

A service will be conducted by the Rev. R.L. McCullock, R.A.F. Padre (Retired) and a wreath will be laid by Mr Herbert Best, the Branch President.

All are welcome to witness this occasion at the Nottingham Castle Grounds at 8pm. Friday 7th May.