16683 Private George Balch
1st July 1916
Born in 1894 in Merton,Devon.
His parents were William Balch(1865-1905) and
Ellen Blight(1865-1913). They married in 1884.
George had 3 brothers;John Thomas
(30/07/1888-1976),James(1891-1953) and Arthur
(born in 1901).He also had 6 sisters;Louisa Annie
In the 1901 census,the family were recorded as living in Monks Park Little Torrington ,Devon. Georges' father was employed as an agricultural labourer on a farm.
By the the time of the 1911 census,Georges' father had passed away and his mother had been admitted as a patient in the Cottage Hospital in Great Torrington in that year, where she stayed until she her death 2 years later.
George went to live with his brother James in
Merton Village near Dolton, Devon. He was employed as a grocers assistant.
He enlisted in Okehampton, Devon and was killed in action on 01/07/1916.
He was awarded the British War 1914-1918 and
the Allied Victory medals.
Western Times – Friday 28 July 1916 –
“Life is Silvern - Sacrifice is golden
Pte. Balch was well known and greatly respected in Merton where prior to the war he was engaged at the Cash Stores. He fell in the big push in France. He faced the Prussian Guards at Fricourt with the gallant Devons.”