16683 Private George Balch 

9th(Service)Battalion

Devonshire Regiment

1st July 1916

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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

(1884-1967),Frances Mary(1886-1969),Bessie(20/06/1896-1970),Polly

(04/12/1898-1988),Jessie Ellen(26/12/1903-1973)

and Margaret(1905-1956).

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.”

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