Albert James BALAAM

Poppy

BALAAM, Albert James

Service Number: 503
Enlisted: 10 August 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 24th Machine Gun Company
Born: Bury St Edmunds, England, 20 March 1892
Home Town: Riana, Central Coast, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Gardener
Died: Killed in action, Westhoek Sector between Zonnebeke and Polygon Wood, Belgium, 1 October 1917, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient), Penguin to the Great War
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World War 1 Service

10 Aug 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 503, 6th Machine Gun Company
16 Dec 1916: Involvement Private, SN 503, 6th Machine Gun Company, Third Ypres
16 Dec 1916: Embarked Private, SN 503, 6th Machine Gun Company, HMAT Medic, Melbourne
28 Jul 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 24th Machine Gun Company
1 Oct 1917: Involvement Private, SN 503, 24th Machine Gun Company, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Jennie Blake, Tasmania in the Great War
 
Remembering Pte Albert James Balaam
24th Australian Machine Gun Company

One of eight children, Albert was born on 20 March 1892 to George and Sarah Balaam of Ixworth, Suffolk.
When he was 21, Albert along with two other Ixworth lads emigrated to Australia on the S.S. “Ballarat” arriving in Melbourne, January 1913.

He travelled to Tasmania to live with his aunt and uncle, Stephen and Louisa Clarke (née Balaam), my Great Grandparents, the first settlers in South Riana, Northwestern Tasmania.

Albert enlisted in Penguin on 10 August 1916 and underwent training at Claremont Tasmania, Langwarrin and Seymour, Victoria before sailing from Melbourne on HMAT A7 “Medic” with the 8th Reinforcements, Australian 6th Machine Gun Company, disembarking in Plymouth on 19 February 1917.

After undertaking further training at Grantham and Belton Park, Albert proceeded to France from Southampton on 07 September 1917 as part of the 24th Australian M. G. Coy.

It is not known if Albert was able to visit his family whilst training in England; he had not seen them for four years.

Albert was killled in action on 01 October 1917; according to the Unit War Diary, on that day the 24th Aus M.G. Coy was positioned in the Westhoek Sector between Zonnebeke and Polygon Wood, Belgium.
Lt Birmingham of the same company wrote “His loss will be keenly felt in the Company....he was well liked”.

Albert has No Known Grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres Belgium.

He is also remembered on Memorials in Tasmania, the Australian War Memorial and in his home village of Ixworth, Suffolk.
Lest We Forget

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