Rank: Private 16683
Regiment: 9th Bn Devonshire Regiment
Died: 1 July 1916
Merton Memorial Plaque
Other Memorial: Devonshire Cemetery Mametz [Google]
PDF Download: BALCH George
Private Balch was the brother of Mr J Balch, of Merton, and served with the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.
The 9th was a service battalion, part of the New Armies put together to supplement the professional forces in the early days of the war.
The 9th was formed in Exeter in September 1914 and in August 1915 was part of the 20th Army Brigade, 7th Division.
The fact that Private 16683 George Balch was in the Devonshires and died on 1 July 1916 tells us that he almost certainly was killed in the fighting on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, alongside hundreds of his Devonshire comrades. He is one of the 153 men buried at the famous Devonshire Cemetery at Mametz.
He is also remembered with honour on the memorial in the church at Merton.
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