Private Alexander Ballam



Alexander Ballam was born on 27 December 1893 at Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon, the second of six children of merchant George Wesley Ballam and his wife Anna O'Connor Ballam (née Gillmor). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, with his parents, two sisters and a sister by adoption, and working as a shop assistant.

Ballam enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 13 August 1914 (No.997 – later Corps of Hussars No.71190). Just days later, on 20 August, he embarked for France with C Squadron, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded. Prior to this, however, Ballam was either posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, or returned home sick, wounded or injured before resuming duty at the regiment's reserve depot at Antrim.

On 20 February 1919 Ballam was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 23 August 1924 he married Anna Whitson MacDougall at Burlington House, Glasgow. The following year they emigrated to Canada, later moving to the US, where they settled at Chicago, then New York.

Ballam died in Cleeve, Scotland, on 11 September 1967.


Two of Ballam's brothers also served during the war. George Jackson Ballam, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, served in France, was wounded, and awarded a Military Medal. John Gillmor Ballam, an officer in the King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, served at Gallipoli and in the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, was also wounded, and Mentioned in Despatches.


The image above, taken in 1936, was sourced from public member trees, contributor Daphne Jackson.