Albert Ball was seconded to the RFC today from the North Midland Cyclist Division.
Ball was born at Nottingham on the 21st of August 1896, son of Alderman Sir Albert Ball, sometime mayor of the city. He showed an early passion for pistols which he began to collect at the age of nine years and he became a remarkable shot at an early age. Ball had a small hut behind the family house where he tinkered with engines and electrical equipment.
On the outbreak of war he joined the Sherwood Foresters, and later transferred to the cyclist corps. Soon promoted to sergeant, he gained his commission as a second lieutenant on 29 October 1914. He was assigned to training recruits. In an attempt to see action, he transferred early the following year to the North Midlands Cyclist Company, but remained confined to a posting in England. While encamped near Ealing in the summer of 1915, he took flying lessons at Hendon at his own expense and passed his flying certificate on 15 October 1915 at the Ruffy-Baumann School, in a Cauldron G3.
He was seconded to No. 9 (Reserve) Squadron RFC on 23 October, and trained at Mousehold Heath aerodrome near Norwich. He completed his training at Central Flying School, Upavon, and was awarded his wings on 22 January 1916.