|Above: Parchment Out-Pensioner certificate issued to No. 182 farrier Sergeant Thomas Ball of the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoon soon after his medical discharge from service.
Chelsea Out-Pensioner Certificate
7 1/2 Inches by 10 Inches
(19cm x 25cm)
28 June, 1866
Posted as a private on 5 February, 1858, Ball had one scrape with authority when he was confined for insubordination on 9 October, 1861. He was tried and convicted of the offense
and remained behind bars until returned to duty on 19 January, 1862. He must have been a quick study and having learned well from his single brush with military jurisprudence he was
promoted Farrier Sergeant on 4 February, 1863 having skipped any intervening ranks and appointments.
Ball remained Farrier Sergeant until being discharged on 26 June, 1866 as being medically unfit for further military service after 7 years, 303 day with the colours – virtually all of that
time being spent in garrison in India. During that time he was granted good conduct pay on 19 January, 1864
While Ball’s Out-Pensioner parchment is silent as to his medical condition his discharge papers paint a rather grim picture for 26 year old former soldier. The medical report included
with his discharge papers state that at some point prior to enlistment Ball and contracted syphilis which was unknown at the time he attested. Seemingly going untreated with the
mercuric treatments available at the time, Ball’s condition had advanced to the point that he had already lost the hard palate in his upper mouth and was suffering from additional
abscesses in the upper jaw. According to his Out-Pensioner certificate his pension began on 28 June, 1866 and continued for a period of two years.
I have uncovered little concerning Ball after his discharge or his life before enlistment. Two notations in his discharge papers made by Chelsea Hospital show his pension being
extended on 10 August, 1868. The second entry is unclear but it may indicate that Ball may have died on 24 June, 1890.
|Above: The reverse side of Ball's Out-Pensioner certificate providing rules, regulations and legal warning for the pensioner.