Panayoty Percy Ballachey

Rank: 
Major
Unit at enlistment: 
58th Battalion
Force: 
C.E.F.
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Volunteered
Survived the war: 
No
Date of death: 
June 14th, 1916
Cemetery: 
Poperinghe New Military Cemetery - Poperinghe, Belgium - II.E.2.
Commemorated at: 
Grace Anglican Church
Birth country: 
Canada
Birth county: 
Brant
Birth city: 
Brantford, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
64 Brant Avenue, Brantford, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
64 Brant Avenue, Brantford, Ontario
Trade or calling: 
Dental Surgeon
Religious denominations: 
Church of England
Marital status: 
Married
Age at enlistment: 
37

Letters and documents

Circumstances of Casualty: Killed in Action. From information available, this officer was visiting the different posts when he was killed. No details relative to the actual circumstances of death are available.
Location of Unit at Time of Casualty: Zillebeke Sector.

BX June 17, 1916

Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey Today Reported Killed at Front with 58th Battalion, C.E.F. – The Official Announcement Was given out at Ottawa This Morning 

Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey, senior major of the 58th Battalion, has been killed in action according to an official announcement from Ottawa this morning.
  
Major Panayoty Ballachey was adjutant of the Dufferin Rifles at the time that war broke out and shortly afterwards became junior major of the local militia regiment. When Lieutenant Colonel Harry Augustus Genet was appointed to command the 58th Battalion, he selected Major Ballachey as his right hand man, appointing him senior major, an appointment that was confirmed by Ottawa. He left for Niagara Camp with Lt.-Col Genet, and went with that battalion overseas, landing in France early this year.

No details were given as to how he met his death, save that it occurred on June 14. This indicates that he was one of those who led the attack on the Germans in the successful effort to regain the ground taken from the Canadians by the Germans on June 2 and 3.

Dr. Panayoty Ballachey, who resided on Brant Avenue, was a prominent dentist of this city. For ten years, he had been a member of the public school board, and when the latter was superseded by the Brantford Board of Education, the public selected him as one of the members of the new body. When he joined for overseas, he retired from that organization and in commemoration of his ten years’ services for education in Brantford he was presented with a purse of gold by his colleagues on the board.

Mrs. Ballachey has not been living here, the home having been closed up when he left for overseas. During the winter months, it was used as headquarters for the staff of the 84th Battalion, which wintered here. Mrs. Ballachey returned Wednesday.

BX June 19, 1916

Death of Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey – Editorial

The death of Major Panayoty P. Ballachey brings home to the people of Brantford in a striking manner the sacrifice, which so many of our Canadian business and professional men are making in order to serve the Empire at this time. Major Ballachey left home with its domestic ties, closed up his dental office, and resigned from the Board of Education because he felt it to be his duty to enlist for overseas service. And now he has sealed his devotion to his country with his life. He had counted the cost, and he was willing to pay the price. The example he and others like him have set ought to be a severe rebuke to the young men without similar responsibilities, who are not willing to give up their ease and comforts in order to fight for King and Country, and also to those who are living lives of indifference to the tragedies of the war.

BX June 19, 1916

Panayoty Percy Ballachey Officially Confirmed Killed

Two telegrams have been received by Mrs. P.P. Ballachey from the militia department at Ottawa, stating that her husband, Major Panayoty Ballachey, had been killed in action but no further particulars have yet been received. One telegram was received Saturday afternoon and the other yesterday.

BX June 19, 1916

Mark of Tribute for Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey

As a tribute of respect to Major Panayoty P. Ballachey, who was on Saturday reported killed in action, W.H. Lane, of the Board of Education, had all flags on all the schools fly at half-mast. They will remain so for three days. Major Ballachey, previous to enlisting, was for about ten years connected with the public school board and later the Board of Education.

BX June 21, 1916

Major Panayoty Ballachey Was in Command – Major Frank Elsworth Hicks Acting Second in Command When Wounded – A Letter Received from Major Ballachey – Apparently Was Written Just a Few Days Before His Death - Col. Genet Was Away on Leave at the Time

Apparently written just a few days before he was killed in action, a letter was received yesterday by Mrs. Frank E. Hicks, 42 Oak Street, from Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey, informing her that her husband, Major F.E. Hicks, had suffered a slight wound. The letter would go to show that Major Panayoty Ballachey was in command when killed and Captain Frank Hicks was acting in command. The letter was as follows:

I am very sorry to have to tell you that Frank has suffered a slight wound. Yesterday afternoon he was in command of two companies in an advanced position, though not actually in the front line, and was either hit by a fragment of shell or a piece of brick from one of the buildings. The wound is in the left leg just above the knee. His leg was said to be fractured but I am not sure that this is so.

This is the third time Frank has been hurt within the last ten days. About May 28, he was hit in the shoulder by a piece of shell and got a nasty bruise, but only a very slight wound. On May 30, he ran a nail into his foot and had to leave the trenches the next day. He only stayed in the hospital for one day and came right back before he could get a boot on his foot. Then we were ordered up here and he got his boot on for the first time and came along, and has been acting in command of the 58th since, Col. Genet being away on leave.

I just want to tell you how very much I appreciate Frank's good work in the 58th Battalion, especially since coming to France. He has been the coolest and most reliable of company commanders. You have every reason to be very proud of your husband, and we are all proud to have been associated with him, and hope we will soon have him back. Frank left here last evening in a most cheerful mood, taking things in splendid style.

BX January 7, 1916

Major Dr. Panayoty Ballachey Resigned from Brantford Board of Education 

Dr. Ballachey Resigned

A communication from Major Panayoty Ballachey was read as follows:

“I wish to tender you my sincerest thanks for your kind resolution passed at a recent meeting. I greatly appreciate the kind sentiments expressed and especially the action of the board in granting me indefinite leave of absence. However, I think my absence from Brantford is likely to be for an extended period, and as we are now definitely ordered to leave for overseas service soon, I think it only fair to the people I have had the honor to represent for the past ten years, to tender to the board my resignation, the same to take effect when the board may deem advisable.”

After listening to the above communication, a resolution was prepared and adopted, to the effect that the resignation of Major Ballachey, to take effect forthwith, be accepted.

BX July 4, 1917

High Tribute to Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey – Private E. Clark Says He was Best Man in 58th Battalion, C.E.F.

The following letter, written on June 17, somewhere in France, by Private E. Clark to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Clark of Glassco’s, tells of the battle in which Major Panayoty P. Ballachey met his death:

Well mother, I have seen and been through something in the last two or three weeks. I suppose you have seen by the papers that we have been in some hot places lately. I do not know how anybody ever comes out alive. I cannot tell you anything about it, but will if I have the luck to come home. I suppose you have seen about Major Ballachey, the best man we had in the 58th Battalion, the only one we saw for two days, and he came right into the thick of the battle, but got hit on the last day we were there. There is only about one-quarter of the 58th left and I am one of the lucky ones for once.

We are going away, back for a month’s rest and we sure do need it too. In this letter, you will find part of a German coat. I shot him with my own rifle. He was an officer, but what rank I do not know, as I did not have time to find out. Our machine gun was put out of action in the last mix-up, but we still went through, as you will see by the papers. We go what we went after and some more.
    
Well, mother, I am sure satisfied to come home any day, believe me. Remember me to all, with love.

Your son,

E. Clark

BX July 7, 1917

Pay Tributes to Major Panayoty Ballachey – Letters Received From the Front Give High Praise to Local Officer 

Further tributes to the efficiency of the late Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey have been received by members of the family from the front, one from Lieutenant Colonel Harry Augustus Genet, his commanding officer, and another from Major Cassells, with whom he was largely associated. They both pay the highest possible tributes to one who had made his mark in the world’s greatest war.

Lieut.-Col. Genet wrote to Mrs. P.P. Ballachey:
  
I have one consolation to offer you in your sad bereavement. He died the finest death a man can wish for in the cause of his country and the right, and though sudden, it was painless and he knew no suffering. He died in the execution of his duty on June 14. He was going up to the front for the purpose of reconnaissance and was struck by a shell. The runner who was with him was wounded and came back with the intelligence. We laid him to rest on June 16 in a little military cemetery near Poperinghe. We all, officers and men, feel our loss keenly, appreciating, however, his fine qualities as a good man and a good soldier, which are aspirations to us all.
 
Major Cassells wrote:

I only wish to let you know how I and all the officers feel at the loss of the major. We were all so fond of him and his kind ways. I know the colonel has written giving you particulars. I can only add that you and the children may be proud of the courage shown by Major Ballachey. He really was wonderful and worked away without flinching in any manner. I personally feel his loss tremendously, as we've always seen a good deal of each other, and got along splendidly. I am glad that he had a chance to command the regiment during the absence of the colonel on leave for nine days and very exciting at that. I was away at the time, but from all I can learn the major handled the regiment in most trying circumstances in a splendid manner.

BX June 6, 1919

New School in East Ward to be Called ‘Major Ballachey School’ – In Honor of Trustee Who Gave His Life in the Great War – Board of Education Appoints Lieutenant William George Oxtaby Instructor in Physical Training at the B.C.I.

The new school in the East Ward will be known as “Major Ballachey School.”  This was decided by the Board of Education, which met last evening in the City Hall, when much routine business was transacted. The meeting was a short one lasting only one hour, and despite the heat a good turnout was present.

After a number of communications had been read and filed, including the re-appointment of Lieut. W.G. Oxtaby to the position of physical instructor for the Collegiate, and the resignation of two members of the teaching staff, a representative, Mr. J.W. Shepperson, was appointed to attend a meeting of school trustees in St. Catharines, to form a Rural School Trustees Association.

The committee for that purpose brought in their report for the name of the new school, which was as follows: 

That the new school now under construction on Rawdon Street shall be known as the Major Ballachey School.
In submitting this name, Mr. Chairman and members of the Brantford Municipal Board of Education, we do so for many reasons.
This is the first school in Brantford to be built since the signing of the armistice.

It will be opened in what will be known as Peace Year.  Can anything be more fitting than that the name of this school should be most closely connected with those men from our city who made this peace year possible.

To do so will be public recognition of the great debt this community owes to its fighting men as well as recognition of those who will not return, thereby providing a lasting, living and just memorial to all of Brantford’s noble heroes.

This being granted, who of all the men should give his name to this school?  All are worthy without exception, yet one only can be chosen as representing all the others.

By a process of just elimination we come to the name of one who was for many years a member of this board and, who was always deeply interested in educational matters in this city – P.P. Ballachey.

So far as we can gather, Major Ballachey was the only one of all the members of the Board of Education of this city who paid the supreme sacrifice.

For these reasons briefly outlined, as well as for others, it seems to us very fitting that the name of this school should be the Major Ballachey School, and I beg the privilege of moving accordingly; and further that these reasons be outlined on a suitable tablet to be placed in the school for the information of future generations.

BX August 5, 1919

Corner Stone of Major Panayoty Percy Ballachey School Was Well and Truly Laid – Chairman Dr. John Marquis Officiated, Assisted by Rev. S.E. Marshall, L.L. Miller, who Presented Silver Trowel to the Chairman, and Secretary A.K. Bunnell, the Latter Giving High Lights of the History of Brantford Schools

The corner stone of the new Major Ballachey School was well and truly laid yesterday afternoon by Chairman John Marquis of the Brantford Board of Education. There were present at the ceremony a small gathering of school board members, civic representatives, G.W.V.A. men and a number of ladies interested in Brantford educational work, as well as a number of children, the latter being duly impressed with the importance of the occasion. Some very fine sentiment, both local and national, was expressed by the various speakers, the ceremony occupying an hour.

The dedicatory prayer was delivered by Rev. S. Marshall, pastor of the Wesley Methodist Church, who asked for the Divine blessing both on the school and the future character of its occupants and on the workmen on the building, who should continue their task under the supervision of the Great Architect of Life. Following the opening prayer, L.L. Miller, chairman of the building committee, presented Chairman Marquis with a silver trowel for the laying of the stone. Trustee Miller paid the tribute to Dr. Marquis that it had been the unanimous wish of the committee that he should officiate at the ceremony, and the previous custom of inviting some outside notability should be disregarded owing to the splendid service given by the Board of Education’s present chairman. Dr. Marquis was then asked to accept the trowel.

Chairman’s Address

The address of the chairman was as follows:

“It has been the custom for generations past to make public formal ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone of every public building. The idea being, if the foundation, on inspection proves to be solid, accurately and truly placed, that the superstructure must necessarily be substantial, durable and serviceable.

“The ancient ceremony is particularly fitting in placing the cornerstone in a public school in a country like this and a city like Brantford, because the citizens know that in our public schools the foundation is laid for education and for the true democracy which is so dear to all of us.

“In our public schools every future man and woman must start his education. In our public schools, each child gets a start in the training, mental, moral and physical, the completion of which will ensure for his country a true and broad community spirit.

“The foundation stone of Canada’s brilliant future has been well and truly laid in our public schools and I may add that Canada’s corner stone has been polished though not re-laid by our Canadian soldiers who fought in Flanders.
“The record of the Canadians in the world’s war marks Canada as a nation of men and women.

“Every native-born soldier and nurse, who has helped to make Canada famous, started their career in a public school somewhere in Canada.

“It is the firm belief of the members of the Board of Education and of the citizens of Brantford, that this school in process of construction will fill a very substantial part in aiding in the training mentally, morally and physically of the children of this section of the city and that it will do good service in preparing them of the battle of life.

“The present year 1919, will be known for generations as Peace Year, for the British Empire is at peace.

“The name by which this school will be known, ‘The Major Ballachey School,’ has been chosen to commemorate the men and women who gave us victory and an Anglo-Saxon peace. The late Major Ballachey was for years a member of this board. He was a manly, honest and brave man. He died that his children and ours might continue to enjoy freedom. His name has been chosen out of respect not only for himself, but for all the men and women of his type who did their bit, that the present generation and future generations might continue to enjoy Anglo-Saxon freedom.

“The name of this building will not be lost on the thousands of children who will attend it during the years and those who will attend it during the years to come, if it helps to develop in them the manly and womanly qualities of those we have now in mind, and whom we have such good reason to always remember.

“I will not take up more of your time, ladies and gentlemen, but will lay this stone that the building operations may proceed. I declare this stone well and truly laid.”

The laying of the Stone

With Stonemason William Lister officiating, the stone was then well and truly laid.

Reminiscences

Secretary A.K. Bunnell, in addressing the gathering, was more historical than reminiscent in his remarks and he went back to 1826, when Brantford had its first school on the present market square; a town hall, meeting house and school with court house all in one.

The first pretentious school in Brantford was erected in 1850, and looking back to those present, there were Dr. Egerton Ryerson, specially invited to Brantford for the opening and the names of many families still prominent in Brantford. Those men had laid the splendid school system foundation in this city. Today the city had eight schools, with over 100 teachers, and it was hoped in the new structure to lay the foundation in the technical departments of vocational training in Brantford. Mr. Bunnell declared his belief that the present trustees were endeavoring to build well and truly for the future. It was his opinion that the people who built the schools had not used them enough, and he advocated making each school into a community centre with small libraries established for their districts.

Rev. Fotheringham

After Ald. Ryerson had added his congratulations, and remarked that looking to the vacant land in the east, it might seem as if the new school was being largely built on faith, Rev. J.B. Fotheringham was called upon.

Mr. Fotheringham acquiesced in the thought that the building of the new school was partly on faith, and he recalled a remark made by a speaker in Brantford on one occasion that Brantford was an insolent city. Everywhere he looked about, there was evidence that this city was not to be behind the times, and would remain in the forefront of everything. It was true that this city would progress in industrial development, but the greatest greatness was in the character of the men and women of this city, rightly educated, duly trained and brought up in the fear of God. Culture should be intellectual, physical and moral. Rev. Fotheringham suggested that the ground behind the school should be retained for all time for school purposes, the open air and the space above should rightly be regarded as symbolic of belief in other things.

Other Addresses

Trustee Armstrong asked for thought to be given to one important point. He asked that parents be loyal to the teachers and not discuss little faults and failings in front of the child from school, but go to the teacher first.

Trustee W.H. Lane stated that in naming the school, the Major Ballachey School, it had been desired to pay tribute to Major Ballachey as a former trustee, and to make the school a memorial for all who had given their lives in the war. He suggested that returned men should take an especial interest in the school and adopt it for themselves and he thought it would mean better character.

Trustee Gamble also referred to the fact that more new schools would be needed in Brantford in the near future.

Touching Tribute

A touching tribute from one soldier to a departed comrade was paid by Captain John Richard Cornelius to the late Major Panayoty Ballachey, and he congratulated the board on perpetuating the name of such a gallant officer, one who was loved by every man in the old 58th, and who died facing the enemy. Captain Cornelius gave personal incidents of the sacrifice and the bravery of the late Major, and his remarks were most feelingly given and received in silent tribute.

The singing of God Save the King brought the gathering to a close.

Among those present were chairman Dr. Marquis of the school board, Trustees Lane, Armstrong, Gamble, L.L. Miller, Miss Colter, Secretary Bunnell, Ald. Ryerson, representing Mayor MacBride, Ald. Freeborn, from the G.W.V.A. Capt. Cornelius, B. McGill, James F. Shute, J. Hutcheson and many ladies as well as a number of teachers.

What Went into the Box

The contents of the box placed in the corner stone:

Financial statement of the City of Brantford for the year ended December 31, 1919, and containing list of the members of the municipal council for the year 1919 together with a list of the municipal officials.

A booklet prepared as a convention souvenir of the meeting of the National Council of the Women of Canada, held in Brantford in 1918, and containing illustrations of the Bell Memorial, “Brant’s” monument, schools, and other public buildings of Brantford, together with letter press relative to Brantford’s participation in the Great War of 1914-1918. Booklet of the rules and regulations of the Board of Education. Scroll containing the names of the members of the Board of Education.

The names of the teaching staff of the public schools and the committees in connection with the administration of the Board of Education for the year 1919.

Copy of certificate of honor issued by the city of Brantford in grateful recognition of services rendered to Canada and the Empire to all those of this city and county participating in the struggle for the freedom and justice as members of Canada’s Expeditionary Forces.

Booklet containing the minutes of the proceedings of the county council of the County of Brant for the year 1918, and the names of the members of that body and of the county officials.

Copy of the Brantford Expositor for the fourth day of August 1919. A booklet containing the minutes and proceedings of the municipal council of the County of Brant for the year 1919, together with the names of that body for that year. Alexander David Hardy, being Judge of the county, and John W. Westbrook, Sheriff.

The building was called “The Major Ballachey School” in honor of Major Panayoty P. Ballachey, who gave his life for his King and Country while serving in France as a member of the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion. Major Ballachey was for many years a member of the Brantford Public School Board and chairman of that body for the year 1911.