Vale Veteran Diederick W Ballot - SAMVOA Tasmania
UDF 611718 Vale Veteran Dirk Ballot
(1926 to 2013)
Vale Veteran Dirk Ballot was born in 1926 and died 2013. He was Gunner with 14 South African Field Artillery of 6th South African Army and was farming in Tasmania before passing. Dirk joined SAMVOA in 2009. He passed away in 2013.
Thank you for your service, Dirk.
Lest we Forget
Diederick W Ballot was born on the 6th December, 1926 at Bethlehem in the Orange Free State, South Africa.
He schooled at KES King Edward School in Johannesburg and his tertiary education was at Glenn Agricultural College in Natal.
Dirk married Evelyn and they had 3 daughters, all married with 5 grandchildren. Our sincerest condolences go to the family on his sad passing. Dirk made it across to Victoria to march with the Victorian SAMVOA members on ANZAC Day, 2009. As he suffered from severe arthritis, Evelyn asked for Dirk to have transport for the march.
Dirk was not having anything of this and, despite Cliffie Everton and Tom Robinson both taking transport, Dirk marched with "The Boys" in the first rank when in column of three. We know Dirk took strain, but he soldiered on for the entire march, such was his determination to be part of the main action. His whole family was present throughout, and Dirk was very proud of being with so many SAMVOA members, alongside two other South African Veterans from World War 2.
Dirk arrived in Italy in August 1944 as a 17year old Gunner reinforcement for 15 South African Field Artillery of the South African 6th Armoured Division, who were in the foothills of the Apennines, north of Florence. He was just in time for an abortive offensive on the Gothic Line. There was bitter fighting against determined German resistance in their well prepared mountain defensive positions. The rain, sleet and snow arrived and it was a stalemate situation under appalling conditions for the next 6 months.
Dirk was involved in the Spring Offensive March 1945 when after heavy fighting, the peaks of Monte Sole, Caparra and Abeille were captured. The South African 6th Armoured Division then pursued the retreating Germans into the Po River Plains, bypassing Bologna and inflicted a final defeat of the Germans at the battle of Finale. The Division capture Bologna from the East earlier than anticipated by the top Army Command.
Rest in Peace dear fellow Veteran.