Privates Joseph Ball and Sheffield, both of the 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment, had gone absent in December 1914.
After only six weeks active service, they had deserted together from their unit. This happened while the rest of their unit made its way to the front line, ready for the attack on Neuve Chapelle. Ball and Sheffield were discovered hiding in a barn, pretending to be French civilians. They were tried on 30 December 1914.
Privates Ball and Sheffield were both shot together, in the first double execution of the First World War. Their execution took place on 12 January 1915.
Privates Ball and Sheffield have no known grave, and are both commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Panels 31 and 32.