KING, Harry

No.8801, Private, Harry KING
Aged 29

1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 8th July 1916

Harry KING was born in Haverhill (Risbridge Q1-1887 4A:631) son of Henry and Harriet KING (née CHAPMAN).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at 8 Chauntry Place, Haverhill with his father Henry KING [47] general factory hand; his mother Harriet [43] born Kedington; sisters Esther [23] born Kedington, Jane [15] and Eliza [13] all general factory hands], Florence [10] and Alice [7] ; brother Thomas [1].All except his mother and sister Esther were born in Haverhill

1901 census...Aged 13, he was still at 8 Chauntry Place with his parents (father a coat presser); sisters Jane and Alice (both trousers machinists); brother Thomas.

1911 census...None of them have been identified in this census. From his Army number it is just possible that Harry was in the Army. His father apparently died in 1908

Harry enlisted in Haverhill, his number indicating 1904/1905. Despite being awarded the 1914 Star and being in France on 5th November, he does not have the clasp. This may quite possibly due to his relatives not claiming the clasp, which was not instituted until 1919 and had to be claimed and checked. So, strictly speaking, he was not an Old Contemptible.As his "Soldier's Personal Effects" entry cannot be found, nor his service record, the only link is "Soldiers Died".

After fierce fighting around Contalmaison on the 7th, the battalion diary has:-
" Fricourt - 8th - During the forenoon and afternoon of the 8th a strong manoeuvre under Captain LITTLE of "D" Coy was pushed up to CONTALMAISON and found strongly held by the enemy. At 4:45 pm orders were received from 24th Bde HQ to at once attack CONTALMAISON, artillery observers having reported our troops as having entered the village from the west. These reports were quite false and not in accordance with the information gained by our patrols - At about 5:30 pm the battalion was getting into position to attack from PEARL ALLEY in conjunction with the 2nd Northants Regt who were already deployed for the attack from the direction of PEAKE WOOD. At this tome the enemy fired a tremendous barrage on all fronts leading from SHELTER ALLEY to PEAKE WOOD as far down as SHELTER WOOD. at the point where SHELTER ALLEY commences to run north.The 2nd NORTHANTS REGT appeared to be caught in this barrage whilst in the act of deploying and soon began to fall back and by 6:30 pm were in their original positions.In the meanwhile the battn, with some losses, had worked forward along SHELTER TRENCH north of PEARL ALLEY and there awaited orders as regards attacking since the advance of the 2nd NORTHANTS being a total failure and conditions laid down for the attack no longer existed. At 7 pm orders were received from 24th Bde not to attack and to withdraw two companies to CRUCIFIX TRENCH and keep two companies as before along SHELTER ALLEY. This movement was accordingly completed by 8 pm., A and C Coys remaining in SHELTER TRENCH."

CWGC figures show 6 of the battalion killed that day.

map from

Harry King is commemorated on Thiepval memorial, pier/face 5A/6C

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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