KING, Arthur

No.147014, Gunner, Arthur KING
Aged 28

X38th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on Thursday 15th February 1917

Arthur King was born in Fordham on 16th March 1889 (Newmarket Q2-1889 3B:558) son of John Cadman and Martha KING (née LEONARD).

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Mann's Yard, Fordham with his father John [37] agricultural labourer, born in Isleham; his mother Martha [37] born Isleham, brothers Isaac [18], James [15] and William [12], all farm labourers, Isaac and James born in Isleham, William in Fordham. Also sister Susan [10], brother George [8], sisters Mary [6] and Ada [4] all born in Fordham.

1901 census...Aged 12 he was at Fyson's Yard, Fordham with his parents; sisters Susan, Ada and Elizabeth [9]; brothers George ( non domestic gardener) and Harry [5].

1911 census... Aged 22, he was a gardener, living at 54 Dalling Road, Hammersmith. His mother was at Church Street, Fordham with his sisters Ada, Lizzie and Winifred [10] and his brother Harry. His father was in an asylum and died in 1915. His mother had borne 16 children but 5 had died, she died in 1917.

From the above it is hard to see the connection with Chippenham except his name on the memorial. CWGC have his parents as "late of Fordham". It does seem he was the Arthur King who married Amy May PETHERS [7-5-1895] (from Brentford) in Newmarket in 1912 (qtr 4 3b:1347) and they lived in Chippenham. They had 2 daughters, Vera Lilian Alice [4-3-1914] and Jessie [20-4-1916]. The address on the pension card was 4 Kimberley Terrace, Station Road, Soham, chnaged to 27 Alma Road, Wandsworth.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
Most Divisions had three Medium Batteries, designated X, Y and Z. For example, in the 38th Division they would be X.38,Y.38 and Z.38, hence Arthur was with 38th Division, in the Ypres salient. Trench Mortar Companies were not the most popular of units, since once they started firing it was invariably a signal for a counter barrage from the enemy.
Which exact unit Arthur was attached to and exactly where is not known, but 5 men of the 11th South Wales Borderers killed that day are buried at Ferme-Olivier. Perhaps their war diary can be found and more details of where and how can be ascertained.

© Rodney Gibson

Arthur King is buried in Ferme-Olivier British Cemetery, Belgium, grave 3:A:14
and also commemorated on the Chippenham war memorial.

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