KING, Jonah

178249, Private, Jonah KING
Aged 40
Labour Corps
previously 31988 Essex Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Sunday 19th January 1919

Born in Lakenheath [Mildenhall Q1-1879 4A:595], baptised Lakenheath 2nd March 1879

1881 census...Aged 2, he was living at 21 Anchor Lane, Lakenheath with his father- Matthew KING [30] a pedlar; mother- Margaret (née SHINN) [29]; sister- Hannah E. [8]; sister- Lucy M [6] and brother- Matthew [4]. All were born in Lakenheath.

1891 census... Aged 11, he was living in Anchor Lane, Lakenheath with his parents (father now a farm labourer); brother Matthew [13] a farm labourer; brother- Bertie [8]; brother- Albert [7]; brother- Margetson [5]; sister- Millie [2]. The new siblings all born in Lakenheath.

1901 census...Aged 22, a farm labourer boarding at Main Street, Parsons Drove, Ely with the DADE family.

1911 census...Aged 30 ?, a horse keeper at Murrow, Wisbech, with the RUMSEY family.

Two dependants on his pension card (1) Mrs Rumsey (aunt), Murrow, nr Wisbech and (20 Mrs Margaret King (mother), Anchor Lane, Lakenheath.

Enlisted in Bury St Edmunds, 10th April 1916. and called up 10th May 1916.
From his attestation paper he appears initially to have been #39470 35th Royal Fusiliers, then # 31988 (the regiment is not shown but this is the number given in other records for service with the Essex Regiment. Then he appears as 178349 in the 332 HS Labour Coy. Giving his age as 37 and 4 months, he was a stockman and had served in the Cambridgeshire Territorials. 5ft 4 1/2 inches (163.8 cm) tall, weighing 133 lbs (60.5 kg), he was muscular for his height, a chest of 40" (101.6 cm) and expansion of 3 inches (109.2 cm). He gave as his next of kin his father Matthew.
On his Relatives page [5 Jan 1920] he is shown as #178349 Royal Fusiliers. Transferred to the Essex Regiment 13th June 1916, then to Labour Corps 2nd May 1917, ending up on 28th September with 696 Agricultural Company.

His mother recorded that his father had died and she was at Anchor Lane, Lakenheath. His full brothers were recorded as Matthew [43] at Wings Road, Lakenheath; Bert [36] at Anchor Lane, Lakenheath and Mark [32] at High Street, Lakenheath. His full sisters were given as Hannah VELLAM [47] Wicken Fen, Soham; Lucy VELLAM [45] 78 Wellesley Road, Chiswick, London; Millie KING [34] 25 Sutherland Road,Chiswick, London; Bessie ADAMS [28] High Street, Brandon and Elsie KING [26] 25 Sutherland Road, Chiswick, London. Witnessed her mark by Alfred Pickworth J.P. Lakenheath

Parts of his records are illegible (doctor's traditional scribble ?) but from being stationed in Chichester, he appears to have been admitted to 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton on 18th December 1918, dying on 19th January 1919 from Thrombosis of the Head and a cryptic note "wounded Brighton". His personal effects forwarded to his mother were 2 shirts, vest and pants, cardigan, towel pair socks, truss and a holdall.
An unusual number of pages of his Army records survive but unfortunately not all are legible. There is no record of overseas service, his medical category seems to have been only B2. This would explain why there is no medal index card as no entitlement existed. His mother was however sent his Memorial Plaque the so called Dead Man's Penny, (example shown here)

The Bury Free Press of 1st February 1919 reported:-

Regret and sympathy were felt in Lakenheath when the sad news became known that Pte Jonah King, second son of Mr. Matthew King and of Mrs. King, had died in No.2 Eastern Hospital, Brighton from the effects of influenza on Jan.19th. He had been a soldier for about two and a half years and was aged 39
The coffin was brought home and the funeral was on Friday afternoon............

Jonah is buried in Lakenheath Cemetery grave 367

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