KING, Alfred John

No.55787, Private, Alfred John KING
Aged 31

Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Killed in Action on Monday, 27th May 1918

Alfred John King was born in 1887 (Mildenhall Q1-1887 4A:716), son of John and Martha Ann Elizabeth KING (née HARDING). His father had first married in 1863 to Tuddenham born Susan DARKINS [1831-1875]. He then married Martha Ann Elizabeth HARDING in 1877.

1891 census...Aged 4, he was at St Helena, Half Moon Place, Mildenhall, with his father John KING [57] farm labourer born Icklingham; his mother Elizabeth [42] born Barton Mills; half brother Simon [23] farm labourer, brothers Edward [11] and James [9]; half sister Eliza [19] and nephew Walter [2 months] born Bury St Edmunds. All the children except Walter were born in Mildenhall.

1901 census...Aged 14, a brickyard labourer, he was at Half Moon Place, Mildenhall, with his parents, half brother Arthur (farm domestic) born Mildenhall, James (road labourer) and nephew Walter (scholar).

He married in Mildenhall in Q3-1908 Eva Irene RIVETT [2-3-1888]. Eva later married Arthur LEONARD, subject of a much seen clip about trench warfare on the Somme (below).

1911 census...Aged 24, general labourer, he was at The Field, Holywell Road, Mildenhall with his wife Eva Irene [23] born Brandon and their children, Alfred Roland [27-9-1908] and Gertrude Irene [15-3-1911] born Mildenhall and brother in law Frederick Victor Rivett [20] born West Row. His parents were still at Half Moon Place with a grandson Charles KING [8] born Mildenhall. His mother is now entered as Martha Ann KING.

He enlisted in Mildenhall. The Machine Gun Corps records were totally destroyed in a fire at Shornecliffe in 1920, as a result tracing their actions is virtually impossible but a group is working on building a database from references in other records such as infantry battalion war diaries etc.
In the spring of 1918 the Germans had pushed the Allies back to the River Marne, though what English machine gunners were doing that far south into the French sector is unknown. Alfred was found 200 metres west of Chateau du Blance Sablon, ( close to Craonelle), exhumed by French on 7th January 1922 and re-interred at Craonelle. His entry in Register of Soldier's Effects is confusing as it states death accepted Germany, but the International Red Cross prisoners of war records show he was found and buried by the Germans Sanitation Company, identified by his dog tags and details were marked on his cross.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Alfred King is buried in Craonnelle French National Cemetery, grave 1820 (left hand edge)

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