KING, Ernest

No.493159, Private, Ernest KING
Aged 27

1/13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington), London Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 6th October 1916

Ernest King was born in Stradishall (Risbridge Q4-1889 4A:629), son of John and Naomi KING (née GOODCHILD).

1891 census...Aged 1, he was at Mill Lane, Stradishall with his father John KING [40] farm labourer; his mother Naomi [42]; brothers George [22], Harry [20], Edward [17], William [13] (al farm labourers), Fred [9] and Joseph [5]; sisters Kate [11] and Hannah M E [3]. All were born in Stradishall.

1901 census... Aged 11, he was at Thurlow Road, Stradishall with his parents, brothers William, Fred and Joe (all farm labourers) and Jim [8]; sisters Kate and Hannah. All are now recorded as born in Denston

1911 census... Aged 21, farm labourer, he is at Thurlow Road, Stradishall with his parents; brothers William, Joe and Jim. All now recorded as born in Stradishall. One of the 11 siblings had died.

His brother William, serving in the Suffolk Regiment, was killed in Belgium in March 1916. see here

He enlisted in Clare .
The war diary has :-
6th Oct.1916. .Operation order was received that the 4th Army would renew the attack tomorrow, the task of the 56th Division being to establish itself on a line from which the Le TRANSLOY trench system could be attacked at a later date - the attack was to be carried out in two stages, the first objective being DEWDROP and HAZY trenches and establish and consolidate a line along the western crest of the ridge between LES BOEUFS and LE TRANSLOY and the second objective being the capture of German retained ? trenches in front and the establishment and consolidation of a line from which the LE TRANSLOY trench system could be observed.
The Bgde was to attack on a front of 3 battalions, the London Scottish on the right, the Kensingtons in the centre and the Rangers on the left. The Royal Fusiliers were to be in Reserve on the German 3rd line.
In the early morning the Commanding Officer went up to the front line to inspect the digging which had been done during the night as apparently Fusilier post did not exist at all - the Company Commander had been out for four hours looking for it - that the officer commanding C Company had taped out a trench but that no digging had been done, as he was the only officer with the Company and had not returned - it afterwards transpired that he had been wounded.
At about 2 pm order were received that the Royal Fusiliers would carry out the attack of the centre battalion tomorrow in place of the Kensingtons but that the Kensingtons would dig the assembly trenches for the centre battalion tonight- we were also informed that the Bde Major would be at our HQ that evening at 5 pm to discuss details - orders were also received that the London Scottish would take over their assembly trenches from us that night. In the afternoon further orders for the operation tomorrow were received slightly altering the objectives of the right battalion and stating that zero hour would be at 1:45 pm.
At 5 pm a conference with regard tot he work to be done that night took place at Battn HQ, the Bgde Major and all the Company Commanding officers being present. After it was dark the Companies commenced the tasks allotted to them under the supervision of the Commanding Officer and the Bdge Major -
7th Oct.1916...the work was carried out all night and when finished the Companies came back to the 3rd German line, then trenches having been taken over by the London Scottish and the trenches which they had just dug being occupied by the Royal Fusiliers. The work done was not the same as that originally ordered but mostly consisted of a trench from FOGGY in the direction of RAINY, about 150 yards long and another about 15 yards in front of the same length.

CWGC have recorded 3 of the battalion were killed while all this was going on, only one has a known grave.

Ernest King is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, pier and face 9D/9C/13C/12C

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

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