KING, George

No.234105, Pioneer, George KING
Aged 33

330th Road Construction Coy, Royal Engineers
also recorded as WR 23878, Pioneer George King of same unit
Died of Illness on Wednesday, 6th March 1918

George King was born in Stradishall according Army records and "Soldiers Died", son of George and Emma KING. His parents are named by CWGC but have not been properly identified in any census, nor can their marriage be identified. George himself has so far not been positively identified in any birth records or census.

There was a George King of about the right age, living with an Aunt Clara King in Cocking End, Stradishall in 1891, but recorded as being born in London. Aunt Clara married Harry BANNISTER [1866] in 1894 in Stradishall. Clara did have a brother George but he married Susan COOKE, whereas the Army have George junior's mother as Emma. He may well be the same George King living with an Aunt Charlotte at Cocken End, Stradishall in 1901, but again "born in London".

1891 census...Aged

1901 census... Aged

1911 census... Aged

He married Jemima Minnie WEST in Newmarket on 8th October 1913 (Q4-1913 3B:1222). Their son Freddie was born on 15th July 1915.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
"UK, Army Registers of Soldiers Effects" and "Soldiers Died" both have his number as WR23878, CWGC has 234105. These numbers are both used at various places in his Army records. He served and died in France yet no medal index card has been found. His Army records are in the "burnt documents but several pages are far to faint to read.
He enlisted in Newmarket on 23rd November 1915, giving his place of birth as Stradishall , an ostler, aged 31 years 6 months, and living at Cock and Hen Inn, Stradishall . It is clearly written Cock and Hen Inn, but sometime appears to be referred to as Cocken End, Stradishall. He was 5 feet 6 inches (167.6 cm)tall, weighed 132 lbs (59.9 kg), chest 33.5" to 35.5" (85.1 to 90.2 cm). He said he had previously served in the 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, this poses another question as to why he was not mobilised sooner. His next of kin was his wife, Jemima Minnie who received a pension for herself and their son Freddie of 20/5 per week (£1.02).
He was placed on W Reserve and mobilised on 1st February 1917 in 330th Road Construction Company, Royal Engineers. He was very quickly sent to the British Expeditionary Force in France, on 11th March 1917. He was admitted to No 3 Field Ambulance on 27th March but returned to his unit the next day.
On 6th February 1918 he was complaining of pains and nausea and was admitted to No 4 General Hospital, Camiers (just north of Etaples on the coast), on 11th February.His condition worsened and after a restless night, on the morning of 6th March 1918 he asked to be propped up in bed, and suddenly died at 9:30 am. The cause of death was recorded as Nephritis.
Initially correspondence to his widow was addressed to Cock and End,(Cocken End) Stradishall but later to "The Cherry Tree", Fordham Road, Soham. When she completed the "Living Relatives" form on 12th September she had only entered herself and their son and entered "not any" in the other boxes. The civilian history above maybe indicates he was an orphan, brought up by Aunts, but it does not explain why the CWGC give his parents as George and Emma King.

His personal belongings consisted of : Letters, photos, 2 pipes, pocket book, 3 knives, watch and chain, razor and case, 2 cap badges and a charm, 3 rings, registration card, purse, tobacco pouch, bracelet, wallet and some coins. Sadly his army records are in parts too faint to read fully but it appears that his widow did not receive them and the Army appears to have some confusion over the matter. The two different regimental numbers would not have helped, and the Army does not appear to have sorted out possible duplication of records, but too many of his records are blank or unreadable.

George King's medal index card has not been found

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

George King is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, grave 31:G:19
and is apparently commemorated on the Soham War Memorial

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

BACK to Stradishall home page