KING, William

No.3/9546, Private, William KING
Aged 38

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 2nd March 1916

William King was born in Stradishall (Risbridge Q3-1877 4A:463), baptised in Stradishall (St Margaret's) on 9th September 1877, son of John and Naomi KING (née GOODCHILD).

1881 census...Aged 3, he was at Farly Green, Stradishall with his father John KING [31] farm labourer; his mother Naomi [32]; brothers George [12], Harry [10] both farm labourers; and Edward [7]; sisters Ada [5] and Kate [1]. All were born in Stradishall.

1891 census...Aged 13, he was at Mill Lane, Stradishall with his parents; brothers George, Harry and Edward, (all farm labourers), Fred [9], Joseph and Ernest [1]; sisters Kate [11] and Hannah M E [3]. All were born in Stradishall.

1901 census... Aged 23, a farm labourer, he was at Thurlow Road, Stradishall with his parents, brothers Fred and Joe (both farm labourers), Ernest and Jim [8]; sisters Kate and Hannah. All are now recorded as born in Denston

1911 census... Aged 33, farm labourer, he is at Thurlow Road, Stradishall with his parents; brothers Ernest, Joe and Jim. All now recorded as born in Stradishall. One of the 11 siblings had died.

His brother Ernest, serving in the London Regiment, was killed in France in October 1916. see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds. Although arriving in France on 10th October 1914 he does not appear to have the clasp to his 1914 Star, but this could well be due to his family not claiming it. His battalion certainly saw action before 22nd November.
The 2nd Battalion, Suffolks was in it's assembly area on the night of 1st March near Bedford House on the St.Eloi-Ypres road. They were to try and retake our trenches recently lost to the Germans
The attack started at 0445 'B', 'C' and 'D' companies on the south side of the Bluff. Immediately star shells were sent up by the Germans turning night into day. Our artillery then opened up on their 2nd line, our troops already being through the first line, having taken the enemy by surprise. 'A' company on the left was not so lucky, being caught by a counter barrage before they could leave King Street. By 0700 the lost trenches had been re captured. The ground was in a terrible state, churned up by the barrages and the battalion left the line sparsely occupied while they returned to the assembly trenches. An enemy barrage continued all day, but our artillery countered effectively. A successful operation result in the recapture of all the ground previously lost, but at the cost of 250 casualties out of the 500 employed. It was, incidentally, the first operation when they wore the newly issued steel helmets (the tin hats)

CWGC records 53 killed, and only 6 having an identified grave.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William King is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, panel 21

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

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