KING, Arthur William

No.24878, Private, Arthur William KING
Aged 22

"A" Coy., 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action between 9th and 19th April 1918

Arthur William King was born in 1896 in West Row (Mildenhall Q2-1896 4A:816), son of William and Harriet KING (née PITCHES). (for some reason CWGC have his father as Walter)

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Pot Hall, West Row, Mildenhall with his father William [46] farm labourer; his mother Harriet [42]; brothers Walter [18] a shepherd and Charles [10]. All were born in Mildenhall

1911 census...Aged 14 a farm labourer, he was at Pot Hall, West Row with his parents, brothers Walter and Charles , both farm labourers, and visitors Isaac MOORE [27] a soldier and his wife Ann [26] both born West Row. His brother Charles was killed in France around the same date in 1918. see here

He enlisted in Mildenhall.
Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" has:
In April 1918 the 11th Suffolks (often referred to as the "Cambridgeshires") were at La Rolanderie with the 12th Suffolks nearby at Fluerbaix. On the 9th the Germans opened in intensive barrage south of the Lille railway but no attack developed along the 34th Division front. 101st Brigade ( of which 11th Suffolks were part) set off as Corps Reserves to the south of Bac St Maur. An hour later news came that the Germans had broken through the Portuguese front and were entering the 40th Division zone. With that, the 101st Brigade were ordered to cover the flank, but they found Bac St Maur occupied by the Germans and took up position facing west and south west near Fort Rompu and began fighting immediately. A strange occurrence, when the Corps Reserve were actually the first to engage the enemy. Terrific fighting followed and on the 10th the Suffolks formed a defensive flank, beating off attack after attack. Twice the Germans broke through and twice were thrown back. At 3:20 pm they were ordered to withdraw to behind the River Lys. The struggle continued until on the night of 17th/18th when they were relieved, moving back first into reserve trenches and three days later back to Boeschepe.
These battles of the Lys cost the battalion nearly 500 casualties, CWGC figures give 116 dead. 64 of these were on the 9th April.

The Bury Free Press of 18th May 1918 reported:-

The accompanying photos are of two West Row brothers {Charles' photo is not clear enough}, who we regret to say have fallen in action in France. They are the sons of Mr. And Mrs. Wm King, of Pot Hall, West Row to whom much sympathy has been extended in their sad double bereavement...........Prvt Arthur King of the 11th Batt. Suffolk Regiment, their youngest son, paid the great sacrifice on or about April 16. A brave and trustworthy soldier, his death is keenly regretted by his officers and comrades. To add to the sorrows of the parents, the sad news has been received that another son has been maimed for life as the result of shrapnel wounds received in battle.

That wounded brother would have been the eldest, Walter.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Arthur King is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, panel 3

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