KING, Charles

No.52499, Private, Charles KING
Aged 27

16th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 16th April 1918

Charles King was born in 1891 (Mildenhall Q1-1891 4A:775), son of William and Harriet KING (née PITCHES).

1891 census...Aged 2 months, he was at Bagsham, West Row with his father William KING [37] farm labourer; his mother Harriet [32]; brother Walter [8]; sisters Ellen [10], Annie [6] and Eliza [3]. All recorded as born in Mildenhall.

1901 census...Aged 10, he was at Pot Hall, West Row with his parents, brothers Walter (shepherd's page) and Arthur [4] born Mildenhall.

1911 census...Aged 20, a farm labourer, he was at Pot Hall, West Row with his parents, brothers Walter and Arthur, both farm labourers, and visitors Isaac MOORE [27] a soldier and his wife Ann [26] both born West Row.

His brother Arthur was killed in Belgium at around the same date in 1918. see here

He enlisted in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
The battalion war diary has:-
Wytchaete - 16th - A and B Companies (16th battalion SHERWOOD FORESTERS), No.3 composite battalion under the command of Major J.W.J.MILLAR DSO DCM proceeded to the line at WYTSCHAETE RIDGE taking up position of the front line trench in front of GRAND BOIS de WYTSCHAETE and at 7:45 pm were ordered to attack, objective being ridge 1,000 yards to our front. The 7th Battalion SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS were on our right. 800 yards were gained and a number of machine guns and prisoners were captured. Major JWJ Millar DSO DCM, Captain W E Wright MC and 2nd Lieut LC Smith wounded
Casualties 13 other ranks killed, 6 died of wounds, 74 wounded and 8 missing.

CWGC figures have 20 dead. What is strange is all bar 3 being named on the Pozières memorial rather than Ploesgsteert or Tyne Cot.

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. Private Charles King of the Sherwood Foresters was instantaneously killed in action on April 16th. The Sergt of the platoon, in a letter of sincere sympathy to the parents, stated that Prvt King was an efficient soldier and would be hard to replace...... 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: Roy Beardsworth

Charles King is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panels 52 to 54

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