The King Cousins from Kings Point who served in WW1

The family of James and Harriett King first settled at Kings Point in the early 1860s. Two of their his grandsons served in World War I. This first to enlist was Edward George King, who was born in 1894 at Kings Point, son of George King and his wife Sarah (nee Horne). Edward stood over 1.9m tall (that’s just over 6 feet in the old scale), enlisting in January 1915 at Ulladulla at the age of 21 years, he was killed in October 1918.  He listed his father George King as his next of kin, this was later changed to his wife Ethel who he married in Kent England.

He service was with the 113th Howitzer Battery 13th Field Artillery Brigade 5th Division. Edward served in Gallipoli after training in Tel-el Kabir Egypt, he wounded on 17 August 1915 and invalided to Malta then England.

Extracts from letter from Private E. King, dated 17th September 1915 as published in Ulladulla and Milton Times 11 December 1915: ‘Did you get a letter from Malta?  I could not write on account of my arm being wounded, so a Minister told me he would, write to you., I was only there a week. I am in King George’s hospital in London now, but am going out tomorrow to the Australian Convalescent hospital; that is just out of London. We are having a fairly good time over here. We go but for motor rides three times a week. I went to Lady Hamilton’s yesterday, [How-would you like to be me!] I have not received a letter since I left Australia. Remember me to all friends…  It is five weeks to-day since I got wounded, I suppose you read about the four days fighting, beginning 6th Aug. I was in that and it’s a wonder to me I ever got out of it.  The following Monday I got hit in the head with a piece of bomb, but it only knocked me out for three hours. I soon got over that. The 8th August I will not forget all my life. We were in the trenches all day that Sunday, and my shoulder was sore from firing. I saw Private Lewis get wounded; but could not tell where he was hurt. I only had time to shake hands and say good bye.’

Edward King WW1 from Kings Point NSWBack on active service in France in 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in rescuing a fallen comrade and for his consistent good work as a Telephonist whilst under heavy shell-fire with outstanding service and bravery. His Military Medal war medal was recently sold at auction in England for £210.

The recommendation reads: ‘On the night of the 1st November 1917, No 1980 Gunner Edward King in company with Bombardier Mosely and Gunner Minchin when passing near Glencorse Wood, heard a cry for help. The ground was excessively boggy and the enemy were shelling the spot heavily at the time, and the darkness of the night was also instrumental in prolonging the search. Gunner King’s perseverance and that of his comrades resulted in their finding a wounded infantry man to whom they rendered first aid and then carried to a dressing station. This man is a telephonist and has repeatedly shewn the same valour and disregard for danger in carrying out his work under heavy fire. His conduct is worthy of special recognition.’

He was seriously wounded on 30 September 1918 and died of his wounds on 4 October 1918. King was buried in the Tincourt New British Cemetery in France. His widow Ethel after the war moved to Australia, and lived at Ryde.  Apart from the Military Medal his widow also revived his 1914/15 Star, British Medal and Victory medal. Edward’s name appears on many local Honour Rolls including the Kendall Cottage Memorial – To Our Fallen Comrades, RSL Honour Roll, Milton Town Memorial and the Milton Congregational Church Honour Roll.

Frank Harris King was Edward’s cousin; he was born in 1893 also at Kings Point, the son David King and his wife Maria nee Bollingmoore. He enlisted at Milton at the age of 21 years, but a few months after Edward in July 1915, listing his sister Martha Sullivan of Ulladulla as his next of kin. He left for overseas duty as a private with the 30 Infantry Battalion D Company aboard the HMAT Beltana A72 in November 1915. Frank attended training in Tel-el Kabir Egypt and also served with the Field Artillery Brigade and fought in France,

After the war he married in England and with his wife Alice, they returned to Australia and eventually settled at Casino. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British Medal and Victory medal. Frank’s name appears on many local Honour Rolls including the RSL Honour Roll, Milton Town Memorial and the Burrill School Honour Roll.

© Cathy Dunn: