King, George William

No.7300, Private, George KING

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action
on Wednesday, 26th August 1914
Aged 20

An Old Contemptible

George William King was born in Wickhambrook (Risbridge Q2 1883), baptised in Wickhambrook on 15th July 1883, son of George and Mary Ann KING (née EDGELEY). His father seems to have previously married Jane CHAPMAN (who died in Q1-1882) and then married Mary Ann EDGELEY in Q4-1882.

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Meeting Green, Wickhambrook with his father George KING [40] farm labourer; his mother Mary Ann [30]; half brothers Harry [20] and Humphrey [15] (both farm labourers); and twins Charles and Rose [3]. All were born in Wickhambrook.

1901 census...Not found in this census, may well be in the Army. His parents were at Ashfield Green, Wickhambrook with his brothers Charles, Walter [5] and Albert [2] and sisters Rose, and Elizabeth [9]. The new siblings born in Wickhambrook.

1911 census...Not found in this census. His mother was still at Ashfield Green with his brothers Walter and Albert Joe, having lost one of her 6 children.

Only his "Personal Effects" ( shows father as George) and Medal Index card have been found. He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds and must have been in the Army or a reservist to have been in France so early.

The 2nd Suffolks were at Le Cateau during the retreat from Mons.
George would have been fighting close to William Hurst on the 24th, but survived the events of that day. Having reached Le Cateau the Suffolks received an order to stand and fight, which they did, despite being in the most unsuitable defensive position. They, and the Argyll Highlanders, fought for around nine hours before being overwhelmed by the Germans. No-one seems to admit to issuing the first order for them not to retreat, but their heroic endeavours held the Germans long enough for much of the British Division to escape. The battalion suffered over 720 casualties, killed,wounded or missing. CWGC records show that they had 74 killed,only 7 having known graves.

George King is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

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