Private George Alfred King

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

© Royston Williamson 2015
© Royston Williamson 2015

George Alfred King was born on the 7th of April 1877 in Dorking, Surrey to shoemaker George King and Harriet King nee Clark.

George Alfred’s father George King was born in the 3rd quarter of 1846 in Worth, Sussex to chairwoman Elizabeth King born about 1801 in Burstow, Surrey. At the time of the 1861 Census, George was working as an agricultural labourer for farmer William Brooker.

George Alfred’ s mother Harriet Clark was born in the 1st quarter of 1851 in Horsham, Sussex to bay labourer John Clark, born about 1801 in Slinfold, Sussex, and Sarah Clark, born about 1814 in Horsham, Sussex.

George King and Sarah Clark married in the 4th quarter of 1874 in the Registration District of Horsham, Sussex.

George Alfred King had one blood brother: Albert Edward King was born in the 4th quarter of 1875 in Dorking, Surrey and was baptised on the 31st of October 1875 at St Martin’s Church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism, the family lived at Church Street, Dorking and George King was working as a shoemaker.

George Alfred King was born on the 7th of April 1877 in Dorking and was baptised on the 20th of May 1877 at St Martin’s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism, the family lived at East Street Cottages, Dorking and George was working as a shoemaker.

George King died in the 3rd quarter of 1877 in the Registration District of Dorking. He was buried on the 31st of July 1877 at the Dorking Municipal Cemetery. He was 30 years old. At the time of his death he lived at East Street Cottages.

Harriet King re-married William Wesson, by Banns, on the 13th of February 1881 at St Philip’s Church in Kensington. At the time of the marriage, the couple lived at 70 or 75 Abington Villas in Kensington and William was working as a cordwainer (shoemaker].

George Alfred’s stepfather William Wesson was born on the 21st of May 1846 in Broadwater by Worthing, Sussex to shoemaker’s master James Wesson and binder Eliza Wesson. William was baptised on the 6th of September 1846 in Broadwater, Sussex.

George Alfred King had three half siblings: Alice Louise Wesson born in the 3rd quarter of 1881 in Dorking, Surrey; Nellie Wesson born in the 1st quarter of 1883 in Dorking, Surrey and Frederick Alfred Wesson born in the 3rd quarter of 1889 in Dorking, Surrey.

George Alfred King 1881 Census © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King 1881 Census © ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived at East Street Cottages in Dorking. William Wesson was working as a cordwainer and Harried was looking after her son’s from her previous marriage Albert Edward King and George Alfred King.

According to the 1883 National School Admission Register, George Alfred King was admitted on the 5th of November 1883 into the St Martin’s Church of England School in Dorking for boys. At the time of the admission the family lived at Cape Place in Dorking. George Alfred left the school on the 13th of September 1889.

George Alfred King 1891 Census © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King 1891 Census © ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 1 Cape Place in Dorking. William Wesson was working as a bootmaker and Harriet Wesson was looking after their children: Alice Louise Wesson, Frederick Alfred Wesson and Nellie Wesson. The household further comprised of Harriet son’ s from her previous marriage, grocer’ s assistant Albert Edward King and errand boy George Alfred King and a lodger, postman Steward Laverby.

George Alfred’s stepfather William Wesson died in December 1895 in Dorking, Surrey and was buried on Christmas Eve, 24th of December 1895, at the Dorking Municipal Cemetery.

William Wesson’s body was taken from the River Mole. George Alfred King, William’s stepson identified the deceased and gave evidence at the coroner’s inquest. He said that “he last saw his father alive on the night before ‘he did it’. The family had noticed that he had been strange for some time. His eyes had looked funny and he had grown very sullen in his ways, and would not speak to them.” The Coroner asked what had caused this change and George Alfred replied that William came home from the Punchbowl Inn a month ago where he had a row and became worried he would be summoned by legal authorities. He got into a habit of telling people about it. As there was not enough evidence as to the state of his mind, the coroner returned an open verdict of ‘found drowned’.

According to the 1895 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, George Alfred’s mother Harriet Wesson was at the time of her husband’s death invalid due to feeble health. She was shocked by the news and died at the same day that her husband was being buried on the 24th of December in Dorking. She was buried on the 28th of December 1895 at the Dorking Municipal Cemetery. Harriet Wesson left to her son Albert Edward King £51, 14s and 4d in probate.

At the time of their death, the couple lived at 1 Cape Place in Dorking.

George Alfred King 1911 Census © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King 1911 Census © ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, George Alfred King was boarding with his brother, grocer and off licence owner Albert Edward King at Leslie Stores in Dorking, Surrey. The household further comprised of Albert Edward’s wife Ethel M. King and their three children. George Alfred King was working as a baker. The accommodation had five rooms.

George re-enlisted on the 13th of September 1915 in Maidstone into the 10th (S) Battalion, the Royal West Kent Regiment. He enlisted for duration of the war.

According to the 1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser he was previously in the Army for nine years before his re-enlistment.

George was a Private with regimental number G/9984. At the time of his re-enlistment he was working as a baker at Cowden, Kent and lived with his brother Albert Edward King’ s family at Leslie Stores in Dorking. Albert Edward was also his next of kin.

George was over 5ft tall and had a slight defect ‘lipoma on outer aspect of right arm’.

George was serving from the 13th of September 1915 to the 2nd of May 1916 on the home front. On the 3rd of May 1916 he became part of the British Expeditionary Force and embarked from Southampton to France. On the 4th of May 1915 he disembarked to Havre in France.

George was killed on the 1st of July 1916 in France.

George Alfred King Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk
George Alfred King Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk

According to the 1916 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser his Lieutenant wrote: “The enemy opened fire on the piece of trench we were holding. I gave orders to everyone, to lay flat on his face. It was impossible to get away, and we were completely cut off from the others. It is wonderful that anyone lived through it. The shrapnel was bad enough, but they put some high explosive shells into us. Six poor fellows were killed, and a number wounded. Pte King was buried in the little cemetery just behind the fire line.”

His body was buried at the Tancrez Farm Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, 2 miles north east of Le Bizet and 2 miles north-north east of Armentieres. His grave reference number is: I.H.34.

George Alfred King Medal Rolls Index Cards © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King Medal Rolls Index Cards © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King British War Medal and Victory Award Roll © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King British War Medal and Victory Award Roll © ancestry.co.uk

George was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

George Alfred King Soldiers Effects © ancestry.co.uk
George Alfred King Soldiers Effects © ancestry.co.uk

He left to his brother Albert Edward King £4, 16s and 4d on the 30th of October 1916 and a further £3 on the 24th of September 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

Born                            Dorking
Lived                           Dorking

Son of                          George and Harriet (nee Clark) King

Enlisted                       Maidstone

Regiment                     10th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment
Number                       G/9984

Date of Death              1st July 1916
Place of Death             Flanders
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                             39

Cemetery                    Tancrez Farm Cemetery, Belgium