For King and Country

Person Details

KING, Victor James

Memorials

Name: Cookham School Lane, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7925
RBWM Ref: WM151

Person Details

Date of birth: 17/05/1902
Place of birth: Cookham
Gender: Male
Date of death: 16/04/1918
Place of death: Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth
Manner of death: Died of disease
Age at death: 15
CWGC Ref: 2852011
TWGPP Ref: 3767939
Address: 4 Gutteridge Street Hillingdon Heath Middx
Address: 5 North Town Court Maidenhead
Address: Hamfield House Cookham Rise

Military details

Military Organisation: Royal Navy
Military Unit/Group: H.M.S. Impregnable
Rank: Boy 1st Class
Service Number: J/77946

Relatives

Father George Henry KING
Brother Albert Edward KING (DIED 10.11.14)
Mother Martha KING
Sister Clara KING
Brother George H KING
Brother Charles William KING
Brother William Loveday KING
Sister Florence L KING

Additional information

By the time of his death Victor was on board one of the training ships at Devonport. These ships carried the name HMS Impregnable with, at times, several such ships in operation (HMS Impregnable I, II, III, etc.) By April 1918 he had been promoted to Boy First Class, awarded to those who had previously served for between 9 and 18 months rated as "boy 2nd class"; shown sufficient proficiency in seamanship and accumulated at least one good conduct badge (requirements varied between training ships.) Victor was destined never to see active service. He died on 15th April 1918 of "spotted fever." This is a bacterial tick-borne disease with several variants normally found in hotter climates and in the United States. Perhaps Victor was on manoeuvres in the Mediterranean where one variant is found. CWGC and naval records give 16th as his date of death. He is buried in Plymouth (Ford Park) Cemetery /Long Park Cemetery in Devonport, together with 200 naval servicemen. Grave reference, P (church ground) 16.46. He was just short of his 16th birthday. His brother Albert had been killed at the start of the hostilities in November 1914 but four of his brothers survived the War.
Victor King was the youngest Cookham member of the Armed services to die in the Great War. He was the youngest of the seven children of George Henry King of Little Marlow and his wife Martha/ Maria. The family initially lived in Cookham Dean where their eldest child, Clara, was born. Their eldest son George was born in Maidenhead in 1888 and on the 1891 census the family lived in East Street, North Town, Maidenhead. The family kept growing and by the time Victor was born they lived at 5, North Town Court in Maidenhead. Father George had begun life as a general labourer but is listed as a dairyman and milkman by 1911. There were eight children in total, six boys and two girls and all six boys went on to join the armed services during the War. We know nothing of Victor's life before he signed up. He will have probably gone to school in Maidenhead and we can assume he was there until 1916 when he reached 14. Given that he died less than two years later, it is likely that he joined the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class on a training ship, probably the last of the King children to sign up. This would have been conditional on him having adequate physical height, weight and medical fitness and evidence of being of "good character." His parents or guardians would normally sign a declaration that the boy would serve in the Navy for a minimum period - usually 12 years. His father lived in Hillingdon accroding to CWGC pages.

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