The King Family of Redhill

Inspector James King

In October 2001 Helen Cameron of Melbourne, Australia, emailed requesting information about her gggrandfather Inspector James King of Redhill. The only information that subsequently came available was that Ex-Inspector James King died in January 1929 aged 88. He joined the police on 1st February 1866 and became PC4. After one year he resigned but was offered 1st class pay to stay. It seems he refused but when in February of 1868 he was invited by the head Constable to rejoin he did, and got his old number back. He was promoted to Acting Sgt on September 1st 1874, to Sgt the following year, and to Inspector in 1893. When he retired in November 1898 a testimonial fund promoted by the Surrey Mirror realised 71.2.6, which was presented to him along with an inscribed testimonial. There was also a picture of James King, which appears here, along with a list of the members of the family who attended his funeral, taken from the report of his death.  These were: Mr Harry King, eldest son, was in Australia; Mr and Mrs G.King (son and daughter-in-law); Mr and Mrs Frank King (son and daughter-in-law); Mr and Mrs Sydney King (son and daughter-in-law); Mr and Mrs Wally King (son and daughter-in-law); Mr and Mrs Arthur Pearson (daughter and son-in-law) (Flowers from Elsie and Arthur); Miss Elsie King (granddaughter); Mr James King (grandson); Mr Cyril King (grandson); Mr Geoffrey King (grandson); Mrs Jack King (niece); Grace (niece); Floss (niece).

In July 2009 there was another email from Gaylene Dowling (King) who was also researching her gggrandfather, James King.

Then in December 2009 Helen Cameron emailed again, this time sending the photo below of some of Inspector King's children that had come into her possession:

Inspector James King had 7 sons and 1 daughter and this photo would seem to have been taken around the time of WW1. There are only six sons in the photo plus the daughter. Those who identified at the time were Harry, who is in civvies at the back, Frank Herbert front left, Ethel front centre and George front right. (Photo courtesy Helen King)

It seemed a good idea to put the above photo in the local newspaper, the Surrey Mirror, asking for information, and on April 29th 2010 it duly appeared. The result was that Mr Cliff Uwins of Redhill saw the article and provided the information below in two sections, an initial response to the article in blue immediately below followed after by more detailed information about the children of Inspector James King black type below that.
The King Family, by Cliff Uwins
. . . . . James King and his wife Susan actually had nine children, two of whom were deceased before the WWI photograph was taken. This was declared by James King, on the census of March 1911.
. . . . . On May 11, 1917, The Surrey Mirror reported the Golden Wedding Anniversary of James and Susan King. This included the fact that “they had six sons, three of whom are in the army and one daughter”. I believe that “3 sons in the army” could be either a reporting or a printing error, if you consider that by May 11, 1917, it would be rather late in the day for all five sons shown in the photograph, not to have been called up? The seven living children were (in order of their birth):- Six sons: Harry James, George, Ernest Edward, Frank Herbert, Sydney, Walter Charles and one daughter: Ethel Mary, who was the youngest child.
. . . . . The ‘missing’ adult son was Frederick King, who had almost certainly died in 1903. It would require the purchase of his marriage certificate, to put the matter beyond doubt, since this would show [a] the name of his father and [b] the name of his wife. (Frederick could then be confirmed as the right man on the census of 1901, living in Fulham, the place where he died two years later).
. . . . . James King established there had been a ninth child and as I suspected this child died as an infant, since he never appears on a census return with the King family. It was in fact another son, William Merritt King who was born and died in Redhill during 1877.
. . . . . A golden wedding celebration would be an ideal occasion to have such a family portrait taken, but would it have been possible to assemble all 5 soldier sons together at a critical time of the war? Frank Herbert was certainly in England at the time. So was the George King - a corporal in the Army Service Corps, who I have identified as a possible son of James.
. . . . . The three sons in army uniform in the back row should be Sydney, Walter Charles and Ernest Edward, but I cannot match their names to the faces. None of their military records have been found.
. . . . . It has not yet proved possible to identify the regimental cap badges of the three men in the back row from the photograph on your website and certainly not from its reproduction in the Surrey Mirror. However, no trace of any records remotely relating to these three can be found in the Military Service Archives and since only 40% of  records survived the World War 2 Blitz, it is not surprising. Records do exist for Frank Herbert and George, which coincidentally provides 40% of the King family’s army documentation.
. . . . . I have assembled a brief history of James King’s life, which includes key dates in his police service. These were learned from three reports which appeared in the Surrey Mirror, over the years: i) The account of his retirement and presentation of testimonials in November 1898; ii) The Golden Wedding Anniversary of James and Susan King in May 1917 and iii) his Obituary in January 1929.
. . . . . James King was born in Chipstead, Surrey on 26th January 1840. He was baptised in the Parish Church on February 23, 1840. His father was also James King, born about 1811 in Merstham; an agricultural labourer and his mother was Elizabeth Dodd, born about January 1818 in Chipstead. They were married on February 2, 1839 in Chipstead church. He had a brother George [1841] and a sister Elizabeth [about 1844]. It is difficult to establish places from census returns, within a scattered parish like Chipstead, but the King family seems to have live in the southern end of the parish, perhaps closer to Upper Gatton than Chipstead village, as it is today.
. . . . . In 1841, their home appears to be “in part of Raven House”; in 1851 it reads as “Panntons” and it 1861 their home address is quite clearly “Bashford’s House”. This infers that it was a house belonging to a Mr. Bashford and indeed, the immediate neighbours are Mr. Bashford, a Grocer and his family. During this period of 20 years, James King (junior) progressed through the census returns as being ‘6 months old’ in 1841; 11 years old and employed as a shepherd in 1851 and in 1861, a gardener of 21. In that last year, his sister Elizabeth was recorded as 16 and a dressmaker. There was an active village school in Chipstead throughout this time and the two younger children were named as ‘scholars’ in the census of 1851. It is most likely that James had left school at the age of ten, to work as a shepherd, before that census was taken. I think it can be taken for granted that all the King children received a basic education.
. . . . . The decade of the 1860’s was significant for James King. On February 1st, 1866 he joined the Reigate Borough Police as PC No 4, but he resigned from his post about a year later. The Watch Committee offered to ‘place him on first class pay’, in an effort to keep James in the service. This was probably about the time he was married.
. . ... . His wedding to Susan Merritt took place on May 6th, 1867 and is recorded in the indexes of the Reigate District. (They could have married in Chipstead, but only a marriage certificate will show that fact). Susan Merritt was born in Old Alresford, Hants in January 1842 and christened in the parish Church on February 6, 1842. She was the daughter of James (an agricultural labourer), born 1795 and Mary Merritt born at Kingsworthy in 1804. They had 6 children (2 boys and 4 girls). In 1861, Susan was employed as a housemaid in the service of the Vicar of Froyle, Hants. She lived at the Parsonage. Presumably she moved to Reigate / Chipstead in a domestic service position, where she met James King. In February 1868, The Head Constable of Reigate invited James King to rejoin the force and after some consideration he accepted. He became PC No. 4 once again. James then served continuously with Reigate Borough Police until his retirement in November 1898.. . . . . . The first son, Harry James King was born in 1868 and was christened in Chipstead in May, so it may be assumed that James and Susan were living in Chipstead when he first rejoined the police. However, their second child Frederick was born during the summer of 1869, in Redhill (possibly in Linkfield Street). It was during 1869 that James’s mother, Elizabeth King died aged about 51. The 1871 census placed PC James King and Susan with their two sons in Linkfield Street, Redhill. His widowed father meanwhile, was a lodger, boarding at Lancets Cottage in Chipstead. He died soon afterwards.
. . . . . On September 21, 1874 James King was promoted to Acting Sergeant and confirmed as Sergeant James King on 8th February 1875 (He was 35 years old). About this time, the King family would have moved into one of the newly built houses in Cromwell Road, Redhill. They lived at number 71 and later at 73. The remaining 7 children of James and Susan King were all born in Redhill:- George [1871]; Ernest Edward [1873]; Frank Herbert [1875]; William Merritt [1877-1877]; Sydney [1879]; Walter Charles [1881] and Ethel Mary [1885]. The family remained in Redhill, at least until 1891. When James King was promoted to Police Inspector in September 1893, that event may have occasioned their move to live in Reigate.
. . . . . James King retired in November 1898 (58 years old) having served for thirty years in his second employment with the Borough Police. He was presented with an illuminated testimonial, on vellum in an oak frame, and hand illustrated in gold, silver and blended colours. The Surrey Mirror raised a public testimonial fund for James King, which amounted to 71 -2s- 6d. In 1901 and 1911, James and Susan lived at 50, Effingham Road, Reigate, but before May 1917, they had moved to 32, Lesbourne Road where they celebrated their Golden Wedding. It was probably at Lesbourne Road, where Susan King died on December 7, 1923; just short of her 82nd birthday.
. . . . . James King’s retirement, which is reported as being an active time, lasted for just over 30 years and he died on Sunday, January 7, 1929 – 19 days short of his 89th birthday. His funeral service took place in St. Mary’s Parish Church in Reigate on Thursday January 11th, followed by burial, with his wife Susan, in Reigate Cemetery.

Further information: - My son Neil has weighed in with some army info. (Neil is the Uwins Family military historian). I can confirm that George King was at the Army Remount Depot at Redhill and later served in France. He is recorded as Army Service Corps (which I believe included the Remounts).


The Children of James King and Susan [nee Merritt]

[1] Harry James King.

Harry J. was born in Chipstead in 1868.

His birth was registered in the Reigate District between April-June.

He was Christened in Chipstead Parish Church on 24 May 1868, with his names recorded as Henry James King, however his official registration was as Harry and he continued to be known by that name for the rest of his life.

He was the only child to be born in Chipstead and it was not long before his family moved to Linkfield Street in Redhill, when his father took up his career with Reigate Borough Police for the second time. Harry can be found on the 1871 census at Linkfield Street and on the 1881 return, in Cromwell Road with his parents and siblings.

In 1891, aged 23 but not married he was in Hutton, Essex where he was a lodger in Church Lane. He was employed as a gardener. However he was married less than a year later, to Annie Middleton from Hutton. Their marriage is recorded in the Billericay District, between January and March 1892.

Two children were born in Hutton: Wilfrid Walter J. King (1893) and Dorothy Ethel king (1895). By 1899, Harry J. and Annie had moved back to Redhill, where another daughter, Edith Annie King was born towards the end of that year.

The 1901 census placed Harry (enumerated as Henry J. King) and his family in St. John’s Road, Redhill and he was still employed as a gardener.

Ten years later, Harry and Annie’s family had increased to 6 children, the last three having been born in Reigate. In 1911, Harry James King was the gardener at Brokes (technically number 95 Reigate Lodge, Reigate Hill). The King family were quartered at The Stables. The eldest was employed as a gardener and son Wilfrid their daughter, Dorothy as a domestic servant. They were presumably in the service of Mrs. Woolley (widow) and her daughter who lived in Brokes Lodge together with a further 7 female servants.

The three additional children of Harry and Annie were Gilbert George (1903), Florence Susan (1905) and Frederick Robert J. (1908). There were no further children, as far as I can determine.

Without knowledge of where Harry James King lived after 1911, it is almost impossible to determine when and where he died. Close family knowledge is the usual route to finding the answer to that question however.

A Family Tree published through Ancestry. Com on the Internet shows that the youngest child, Frederick Robert Joseph King emigrated to Australia. He sailed in April 1922 on the “Moreton Bay” from Tilbury and arrived in Melbourne on May 22 1922. He married Nina May Shingles, but there were no children. He lived in Victoria, where he died in 1992. This Tree also volunteers the information that Harry’s daughter Dorothy Ethel King married Frederick J. Pocock in Reigate in 1919 (Oct-Dec). The tree is registered under the name Shingles (Australian), so I guess their only knowledge, would be of Harry King’s children, taken from Internet sources. Their interest is really the Shingles family and it is touched by the King family only through this one marriage.

In an ambiguous report, Harry King is said to have been in Australia at the time of his father’s death in January 1929. Who was the eldest son in this reference? Harry or his son? (From Surrey Mirror account of James King’s funeral).

 [2] Frederick King.

Frederick King was born in Redhill, quite possibly in Linkfield Street. His birth is recorded in July-September 1869, in the Reigate Registration District.

He was christened on September 19th 1869 at St. Matthew’s Church, Redhill.

He was listed on the census returns of 1871 in Linkfield Street and 1881 in Cromwell Road with his parents and siblings. In 1891, his whereabouts are less positive. The most likely record on the census is at 12, Creswell Road, South Norwood where Frederick King aged 21, born in Redhill was a lodger. He was employed as an upholsterer. In the neighbouring house another lodger, born in Reigate was 18 year old Arthur Vigar – he was an upholsterer’s assistant. Possibly a coincidence, but maybe they were working together on a job. It might also be a coincidence that neighbours of the King family in Redhill, Albert Wakeman and his wife were upholsterers! None of this constitutes proof that the Frederick King recorded here was the son of James and Susan King.

The census of 1901 was no more positive than the previous document, but it provides the most likely record of the Frederick King in question.

During 1899, this Frederick King was married to Alice Sophia Watson in Fulham. (July Sept. Fulham Registration District).

They had two children recorded in the Census, on March 31st 1901: James Donald King, born 1900 in Fulham and Alice Sophia King born in February 1901, also in Fulham. The family lived at 102, St. Dunstan’s Road, Fulham and Frederick worked as a general labourer. He was 31 years old and born in Redhill. To have named the first child James is a point in favour.

Another son, who was probably named Thomas Henry King was born in 1903 (April-June, Fulham District). This is not proven, as two other boys were born in the same district in1904 and also named Thomas King, but I consider Thomas Henry to be the more likely son of Frederick and Annie.

Frederick King died in the Fulham District in 1903. Listed in the October-December volume, his age was given as 34 (entirely consistent with an August / September birth in 1869).

His wife, not unusually considering her circumstances, remarried about one year later. Her second husband was Thomas Cliff, a carrier’s carman who was born in Shropshire. They also lived in St. Dunstan’s Road, Fulham, but at number 58. On the 1911 census, the King children were listed as stepchildren and rather unhelpfully named as Donald (11), Daisy (10) and Thomas (8). Annie Sophia and Thomas Cliff also had two children from their marriage.

The only safe way to confirm or deny the man in Fulham as being Frederick, son of James and Susan is from a certified copy of the certificate of marriage between Frederick King and Annie Sophia Watson in 1899. That would show the name and occupation of the groom’s father.

A death certificate would only confirm his wife’s name and his own age and place of death. All other relationships claimed are confirmed in the appropriate census returns.

[3] George King

His birth was registered in Reigate District between July-September 1871. He was almost certainly born at 71, Cromwell Road, Redhill.

He was christened at St. Matthew’s Church, Redhill on September 17th. 1871

George is listed on the 1881 census, with his parents at Cromwell Road. Nothing had changed in 1891 except that now he was 19 years old and employed as a groom.

In 1900 he was married to Nellie Elizabeth Knott in Reigate Registration District, between April and June. Nellie was aged 21 and came from Hampshire. A son named Jack James King was born in Reigate, later the same year. (Registered Oct-Nov 1900).

They were living as “boarders” with a Kathleen Reason, at 3, Nutley Lane, Reigate when the census was taken on March 31, 1901. George was “hidden from obvious view” because a transcriber decided he was ‘Georger’. He was also described as a grocer and this too may be a transcription error for ‘groom’.

In 1911, George, Nellie and son Jack James King were still in Reigate at 25, Nutley Lane. George, who completed the census form, stated that he was a cellar-man in a brewery. It was also recorded that they had been married 10 years and had had two children, but only one was still living.

George King was possibly the second of James and Susan’s sons to serve in the First World War. His military records, although tattered are amongst the 40% of records which survived the London Blitz in WW2.

He volunteered on May 22, 1915 at Redhill on a “short Service” engagement. This meant he would serve for the duration of the war; at the end of which he would be discharged with all convenient speed.

His address was given as 25, Nutley Lane, Reigate: his occupation was ‘Groom’; he was married and aged 43.

George was enlisted by a sergeant of the Army Service Corps, for General Service” in the Remounts Service of the ASC. He took the oath on the following day and was confirmed by an officer of the 51st Remount Squadron as 108625 Private George King and immediately posted as an acting Lance Corporal to the same Remount Squadron. It would seem this squadron were anxious for recruits.

The Remount Squadron based in Redhill and operated in the old Market Place, where horses were assembled, trained if necessary and sent on by rail to the south coast embarkation ports for France.

George was described on his medical report as being 5ft 7 inches tall and his chest measured 35 inches, fully expanded. He had previously been vaccinated as an infant and his eyesight was 6/6. There is an illegible remark concerning a previous illness. He was fit for the army and it was not until he was due for demobilisation 4 years later that his grade was revealed as B II.

His next of kin was stated as Nellie Elizabeth King at 25 Nutley Lane and just one child, Jack James King was noted.

His movements after his enlistment are sketchy, but it seems most likely that he stayed with the 51st Remounts Squadron at Redhill, until he was posted on 5/9/1916 to the Remount Depot at Romsey in Hants. He was promoted to Acting Corporal on April 10, 1917 and on 19/5/1917 he was “advanced to the 6th rate of Corps pay (8d per day extra). (I believe this was an award for proficiency in an army trade).

In October 1917 he was posted to France and embarked at Southampton on the 22nd and disembarked at Le Havre on the same day. He was attached to No 2 Base Remounts Depot. Unfortunately its location is not stated. He was granted leave from 26/10/1918 until 9/11/1918, but it is not clear whether it was at home, or in France (I think the latter). In either case he was back with his unit, just in time for The Armistice.

George could now expect to be discharged “with all convenient speed”, but on February 2nd 1919 he was posted to the 3rd Base Remounts Depot – still somewhere in France.

In April 1919 he was in Dieppe, where on the 15th. he was medically examined. It was determined that he had no disabilities attributable to his army service and now he was on his way! He was demobilised at the Crystal Palace Centre on 20th April 1919 and 108625 Corporal George King was placed on the army “Z” reserve list. (This effectively ended his commitments to the Army and ‘Z’ reservists were never recalled).

His service in France entitled him to receive the British War and Victory medals.

The photograph of James King’s family, published in the Surrey Mirror April 29th 2010 is not clear, but the man named as George King was a corporal and his cap badge has been confirmed to be that of the Army Remount Service.

Information from specific public documents will end with his military record, unless a search for his death is conducted. George King is listed in Street Directories as living at 25 Nutley Lane, Reigate at least until 1944. It is possible that he died in 1945, registered between January and March in the Surrey South Eastern District, at the given age of 73.

[4] Ernest Edward King

Ernest Edward’s birth was registered between January and April 1873 in Reigate District and he was born in Cromwell Road, Redhill

He was christened at St. Matthew’s Church, Station Road, Redhill on April 27, 1873.

On the 1881 census at 71, Cromwell Road he was recorded as Edward E. but I suspect this was an error by the enumerator. He was always thereafter, written as Ernest E. King.

The 1891 census, now at 73, Cromwell Road, shows Ernest with his parents and siblings. He was 18 years old and employed as a ‘Chemist’s Porter’.

In 1896, Ernest Edward King was married to Isabella Juliet Babington in the Reigate District (Oct-Dec). Isabella was born in Maidenhead in 1874.

Ernest and Isabella King were living at 28, Charman Road, Redhill in March 1901 when the census was taken. Ernest was a “Grocer’s Warehouseman”. They had a daughter, Gertrude Kathleen King who was born in 1897 in Redhill.

By1911, they had moved a short distance to 34, Ranelagh Road, Redhill and Ernest King was now employed as “A Cellar-Man” in the wines and spirits trade. Their family had increased by one – a son Ernest Henry King was born in 1904. Both Gertrude and Ernest were listed as being at school. (Not literally – but they were pupils).

From this point, the whereabouts of this family are unknown. Ernest Edward King is believed to have been a soldier in the First World War. His records were probably destroyed in the blitz, because nothing has been located amongst the military records which survived.

There is no obvious reference to the family, in the few Local Street Directories in my possession.

The death of Isabella J. King is registered in the Reigate District, between July-Sept. 1913. However the age at death is recorded as 70 and this needs to be an error for 40, if this entry is to refer to the wife of Ernest Edward King. (Certificate needed for proof or perhaps a search for a grave in Reigate cemetery?).

Gertrude Kathleen King married Henry Victor Northern Austin in 1920, between January and March in the Reigate District, which suggests that the King family were still living in the locality at the time. (Only a certificate of marriage can provide this evidence). The 1911 census revealed Henry Victor N. Austin at 22, Grove Road, Stockwell, London SW (Brixton). He was a 17 year old salesman, possibly employed by his father who was a potato and pea, market salesman. (Possibly at Covent Garden or Spitalfields). The birth of Harry J. Austin in 1923, registered in the Lambeth District (April-June), with mother’s maiden name ‘King’ is most likely to refer to this family. There are no other births up to 1932 which fit these criteria.

The whereabouts of Ernest Edward king and his son Ernest Henry King have not been conclusively traced after 1911.

[5] Frank Herbert King

Frank Herbert was born in the early months of 1875, in Cromwell road, Redhill. His birth is registered in the Reigate District between January and March.

He was christened at St. Matthews Church, Redhill on March 28, 1875.

He appeared on the 1881 census as a 6 year old schoolboy, living with his parents and siblings at 71, Cromwell Road. In 1891, and at 73, Cromwell Road Frank Herbert was a Whitesmith’s Apprentice, aged 16.

In 1901, only Frank, Sydney and Ethel lived at home with their parents and ‘Home’ was now 50, Effingham Road, Reigate. Frank Herbert King was aged 26, unmarried and a Whitesmith by trade. (Whitesmith at this time usually signified what today would be termed a plumber and included workers in the gas, water and heating trades).

In 1907, Frank Herbert King married Mary Busby from Watford. This event is registered in the Reigate District, between January and March.

The 1911 census confirmed Frank and Mary living at 48, Station Road, Redhill. Frank was now termed as a “gas fitter”, employed by the Gas Company. They had two sons at this time: James Frank Busby King, born January 1908 and Cyril Harry Busby King, born March 1910. There were three more children, all given Busby as one of their forenames: Geoffrey H. B. [1912]; Kathleen M. B. [1914]; and Frank C. B [1919].

Before his marriage and up to about 1912, Frank Herbert was probably serving as a part time soldier in one of the Volunteer Battalions of The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Volunteer Battalions had existed in various forms since the 1860’s but suffered from under funding, Government indecision and many changes in their terms of reference. After the Boer War they had become more closely linked with the Regular Army and in 1908 they were organised into The Territorial Force (later renamed as Territorial Army).  Members of the TF served for a fixed term and in theory should be used only for Home Defence, but in practice their status was rapidly changed to reservists, liable to serve overseas, although still theoretically as volunteers.

With the onset of The Great War, Frank Herbert soon returned to the army and the fragmented remains of his military service records offer just a little insight into this period of his life. Unfortunately, the surviving paperwork was salvaged from the ‘Burnt Records’ section, after enemy action in WW2.

On the 17th October 1914, Frank Herbert King attested at Reigate that he was prepared to serve for the duration of the war with the Territorial Force, in the County of Surrey with the 5th Battalion (Home Service) of The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. His home address was given as 48, Station Road, Redhill.

He declared that he had previous military experience with The 5th Battalion Queen’s Regiment which had ended when he had completed the term of his engagement. (Possibly 4 years of service). He took the oath and was embodied as a Private in the Reserve immediately.

Frank Herbert was passed medically fit to serve in the Home Service battalion. His height was 5ft – 7”; his chest expanded 36 ”; vision and physical development were good.

On the same day he was promoted to sergeant with the 5th Queen’s RWS. Where he actually served at this time is not known – quite possibly at Reigate

Circumstances changed as the war progressed and service within the County of Surrey was forgotten.

On June 18th 1915 he was posted / transferred to 69, which was actually the 69th Provisional Battalion of the Territorial Force. This unit was formed in June 1915 at Tunbridge Wells, from personnel enlisted for ‘Home Service’.  Almost six months later, on January 1st 1917, Frank Herbert King was posted to the 19th Battalion Queen’s RWS which was formed on that day, from the 69th Provisional Battalion.

His whereabouts from the onwards are not known, but he was promoted to substantive sergeant at some stage during 1917.

Without any previous record referring to his health, a document showing Frank Herbert’s discharge from The Norfolk War Hospital at Thorpe, dated 24 August 1918 appeared in his file. He was sent home to Redhill, with 1-0s-0d, a suit of plain clothes and 30/- in lieu of an overcoat, to await final discharge from the army. This was confirmed on 11 September 1918 and Frank Herbert King was declared unfit for service in the army. (No details of his illness). He was given a weekly pension of 19s/6d, which was to be reviewed in 13 weeks. (Had he received a permanent pension, his records would have been stored in the Pensions Section and they would have avoided the WW2 Blitz). The family story is that he was run over by an ambulance (ironic or what?), but whatever the cause, he had received a nasty wound to his cranium.

He received the Silver War Badge and a certificate to show that he had seen service during the war. The badge was to be worn in the lapel of his civilian clothing. It is widely believed that the badge was inaugurated, to prevent wounded and sick ex soldiers being harassed (often by women) as if they were cowards and “not doing their bit”. It was irrelevant in Frank Herbert’s case, since he did not receive his badge until 4th April 1919!

Thus, 265516 Sgt. F. H. King returned to civilian life and his job with The Gas Company.

The family later lived at 6, Redstone Road, Redhill.

[6] William Merritt King

This little boy is the tragic story, so common in Victorian families. He was born in the Spring of 1877 and his birth was probably recorded just as William King, between April and June. However, his christening on “4 June 1877 at St. Matthew’s Church in Station Road saw him named as William Merritt (his mother’s maiden name). Sadly his death was recorded, in the Reigate District, between October and December 1877. For whatever reason, he lived no more than a few months – nine at the very most.

[7] Sydney King

Sydney was born in 1878. He appears in the index to the birth registers as SIDney, so it is possible that name appeared on his birth certificate. The registration in Reigate District was entered between October and December.

I suspect his birth was towards the end of the quarter, because he was not christened until April 27, 1879 at St. Matthew’s Church. James and Susan King were usually quite prompt in having their children christened. The entry in St. Matthew’s baptism register shows his name as Sydney.

He appeared on the 1881 census as Sydney and again in 1891. No doubt his parents ensured their preferred spelling was entered. In 1891, at the age of 12, he was an errand boy and would have needed special permission and to have passed a basic standard of education to leave before 14.

In 1901, the King family were at 50, Effingham Road, Reigate and Sydney was employed as a Grocer’s Porter.

Later that year he was married to Mary Ann Rice and the Register Indexes for Reigate District, record the event in the October-December quarter. In 1903, also in Oct-Dec, the birth of a daughter Elsie Mary King was recorded.

The 1911 census at 12, Chart Lane has Sydney King, aged 32, employed as a cellar-man in the wines and spirits trade. His wife Mary Ann was also 32 years old and she was born in Reigate. They had been married for 9 years and had only one child, Elsie Mary aged 7.

It is supposed that he served in the army during World War I, but documentary evidence has not been found.

In 1929, Sydney King was listed as the householder of 14 Chart Lane, Reigate (Holmesdale Street Directory) and again in 1944 (Kelly’s Directory). Of course this could be an entirely different Sydney King, from the man listed on the 1911 census at number 12.

It is probable, but not proved that Sydney King died in 1952 (Jan-Mar. Surrey South Eastern District)

[8] Walter Charles King

Walter Charles completes the list of seven sons, born to James and Susan King who reached adulthood. He was born in Cromwell Road, probably in March 1881. His birth was registered between January and March and he appeared on the 1881 census as being 1 month old – the census was taken on April 3rd. He was christened in St. Matthew’s Church, Redhill on April 24th 1881.

In 1891 he was a ‘scholar’ and living at 73, Cromwell Road. Before the 1901 census was taken, Walter Charles King would have moved with his parents to 50 Effingham Road, but then he left home to work. The 1901 census found him at a boarding house - 1, Ladywell Road, Lewisham. He was working as a Grocer’s Assistant and lodging at the same place were two other Grocer’s Assistants, in the same age group as Walter C. No doubt they were all employed at the same emporium.

In 1908, Walter Charles King married Rosa Maude Hawkins. She was born in 1882 in Reigate and had formerly been a school teacher.

In 1911, Walter Charles and Rosa Maude lived at 7, Albion Road, Reigate. They had no children and Walter C was still working as a grocer’s assistant.

Again it is assumed that Walter served in the First World War, but no military records have been found to support this assumption.

It is not known how long they stayed in Albion Road and in 1929 a Walter King lived at 16, Doods Road. In the 1940’s and at least until 1956 a Walter King also lived at 24, Doods Road. There is no proof of a connection to Walter Charles King, although Doods Road was a favoured locality of the King Family at that time. Number 24 Doods Road had also been the childhood home of Rosa M. Hawkins and her widowed mother was still living there in 1938, 22 years after the death of Rosa’s father. It is possible that her mother died in 1940 and that is when Walter King took over the house. (Walter and Rosa may even have been living with Mrs. Esther Hawkins for some years, before she died).  It is possible that Walter Charles King died in 1963, having survived his wife by 4 years.

[9] Ethel Mary King

Ethel Mary was the only daughter of James and Susan King. She was born in Redhill in the summer of 1884 (Registration July-September Reigate District) and christened at St. Matthew’s Church on October 26, 1884. In 1891 she was a 6 years old scholar, living with her family at 73, Cromwell Road.

In 1901, she was one of only 3 children still living at home with James and Susan King, Home was 50, Effingham Road, Reigate. At the age of 16, Ethel Mary King was employed as a dressmaker’s assistant.

Ten years later, the census recorded only Ethel, her parents and a lodger, at 50, Effingham Road. Ethel Mary King, aged 26 and unmarried worked as a dressmaker “on her own account”.

It is reasonable assumption that she was living at 32, Lesbourne Road in 1917, which was the reported address on the occasion of her parents golden wedding anniversary. She was still there in 1928 / 9, living with her father James according to the listing for Lesbourne Road in the Holmesdale Street Directory for 1929, but  this was probably not true.

According to a report of the mourners at James King’s funeral in January 1929, published by the Surrey Mirror, Ethel Mary King was Mrs. Arthur F. Pearson. They were married in Reigate, between October and December 1927. They were probably living at 24, Lesbourne Road, Reigate, which was certainly their address in the 1930’s. (Source: street directories). Arthur Pearson was still listed at that address in 1944, although his wife Ethel had died in 1940.

Further information from Helen Cameron (email July 2010)
Hello again, Alan,
                                I wrote to you ages ago about the King family - have been busy building a house, moving in and getting mum settled in retirement home. Have finally got back to doing Family and checked your pages again.To say I was surprised is an understatement - I am ecstatic at the information you have there. I believe I had contact with Cliff many years ago when I first started - what a goldmine of information he is! I would like to thank him but I don't have his email address, could you please pass my thanks onto him.
         To update you further - Harry James King did indeed come to Australia with his wife Annie (Middleton) and three younger children, Gilbert George, Florence Susan and Frederick Robert Joseph.  The eldest, Wilfred
Walter James King, wife Lilian (Hayter) and young son Wilfred (Gayle's father), Dorothy Ethel (King) and husband Frederick Pocock, and Edith Annie (King) and husband Alfred Farrington also came to Australia around 1922.  My grandfather, Wilfred Walter James King had joined the AIF when WW1 broke out  (apparently he was on a ship in Brisbane at the time). I do not know why he didn't join the British Forces. I beleive that he was also in the Territorials (unconfirmed) .
           I have enclosed two photos -
James King (front right) his wife Susan next to him. Harry James (back right) and wife Annie (front left with baby). Harry's son Wilfred Wilfred Walter James (back left) and wife Lilian (Hayter) on his left. (Helen Cameron's grandparents).The baby is their son Wilfrid. Photo believed to have been taken around the time they immigrated. 
(photo courtesy Halen Cameron)
An older Wilfred Walter James King (the baby in the photo on the left), here probably aged around 15-16 years. He is wearing a sailors? uniform with HMS Pembroke on the hat (any ideas?) (photo courtesy Halen Cameron)
Again, Alan, thank you so much - your pages are fantastic. Please know that your work is much appreciated, particularly  by people like myself, living miles away.

                 Helen Cameron
Many thanks to Mr Uwins who has contacts with other descendants of the King family. Grateful thank also to Helen Cameron. If anyone reading this page has further information or would like to comment on the above then please contact author.
This is a page on Alan Moore's local history website
19th July 2011