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  cap badgeRifleman Francis King

2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles
Service No: 9373 or 8373

Francis King grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of Patrick and Mary O'Donnell King. Elder brother of Mrs Helen (Ellen) Bennett who married Patrick Bennett on the 16/06/1905. Luckily for Francis he returned home and joined the Reserves in time for his sisters wedding. Francis had 2 elder sisters, Mary born 1874 and Ann born 1876. Also had a sister named Mrs Margaret Miller. From the 1881 Census - Address - 5 Bank St, Coatbridge - Patrick King aged 30, Mary King aged 28, Mary King aged 7, Ann King aged 5, Susan King aged 2, Francis King aged 4, lodger Stephen Boyle aged 18. (no record of sister Susan except from Census).

Born / Resided

St Helens, Lancashire / 62 Coats St, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action 02/03/1915 near Kemmel

Enlisted

Coatbridge /11/1914

Employed

Motherwell Iron Works.

Age

36 / DOB - /07/1878

Buried / Remembered

Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery (H. 35), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

Kemmel Chateau was north-east of Kemmel village and the cemetery was established on the north side of the chateau grounds in December 1914. It continued to be used by divisions fighting on the southern sectors of the Belgian front until March 1918, when after fierce fighting involving both Commonwealth and French forces, the village and cemetery fell into German hands in late April. The cemetery was retaken later in the year, but in the interval it was badly shelled and the old chateau destroyed. There are 1,135 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery and 21 from the Second World War (which all date from the Allied withdrawal ahead of the German advance of May 1940).

Additional Information

Francis joined the Army in 1897. Initially he joined the Scottish Rifles but quickly transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles and served 2 years in South Africa followed by 5 years in India before returning home to join the Reserve in 1905. Francis then lodged with Mr and Mrs Curtis for 7 years working in the Phoenix Iron Works and Clifton Iron Works before being recalled to the Royal Irish Rifles at the outbreak of war. He was killed along with a comrade during a German counter attack. Francis is listed as PRIVATE on the Memorial and Service No is 8373 and name R. King with the CWGC and on his Grave (9373 on all other documents). Kemmel Chateau was north-east of Kemmel village and the cemetery was established on the north side of the chateau grounds in December 1914. It continued to be used by divisions fighting on the southern sectors of the Belgian front until March 1918, when after fierce fighting involving both Commonwealth and French forces, the village and cemetery fell into German hands in late April. The cemetery was retaken later in the year, but in the interval it was badly shelled and the old chateau destroyed. Also remembered on the St Patrick's Church (book) Roll of Honour and the St Helens War Memorial in Lancashire (see photos). See photos for Francis' Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, his CWGC Grave Registration, his Headstone Report, Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, his original Regiment the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Cap Badge and the Royal Irish Rifles Cap Badge.

Photos
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