KING, Arthur William
(Service number 25/1769)
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||28 February 1886||Place of Birth||Temuka|
|Date||(1)24 Aug 1915; (2) 23 Dec 1915||Age||29 years|
|Address at Enlistment||"No address"|
|Previous Military Experience||Yes. Medically unfit.|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Maria KING (mother), McPhee Street, Dannevirke. Later of Southport, Queensland, Australia; then 50 Browne Street, Timaru.|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||(1) Height 5 feet 9½. Weight 142 lbs. Chest measurement 31½-34 inches. (2) Height 5 feet 9 inches. Weight 11 stone - 154 lbs. Chest measurement 32-35 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight, hearing and colour vision all normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth efficient. Free from hernia, variococele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental heatlth. No illness (g.... when in camp 3 months ago). No fits. Never off work for illness. Fit.|
|Served with||New Zealand Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||2nd Reinforcements 3rd Battalion, G Company|
|Date||1 April 1916|
|Transport||Maunganui or Tahiti|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Auckland Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||(1) 25/09/1915||Reason||Medically unfit. Intended place of residence - Dannevirke|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Suffering from venereal disease - recommended discharge until cured (Finding of NZ Military Forces Medical Board in Emergency Assembly at Faucherenikan, 25 Sep 1915).
|Date||4 October 1917||Age||28 years|
|Place of Death||Ypres, Belgium|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium|
|Memorial Reference||N. Z. Apse, Panel 1|
|New Zealand Memorials||Basilica of the Sacred Heart; Temuka War Memorial (additions); 2015 additions to the Tiimaru Memorial Wall; Dannevirke War Memoral|
Arthur William King, born on 28 February 1886 at Temuka, was the son of London-born Maria Stevens King (née Holton) and William King. His birth is registered as Arthur William Bevington, Maria being the mother and Bevington being the name of Maria’s first husband, who divorced her in 1885. His birth place was sworn by his mother when his Will went to Probate in 1918. William King is most probably the father of Arthur and several others. His brother Walter Frederick and his sister (Dorothy) Alma both went by the name of King, though born Holton, Maria’s maiden name. William King died in 1902 and is buried at Temuka. Sometime before 1911 Maria, by then a widow, moved to Weber. Arthur was educated at Temuka School, along with his brother Walter and sister Alma. At the Temuka Wesleyan Sunday School annual prize distribution held in February1895, Arthur was awarded first prize in Miss Fawdray’s class, and his brother Walter third prize. The speaker said that the prizes represented so much work – honest faithful work was always rewarded, sooner or later. Arthur was successful again in 1899, when he was a scholar in the First Division. Prizes were awarded for work done during the year, and also good attendance. Walter and sister Dot were also rewarded on this occasion.
Arthur enlisted firstly on 24 August 1915 but was discharged on 25 December as medically unfit. He was suffering from VD, contracted under circumstances over which he had no control, and on the finding of a New Zealand Military Forces Medical Board in Emergency Assembly at Tauherenikau on 25 September 1915, it was recommended that he be discharged until cured. At the same time it was noted that he was of good character. When he re-enlisted on 23 December 1915 he was 29 years old, a fit and healthy man. He was 5 feet 9½ inches tall and weighed 154 pounds, of fair complexion with blue eyes and brown hair. His teeth were efficient. His next-of-kin was his mother, Maria King, then living in Dannevirke, and later of Southport, Queensland, Australia, and 50 Browne Street, Timaru. Arthur himself was single, a teamster, and of ‘No address’. He had been a teamster for a few years at Weber in the Pahiatua area, living with his mother.
The Dannevirke Town Hall was packed in August 1915 when the residents gave a farewell smoking concert to the boys of the 8th Reinforcements. Colonel Drummond and Private A. W. King replied to the Toast “The Guests”. After the toasts there were further musical items and a highly amusing sketch. The contingent entrained at Masterton for Trentham on the morning of 24 August. The procession, headed by the Ruahine Regimental Band, proceeded from the Drill Hall to the railway station. There a large crowd had gathered to give a hearty send-off to more than 200 men, among them Private A. W. King of the Infantry.
On 1 April 1916 he embarked at Wellington, destined for Suez, with the 2nd Reinforcements, a rifleman in the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. On reaching Suez, he embarked at Alexandria almost immediately for France and was attached to Strength at the Base Depot at Etaples in May 1916. Early July saw him attached to the Anzac Entrenching Battalion in the field; a week later in July 1916 he was attached to the Infantry Base Depot at Rouen, from hospital. A month later he joined the 2nd Battalion of the Auckland Infantry Regiment. Nothing more was heard of Arthur until October 1917. Private A. W. King, a native of Temuka, South Canterbury, was killed in action on 4 October 1917 in the Field at Ypres, Belgium, aged 28 years. In the newspaper lists of casualties in late October 1917 it was reported that Arthur William King, 25/1769, Auckland Infantry, was missing, believed killed on 4 October. This was the finding of a Court of Inquiry in mid December 1917, and a Death Card was duly issued. Casualty List No. 744, circulated by the Press Association on 18 December 1917, contained the names of 60 killed in action.
Arthur’s father, William King, died in 1902 and is buried at Temuka. Sometime between 1915 and 1919 Maria moved to Southport, Queensland, yet Arthur's medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal - were sent to her at 50 Browne Street, Timaru. On enlistment Arthur drew up a Will wherein he appointed his mother (Maria Stevens King of Dannevirke widow) the sole executrix and sole beneficiary. A nephew of Arthur, Frederick Hillier King, served in World War Two with the Australian Forces.
Private Arthur William King, 25/1769, is honoured on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, one of 35,000 soldiers – 1176 New Zealanders - commemorated on this memorial. His name is recorded on the Timaru Basilica of the Sacred Heart Memorial (but it is not apparent why this is so) (as King Arthur W.), the Temuka War Memorial (addition), the Timaru Memorial Wall (addition), and on the Dannevirke War Memorial (Pvte A. W. King). The Dannevirke War Memorial was unveiled in front of a large crowd on Anzac Day 1924. The concrete foundation for the statue representing a New Zealand soldier had been completed in March 1923.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [25 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5541 0064465) [25 July 2013]; CWGC [13 August 2013]; Paul McNicholl's list of additional names for the Memorial Wall; School Admission Records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) ; New Zealand Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au); Temuka Leader, 21 February 1895, 21 February 1899, Manawatu Times, 20 August 1915, 29 October 1917, Wairarapa Daily Times, 24 August 1915, Dominion, 28 August 1915, Evening Star, 27 October 1917, Southland Times, 27 October 1917, 19 December 1917, Colonist, 19 December 1917, New Zealand Times, 19 December 1917, New Zealand Herald, 19 December 1917, Manawatu Standard, 23 March 1923 (Papers Past) [15 October 2015; 06 & 07 August 2017]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [16 June 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [06 August 2017]
- Great War Stories - Arthur William King - Timaru Herald 17 Febraury 2018 (pdf, 191.1 KB updated 23-Feb-2018)
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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