Leading Seaman Edgar William King, of HMS St Vincent, died of influenza and pneumonia in the Royal Navy Hospital, South Queensferry, on 20th December 1918. Born on 18th May 1888 in Hampton-in-Arden, he was the son of the village postmaster, Walter King, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann (née Williams).
Walter and Elizabeth married at Hampton-in-Arden parish church in June 1884, at which time Walter was a journeyman baker. Edgar was the third of the couple’s eight children (six sons, two daughters), all of whom were born in Hampton-in-Arden. One of the boys, Percy (born and died 1894) died as an infant.
Edgar became a plumber’s assistant before enlisting in the Royal Navy on 17th March 1905 as a Boy 2nd Class. On his 18th birthday, 18th May 1906, he signed up as an Ordinary Seaman for a period of 12 years. He was promoted Able Seaman in August 1907, and Leading Seaman in June 1908.
He was posted to HMS Vincent in April 1914 and seems to have spent the war aboard the same ship. Apart from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, Vincent‘s war service mostly consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. At the time of the 1911 census, Edgar was lodging at the Royal Seaman’s Rest in Portsmouth.
He is buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth and his name is also commemorated locally on the war memorial at Hampton-in-Arden, where his parents lived at The Old Post Office until their deaths in 1930 (Walter) and 1951 (Elizabeth).
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