William John King

Dec 25, 1888

Born in Georgetown, Ontario to George and Alice (nee Crocker) King 

His birth was registered on December 31, 1888 by his grandmother on the same day as she registered the birth of his sister, Clara Catherine King who was born a year earlier, November 24, 1887.  The 1901 Census lists William’s birth date as December 25, 1889


Aug 11, 1915

Married to Gertie Peace in Georgetown, Ontario


Feb 8, 1916

Attested into the 164th Battalion CEF in Georgetown, Ontario 

Ø      Number 663432

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Gertrude King, wife, Georgetown, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Glove Cutter

Ø      Previous military experience given as 2 years with the volunteers (Canadian Militia)

Ø      Religion given as Methodist 

For some reason he stated that he was born December 25, 1890, not his actual year of 1888 

Private King initially trained with the recruits in Georgetown


Jun 5, 1916

The entire battalion was gathered in Orangeville in tents in the Fair Grounds there to conduct battalion level training


Jul 6, 1916

The battalion moved to Camp Borden, near Barrie, Ontario to continue training


Sep 23, 1916

Admitted to the Camp Borden Hospital with a diagnosis that reads Measles


Oct 4, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital


Oct 16, 1916

The battalion began the march to Hamilton, Ontario to conduct winter training


Nov 2, 1916

The battalion arrived in Hamilton and moved into the Westinghouse Barracks for the winter


Nov 7, 1916

Appointed to rank of Provisional Lance Corporal


Apr 5, 1917

The battalion boarded a train in Hamilton destined for Halifax, Nova Scotia


Apr 11, 1917

Upon arrival in Halifax, the battalion embarked the SS Carpathia


Apr 22, 1917

The battalion disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Otterpool Camp, West of Hythe in Kent and placed in Quarantine to ensure the health of the battalion members.  Following the quarantine period, the battalion moved to East Sandling and was absorbed into the 2nd Reserve Battalion to continue training


May 27, 1917

The 164th Battalion was separated from the 2nd Reserve Battalion and moved to Witley with the intention of forming part of the proposed 5th Canadian Division


Feb 19, 1918

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


Mar 8, 1918

Attached to the 119th Battalion for duty


Mar 19, 1918

Ceased to be attached and rejoined the 164th Battalion


Mar 29, 1918

Following the decision to discard the 5th Division, the battalion was broken up for reinforcements and Private King was transferred to the 21st Battalion


Mar 30, 1918

Arrived at the CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Apr 3, 1918

Left the base depot and joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Calonne Ricouart as part of a draft of 98 reinforcements destined to join the 21st Battalion


Apr 8, 1918

Left the reinforcement camp and joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Wailly, France as part of a draft of 44 reinforcements and assigned to “B” Company


Aug 8, 1918

4 months after joining the battalion, William King and the 21st Battalion were given the task of attacking Marcelcave and capturing it from the Germans.  This attack was met with very heavy machine gun fire and the battalion’s Commanding Officer,   L/Col EW Jones DSO was killed in action.  Private William King was first reported missing, but his body was subsequently found and buried in the nearby Cachy Cemetery a few days later. 

In late 1919 he was 1 of 10 Canadian soldiers killed during the battle to be exhumed from the Cachy Cemetery and re-buried in the Adelaide British Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Gertrude King, Georgetown, Ontario 

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. Alice Clara King, Georgetown, Ontario


William King is honoured on the Georgetown, Ontario War Memorial


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