Home Page

Lieutenant
EDWARD ALBERT KING
Royal Engineers
(formerly 75809 Sapper, Royal Engineers and
1859465 Warrant Officer Class I)

by
Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis
Ó 2002. All Rights Reserved.

1. INTRODUCTION

Research into the military service of Edward Albert King was made difficult by the fact that more than one man and possibly as many as three different men named E.A. King, served in the Royal Engineers during the period from 1915 until at least 1947. Connecting these men to each other, or determining whether they were one in the same is an ongoing project for the author and one that will, no doubt, eventually bring about revisions to this narrative.

The story began in 1977 when I acquired a group of medals, purportedly belonging to 75809 Sapper E.A. King, Royal Engineers. The medals were mounted as worn and consisted of the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal and War Medal. Note that there was no Long Service and Good Conduct Medal included with the group. This fact will take on greater importance later in this research project.

The medal group was purchased from a reputable dealer in England and since they were mounted as worn by the individual, the dealer and I assumed that they belonged to the same man. The assumption was that Sapper King saw service in both World Wars, but since no named medal appears in the group after the Great War, his subsequent rank was unknown. A Lieutenant E.A. King does appear in the Royal Engineers List during the Second World War and it is this information that led the dealer and myself to the conclusion that Lieutenant E.A. King and Sapper E.A. King were the same man. It was not until recently that I discovered in issues of The Sapper [1] that another E.A. King (or maybe the same E.A. King) served in the Royal Engineers and having enlisted in about 1920, he served until 1947 rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1. But more later concerning the connection between the E.A. Kings. For now let us return to what we do know about the main protagonist of this story, Sapper Edward Albert King.

Since Sapper King’s papers from the Great War were not available until just recently, the group sat unresearched for 25 years. It was not until recently that copies of his service papers were found in the "burnt papers" at the Public Record Office at Kew, Richmond, Surrey. And were they burned! What the fire did not get, water did.

Unless otherwise noted, the details supplied in this narrative were extracted from the soldier’s service papers obtained from the Public Record Office. The papers were very difficult to decipher. I freely admit that some of the details contained in this narrative are based on conclusions about dates and places that were reached only after hours of staring at the same illegible words and then finally convincing myself that I knew what they meant. I am certain that there are some inaccuracies in this narrative, but since there is no way to arrive at any better results, my analysis will have to suffice.

2. EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY INFORMATION

Edward Albert King was born in February 1892 in Lambeth, London, in the area of Waterloo Station and the Imperial War Museum. His father was William Thomas King and although a search was made of the 1881 British Census, no reference could be found to William Thomas King that would indicate where he lived or what his trade might have been.

Prior to enlisting in the Army for service in the Great War of 1914-1918, Edward Albert King lived at 7 Fenton’s Avenue, Plaistow, West Ham, London. West Ham is located in the east of London and Fenton’s Avenue is a small street, only one block long, located to the east of the East London Cemetery and north of Royal Victoria Dock.

King worked as a Telephone Lineman and was employed by the General Post Office. He probably worked in London just prior to his enlistment, but it appears that he also worked at the General Post Officer in Cambridge before the war where he was employed as a Line Telegraphist. King was not married when the war broke out in 1914. Although he was 22 years old in 1914, he had no prior naval or military service. As with other men during this period who had essential civilian jobs dealing with homeland communications and transport, Kings appears to have been exempted from military service, at least for a while.

3. PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION

The following is a description of Edward Albert King at the time he enlisted in the Army in 1915:

Age:

23 years and 4 month

Height:

5 feet 5¼ inches

Weight:

10 stone (140 pounds)

Chest (expanded):

38 inches

Chest (normal):

35 inches

Vaccination marks:

4 on the left arm received in infancy and when 9 years old

Vision:

Good in both eyes

Medical Category:

"A1" – Fit for General Service

4. ENLISTMENT AND TRAINING

As the Great War neared the end of the first year, it appears that King contacted someone with a view to joining the Army in a position that would permit him to work at his civilian trade while on active service. On the 28th of May 1915, Colonel A.M. Ogilvie, Director of Army Signals, Home Defence wrote a letter to the Recruiting Officer for the Essex Regiment, whose 6th Battalion was located in West Ham [2]. In this letter Colonel Ogilvie wrote the following:

"I have been requested by the Officer in Charge, Royal Engineers Records, N.E.F. to send you Mr. E.A. King, a Post Office Servant, for enlistment under A.O. 296 and 341 of 1914 as a Line Telegraphist in the Royal Engineers (Regular Army) if he is eligible in all respects.

Will you kindly send the recruit at once to the Commanding Officer, Fenny Stratford Signal Depôt, Bletchley, and forward his attestation to the same officer.

The recruit should take this letter with him to Bletchley to show to the Commanding Officer there."

King was subsequently recruited by Sergeant J.T. Healey, a Non-Commissioned Officer of the Essex Regiment who was probably serving with the 6th Battalion. He enlisted for General Service in the Royal Engineers on the 3rd of June 1915 at Romford, Essex. His enlistment was for the duration of the war. King’s enlistment was witnessed by one Percy Weston and he attested before a Justice of the Peace for Essex. His Attestation was certified by the Approving Officer at Fenny Stratford Signal Depot in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.

5. ASSIGNMENTS AND CAMPAIGN SERVICE

Fenny Stratford Signal Depot (1915)

King reported for duty at Fenny Stratford Signal Depot on the 4th of June 1915 and was given Regimental Number 75809 and the rank of Sapper in the Royal Engineers. He was tested on the 8th of June to determine his skills as a lineman and on that date he was issued a Certificate of Trade Proficiency at the Military Workshop under the supervision of Quartermaster Sergeant A.N. Peerless, R.E. He was certified as a Proficient Telegraph Permanent Lineman [3].

France (1915-1919)

After a short period of training at Fenny Stratford Signal Depot, Sapper King was alerted for active service in France. He proceeded to the port of embarkation [4] on the 8th of October 1915 and embarked for France on the following day. King landed in France on the 10th of October and reported to the Base Signal Depot there on the 13th.

Sapper King remained at the Base Signal Depot for 10 days and on the 23rd of October 1915 he was posted to the 50th Division Signal Company in XVII Corps, British Third Army. Each infantry Division included a Signal Company. The company consisted of a headquarters and four sections, numbered 1 through 4. No. 1 section generally operated in support of the divisional headquarters while the remaining three sections supported the brigades within the division. In 1915 the division signal company consisted of 6 Officers and 202 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks, none of whom were Telegraph Lineman [5]. King remained with the 50th Division Signal Company for less than a month and was posted back to the Base Signal Depot on the 19th of November 1915. It may be assumed that since his skills as a Telegraph Lineman could not be gainfully employed in a division signal company, it was decided to assign him to a unit where he could be more useful plying his trade.

On the 22nd of January 1916 Sapper King was again posted to a field unit from the Base Signal Depot. This time he was sent to "S" Corps Signal Company in VIII Corps. In 1916 a corps signal company consisted of only 4 Officers and 101 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks [6]. Once he had joined the company, Sapper King was further assigned to "SD" Cable Section where his skills as a Telegraph Lineman could be put to good use. He assumed his new duties in the cable section on the 19th of April 1916.

Following a short period of leave at home near the end of 1916, during which time he got married in Essex, Sapper King returned to his duties at the front with "SD" Cable Section. He was wounded or injured on duty on the 8th of April 1917 and was admitted to the 2/1st Highland Field Ambulance for treatment. This field ambulance unit was part of the 51st (Highland) Division [7] which was involved in the 1st Battle of Scarpe at the time of his injury [8]. His wound or injury could not have been serious, as he was returned to duty three days later while the Battle of the Scarpe was still raging. The battle ended on the 14th of April 1917, but there was to be virtually no rest for Sapper King and the other men in his company. The VIII Corps was thrown immediately into the 2nd Battle of Scarpe (23-24 April 1917), followed by the Battle of Arleux (28-29 April 1917) and the 3rd Battle of Scarpe (3-4 May 1917) [9].

During the summer of 1917 Sapper King was transferred to "TT" Cable Section in "R" Corps Signal Company, the signal company of the British XVII Corps. By 1917 the establishment of the corps signal company had changed to 7 Officers and 170 Non-Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks, including eight Permanent Linemen [10].

Sapper King was injured again on the 3rd of August 1917 while in the field. This time his record clearly shows that he received a puncture wound to the knee from a strand of barbed wire. He was admitted for treatment to the 52nd Field Ambulance, a unit of the 17th Division [11]. His Report on Wound (Army Form B.117) was signed by a Lieutenant, U.S.M.R.C. According to the United States Army Register of the period, this abbreviation stands for United States Medical Reserve Corps. It would appear that a U.S. Army doctor was working with the 52nd Field Ambulance at the time that King received his injury. King rejoined his unit in the field on the 9th of August 1917.

Sapper King remained with "TT" Cable Section of "R" Corps Signal Company until the end of the war. In the spring of 1918 he saw action at the Battle of Bapaume (24-25 March 1918) and the Battle of Arras (28 March 1918) [12]. The summer and autumn of 1918 brought no relief for Sapper King and his mates. They took part in the 4th Battle of Scarpe (26-30 August 1918), the Battle of Drocourt-Queant (2-3 September 1918) and the Battle of Canal Du Nord (27 September to 1 October 1918). The pursuit of the retreating German Army to Mons had begun on the 28th of September, so the men of "R" Corps Signal Company were constantly on the move. In quick succession the company saw action at Cambrai (8-9 October 1918), the Selle (17-25 October 1918), Valenciennes (1-2 November 1918) and finally on the Sambre (4 November 1918). The pursuit to Mons ended with the armistice on the 11th of November 1918 [13].

Sapper King was granted 14 days of leave on the 3rd of December 1918 and he went home to the U.K. He returned to his company in France on the 17th of December 1918 and had to remain there until the spring of 1919 before he began processing for demobilization. He received a medical examination in France on the 25th of April 1919 and on the 29th of April he was despatched to the U.K. for demobilization. He arrived at No. 1 Dispersal Unit at Purfleet, Essex on the following day and there he was issued his Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identification. This certificate indicated that his Pay Office was located at Chatham and that in the event of a military emergency he was to report to Chatham if and when he was called up for active service. King’s Medical Category was listed as "A" and his Special Military Qualification was listed as Lineman. Sapper King was transferred to the Class "Z" Army Reserve at Chatham on the 28th of May 1919.

For his service during the Great War, Sapper Edward Albert King received the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal [14]. He was issued these three medals on the following dates [15]:

1914-15 Star:

11 August 1920

British War Medal:

10 December 1920

Victory Medal:

12 September 1921

Between the Wars (1920-1939)

It appears that Edward Albert King reenlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1920 and was issued Army Number 1859465 [16]. There is little information available regarding King during the years from 1920 to 1929. He advanced in rank through Lance Corporal, Corporal and Lance Sergeant until he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the 13th of March 1929 on the accelerated promotion roster [17]. At this point in his career he would have had a total of almost 13 years of service, including his war service. In fact, his war service may account for his promotion on the accelerated roster. By 1933 Sergeant King would have completed 18 years of service including his service during the Great War and would have been eligible for the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal [18].

Sergeant King was posted to the 24th (Fortress) Company, Royal Engineers on the island of Malta in about 1931. The 24th Company was stationed at St. Francis Barracks in Floriana on the "Island of Bells, Yells and Smells" as it was referred to by the British soldier at that time [19]. The officer commanding the company when Sergeant King arrived on Malta was Major H.G. Mac George, R.E. Major Mac George was promoted and transferred out of the company late in 1932. The O.C.’s position remained vacant until April of 1933 when Major H.T. Genet, M.C., R.E. assumed command [20].

Sergeant King was promoted to the rank of Company Quartermaster Sergeant on the 2nd of January 1935 while serving with the 24th Company [21]. This promotion was very quickly followed by another to Warrant Officer Class II (Company Sergeant Major) on the 22nd of February 1935 [22]. At this point in his career, King had over 20 years of service.

His last promotion brought with it reassignment and he and his family returned to England where he was assigned as the Company Sergeant Major of the 38th Field Company. The 38th Field Company was part of the Aldershot Command. Specifically, it was part of the 2nd Division in the Northern Aldershot District and was stationed at Marlborough Lines. The Officer Commanding the company at the time was Major C.C.S. White, M.B.E., R.E. [23].

It appears that Company Sergeant Major King may have been discharged from the Army prior to the Second World War or he may have been granted permission to serve beyond 21 years. No data has been uncovered to determine how his career progressed between 1935 and 1939.

World War II (1939-1945)

The Royal Engineers List for 1943 lists a 2nd Lieutenant E.A. King receiving a Regular Army Emergency Commission (General List) on the 24th of December 1942. If this is the same Edward Albert King who served in the Great War as a Sapper, he would have been 50 years old when commissioned and would have been serving for 27 years. He would have been too old to serve in a front line unit, so he was probably a Quartermaster in a rear echelon outfit. King was promoted to Lieutenant on the 24th of June 1943 and apparently served for the duration of the war. For his service during the Second World War, E.A. King was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal and War Medal [24].

Post War Service (1945-1947)

The Sapper magazine for July 1947 lists a Warrant Officer Class I (Regimental Sergeant Major) E.A. King as serving on the Permanent Staff of 126 Army Engineer Regiment, R.E. (T.A.). This regiment had its drill hall on Strathmore Avenue in Dundee, Scotland at that time. The question now is whether this is the same E.A. King who served in the Great War as a Sapper and in World War 2 as a Lieutenant. If it is, then he would have been 55 years of age in 1947 and would have been serving continuously (or almost continuously) for 32 years. It would also mean that after the war he relinquished his Regular Army Emergency Commission and reverted to the rank of Warrant Officer Class I. [25]. He then continued to serve with the Territorial Army until his discharge at some date not discovered during the course of this research.

6. PROMOTIONS AND CONDUCT

a. Promotions: Edward Albert King received the promotions shown in the table below during his time in service. This table provides data that assumes that the E.A. Kings uncovered in the Public Record Office, in issues of The Sapper, and in the Royal Engineers List of 1943 are the same individual.

Date of Promotion or Appointment


Rank or Position

Total Years
of Service

3 June 1915

Sapper (Initial enlistment for the Great War)

0

1920

Sapper (Reenlisted after demobilization)

5

About 1923

Lance Corporal

8

About 1925

Corporal

10

About 1927

Lance Sergeant

12

13 March 1929

Sergeant

14

About 1933

Staff Sergeant

18

2 January 1935

Company Quartermaster Sergeant

20

22 February 1935

Warrant Officer Class II
(Company Sergeant Major)

20

24 December 1942

Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers (Regular Army Emergency Commission (General List)

27

24 June 1943

Lieutenant

28

1945

Warrant Officer Class I (Regimental Sergeant Major)

32

b. Conduct: Edward Albert King did not receive any Good Conduct Badges during his time in service during the Great War. As a Sapper during the Great War his name appeared only once in the company defaulters’ book. Sapper King was absent from his billet on the 7th of July 1918 and was reported to his company commander by a Lance Corporal Fielder of the Military Field Police and a Gunner Desbrow of the Royal Garrison Artillery [26]. He was punished for this offence on the 10th of July 1918, but his punishment consisted only of an admonishment. If he continued on in service after the Great War, as has been assumed, he would certainly have been eligible for the award of Good Conduct Badges. He would also have been entitled to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal after 18 years of service.

7. EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS

a. Education: No evidence has been uncovered to indicate that Edward Albert King earned any Certificates of Education during his time in service. If he served to be a senior Non-Commissioned Officer, it is almost certain that he did earn Certificates of Education, although no direct evidence has been found to prove this assumption.

b. Qualifications: Sapper King earned the following qualifications during his time in service between 1915 and 1919.

Date

Qualification

8 June 1915

Proficient Telegraph Permanent Lineman

1 December 1917

Raised to skilled rate of pay of 1s-4p per day
as a Skilled Telegraph Permanent Lineman [27].

No information has been uncovered regarding other qualification he may have earned during subsequent periods of service.

8. MEDICAL INFORMATION

The following medical information was taken from Edward Albert King’s service records during his time in service between 1915 and 1919:

Location

Date of
Admission

Ailment

Period of Hospitalization
or Treatment

Romford, Essex

3 Jun 1915

Medical examination on enlistment

None

Haynes Park

6 Aug 1915

Medical examination prior to embarkation

None

Bletchley, Buckinghamshire

10 Sep 1915

Re-vaccination against smallpox

Passed for active service in France

France

8 Apr 1917

Injury
(details unknown)

Admitted to 2/1st Highland Field Ambulance for treatment. Discharged on 11 Apr 1917

France

3 Aug 1917

Barbed wire puncture wound to the knee

Admitted to 52nd Field Ambulance for treatment. Re- joined his unit on 9 Aug 1917.

France

25 Apr 1918

Medical examination in preparation for demobilization

King made no claim for disability as a result of his military service

No medical information is available during subsequent periods of service.

9. MARRIAGE AND PERSONAL INFORMATION

Sapper King’s service papers contain an entry pertaining to his marriage, but this entry is in a section of the documents that is very badly faded. He married Emma Kellsall at St. Barnabas Church in Woodford, Essex, apparently while he was home on leave from France. The date of their marriage appears to be the 12th of October 1916, although this date is uncertain due to the difficulty involved in reading the entry.

Sergeant King was stationed on Malta with the 24th (Fortress) Company, R.E. after the Great War. His wife accompanied him on this tour of duty. "Station News" in the February 1931 issue of The Sapper announced that the company had held a fancy dress ball on New Year’s Eve of 1930. Mrs. King is noted as winning 3rd Prize for her costume as a "Radio Fan" [28]. It is left up to the reader’s imagination to visualize what the costume of a "Radio Fan" might have looked like. One would have had to have been there in that place and that time to know what her costume was supposed to depict.

Mrs. King is mentioned again in the March 1933 issue of The Sapper. "Station News announced that a child was born to Sergeant and Mrs. King on Malta. Since the magazines were published from two to three months after the events mentioned in "Station New," it is probable that the baby was born in December of 1932 or in January of 1933. Sergeant King would have been 41 years old at the time. His wife may have been in her mid- to late thirties [29].

10. DISCHARGE

Sapper Edward Albert King was transferred to the Class "Z" Army Reserve at Chatham on the 28th of May 1919 on demobilization following the Great War of 1914-1918. His total service during the Great War was reckoned as shown in the tables below:

Location

Period of Service

Bletchley, Buckinghamshire

3 June 1915 – 8 October 1915

France

9 October 1915 – 29 April 1919

Purfleet, Essex

30 April – 28 May 1919

 

Location

Period of Service

Home Service

127 days

Service Abroad

3 years and 202 days

Total Service

3 years and 329 days

If he reenlisted in 1920, as is assumed, then his subsequent service took him until at least 1947 based on entries found in The Sapper. The following table would summarize this subsequent service as best as can be determined from available information.

Location

Period of Service

Home

1920-1930

Malta

1930-1935

Home (Aldershot)

1935-1940

North Africa

1940-1943

Home

1943-1944

North West Europe

1944-1945

Home (Scotland)

1945-1947

From these tables we see that King served approximately 17 years at home and 15 years abroad.

11. POST SERVICE LIFE

No information has been uncovered regarding the life of Edward Albert King after leaving the Army.

12. EPILOGUE

No next of kin for Edward Albert King has been located; therefore, the service records of the E.A. King who was the Warrant Officer Class I and the E.A. King who was the Lieutenant during World War 2 are still unavailable to the author. An inquiry has been made to the Ministry of Defence requesting only the given names of the WOI and the Lieutenant [30]. It is hoped that if the Ministry will provide this information, some of the mystery as to the identity of the man or men will be solved.

REFERENCES

Books

1. MINISTRY OF PENSIONS. Location of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations, British Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919. Imperial War Museum, London, undated. Original document dated Westminster, London, 13 July 1923.

2. PRIESTLEY, R.E. The Signal Service in the European War of 1914 to 1918 (France). The Institution of Royal Engineers and the Signals Association, Chatham, 1921.

Documents

The service papers of 75809 Sapper Edward Albert King, R.E., consisting of the following documents:

  1. Short Service Attestation (Army Form B.2505).
  2. Descriptive Report on Enlistment.
  3. Medical History.
  4. Letter from Director of Army Signals, Home Defence to Recruiting Officer, Essex, dated 28 May 1915.
  5. Statement of Services.
  6. Casualty Form – Active Service (Army Form B.103).
  7. Statement as to Disability (Army Form Z.22).
  8. Company Conduct Sheet.
  9. Certificate of Qualification as a Skilled Telegraphist (Permanent Lineman).
  10. Certificate of Trade Proficiency.
  11. Report on Wounds (Army Form B.117).
  12. Trade and Special Qualifications.
  13. Protection Certificate and Certificate of Identity.
  14. Medal Index Card.
  15. Issue Receipt for 1914-15 Star.
  16. Issue Receipt for British War Medal.
  17. Issue Receipt for Victory Medal.

Internet Web Sites

1. BAKER, c. The British Army in the Great War. Leamington Spa, 2002.

www.1914-1918.net

2. COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION. Debt of Honour Register.

www.cwgc.org.uk

Periodicals

1. Monthly Army List, February 1915.

2. The Royal Engineers Journal. Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1925-1932.

3. The Royal Engineers List, April 1933.

4. The Royal Engineers List, April 1935.

5. The Royal Engineers List, 1943.

6. The Sapper, May 1929.

7. The Sapper, April 1935.

8. The Sapper, May 1935.

9. The Sapper, July 1947.

 ENDNOTES

[1] The Regimental Journal of the Royal Engineers.

[2] Monthly Army List, February 1915, p. 1301.

[3] A Permanent Lineman was an individual proficient in stringing and maintaining the more sophisticated lines of a regular civilian style telegraph system rather than the temporary lines of a field telegraph system.

[4] Probably Southampton, although his service record is not clear on this point.

[5] PRIESTLEY, p. 334.

[6] Ibid., p. 336.

[7] Location of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations, B.E.F., Part II, p. 5.

[8] Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.

[9] Ibid.

[10] PRIESTLEY, pp. 336, 349 and 350.

[11] Location of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations, B.E.F., Part II, p. 2.

[12] Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.

[13] Ibid.

[14] These medals are in the author’s collection mounted as worn with a group of World War 2 medals.

[15] This is the first set of papers in the authors collection showing the actual dates of issue of the Great War medals to the individual.

[16] It is at this point in this research project that the events in the life of Edward Albert King become rather cloudy. His service papers indicate that he was demobilized after the Great War. There is no disputing this fact. The question is, did he serve after the Great War and all through the inter-war period and into World War 2? This issue is raised by the fact that a man, or possible two different men, by the name of E.A. King served in the Royal Engineers between 1920 and 1947. Numerous issues of The Sapper magazine mention an E.A. King serving in the Royal Engineers during the 1920’s and 1930’s. This man is listed as having Army Number 1859465. This number indicates that E.A. King enlisted in the Royal Engineers very soon after the end of the Great War. In fact, it indicates that he enlisted sometime in 1920.

[17] The Sapper, May 1929, p. 283.

[18] There is no evidence that he received this medal and it was not mounted with the Great War and World War 2 medals when the author purchased the medal group. It seems unlikely that a career soldier would not have worn his Long Service and Good Conduct medal along with all his campaign medals. The lack of this medal in the group suggests strongly that 75809 Sapper E.A. King might not be the same man as 1859465 Sergeant E.A. King.

[19] The Sapper, April 1935, p. 577.

[20] The Royal Engineers List, April 1933.

[21] The Sapper, April 1935, p. 583.

[22] The Sapper, May 1935, p. 610.

[23] The Royal Engineers List, April 1935, p. xx.

[24] These medals are in the author’s collection along with the Great War Medals of Sapper E.A. King.

[25] The author has no evidence that once granted a commission, that senior NCO’s could revert back to there original ranks and continue serving.

[26] 192554 Gunner G.W. Desbrow served in "N" Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He died on Tuesday the 10th of September 1918 and according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register, he is buried in the Neuville-Bourjonval British Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

[27] This qualification was granted to Sapper King by order of the Assistant Director of Signals, XVII Corps.

[28] Numerous issues of The Sapper were searched between 1928 and 1940. A Non-Commissioned Officer named King is mentioned a number of times under "Station News" for the 24th Company, but his initials are never given. It is known that King was serving with the 24th Company in January of 1935 when he was promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant. It has been assumed that the King mentioned in the magazine is E.A. King. The unfortunate thing about the "Stations News" section published in The Sapper each month is that news of every company was not always included. The number of articles written about a company depended upon the energy of the man in the company who volunteered (or was designated) to write the news about the unit. It also depended upon the activities of the unit and how much news there was to report. Correspondents often left off the initials of the NCO’s and Other Ranks. The articles were written with the idea that the reader would know who the individual was if only the surname was used. This may or may not have been true at the time. Unfortunately the lack of initials decreases the historical value of the magazine for its lack of detail regarding the individual about whom the news was written.

[29] "Station News" in the older issues of The Sapper was full of valuable information about the men serving in various units. Most of the news dealt with sports and social events. Training and construction projects were mentioned when the correspondent thought they were news worthy. Photographs of unit activities, usually sporting events, were submitted to The Sapper for publication when they were available. Unfortunately, Sergeant King does not seem to have participated in any sports as his name is not mentioned in connection with any company events, nor does his photograph appear in any of the pictures submitted to The Sapper for publication.

[30] Without written approval from next of kin the Ministry of Defence will not release details of a soldier’s service. Hopefully they will provide the names of the individuals.