Awards & Titles:

Meritorious Service Medal
Mentioned in Despatches
1914 (Mons) Star with clasp
British War Medal
Victory Medal with oak leaf
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal

Early Life :

Harry Douglas King was born 29th July, 1888 around the Lambeth area of Surrey, to Harry Ernest and Edith Andrews when resident at 33 Appark? Road. His father was noted to be a commercial traveller (salesman) from Gorleston, Suffolk, whilst Edith was from Wakefield, Yorkshire. He was baptised 14th October, 1888 at St. Jude Parish Church, East Brixton.

He grew up around Clapham. By the 1891 census he appears with his parents on his first census at 79 Elms Road, Clapham. His siblings are listed: George S. (b.1884), Alice E. (b.1886) and Ronald Andrews (b.1890). The family had a domestic servant living with them, and a visitor from King's Lynn, Norfolk, Elizabeth Matthews, a nurse.

By 1901, the family had moved to 8 Granville House, Lambeth. An addition to the family is seen in the birth of Daisy, born circa 1893. He appears next on the Census of 1911 overseas in Malta. He is garrisoned there as a Private of the 70th Company, Army Service Corps. No attestation records exist and there are limited service records. It is possible that his records are part of the burnt records destroyed in World War 2.

The next time he appears is on his marriage certificate on 7th December, 1914, showing that as a Lance Corporal of the Army Service Corps, he took Bertha Maud Thomson as his wife at St. Matthew's Church, Brixton. It seems that Harry was living with the inlaws and Bertha at 51 Sudbourne Road.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: Royal Army Service Corps 

Action : War Survivor 

Although many perished in times of national conflict and in the service of their country, many more survived including those interned as Prisoners of War. Stories of those who did survive are included as part of this site, especially those with high gallantry awards, those included against an external rolls of honour and those who had a distinguished career in wartime and military leaderhip.

Detail :

We do understand that he went on to become S/27057 Temporary Squadron Sergeant Major (SSM) Harry Douglas King MSM. He received the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of the war, but it is not clear entirely clear if it was for length of service, or for some noted war service. It is recorded on his medal card that he is cited in the Peace Gazette and that the MSM is "Home", but the entry in the London Gazette cannot be found.

During his time in South Africa, where he was stationed with his wife, they had three children: Charles Douglas (b.1917-d.1991), John Stanley (b.1918-d.1921), and Edward Norman (b.1921-d.2016). Sadly John died in South Africa in his infancy. There is possibly one other, Richard who is cited born 1920 and died 1920 but no evidence to back it up.

He possibly returned to England arriving at London from Cape Town, South Africa on the SS Gasean in 1922, part of the Union Castle Mail Steamship Company. In the manifest he is noted to be a soldier of the Royal Army Service Corps and a resident of Stanhope, Lincs., which might be why the line is struck out.

In 1918 and 1919, he was noted by his military rank and number to be on the "Absent Voter" list for the London Borough of Wandsworth (Balham and Tooting Division), when he was resident at 102 Stapleton Road, London S.W.17. He is further recorded as being posted with the 793rd (H.T.) Company, Army Service Corps. These companies were typically attached to Howitzer Batteries forming a transport column for the Royal Garrison Artillery.

For his service in the Great War he was awarded the 1914 (Mons) Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The Victory medal has an Oak life indicating that at some time he was mentioned in despatches. A copy of his service medals are held with the family, but as a miniature dress set.

Harry went on to serve in the Second World War and is listed on the 1939 Register as living at 21 Hale Grove Gardens, Hendon with Bertha. Harry is employed as an Expense Store Accountant, War Department whilst Bertha is employed on unpaid domestic duty! His office was at Horse guards.

Harry died 3rd April 1950, aged about 62 years of age and he is buried at Hoop Lane Cemetery, Golders Green.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : United Service No. 3285 E.C.South Africa (Western)

28th October 1919
25th November 1919
23rd December 1919

Harry was a Freemason who, according to the ledgers of the United Grand Lodge of England, we find was initiated into the United Service Lodge No. 3285 at Woodstock, South Africa, on the 28th October, 1919. He was a 31 year old Sergeant Major and resident at Cape Town. He took his fellowcraft's degree on the 25th November and became a master mason on the 23rd December of the same year. He received a certificate from the Grand Lodge of England to state as such on the 7th February, 1920. At the installation meeting in March, 1920 he became Lodge Steward. He continued to pay his dues beyond 1921 where the public access to record ends. The lodge continue to meet in Cape Town.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2021-03-21 08:30:46