The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Harold Idris King

Harold Idris King appears on both the Ystalyfera War Memorial and on the Ystradgynlais War Memorial, and please note that in the St Cynog's Roll of Honour he is included as H.S. King, rather than H.I. King.

Harold Idris King had been a teacher in Cwmtwrch School before the war. He enlisted with the South Wales Borderers and was died of wounds received in Mesopotamia in 1917.

The information on Harold Idris King has been compiled from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameHarold Idris King
Date of Death19th February 1917
Place of DeathIraq
Age at Death21
Unit and RegimentSouth Wales Borderers; 4th Bn.
Service Number27780
Memorial  BASRA MEMORIAL - IRAQ; Panel 16 and 62.  
Local Memorials Ystradgynlais War Memorial
Ystalyfera War Memorial
Maesydderwen Roll of Honour
Ystalyfera County School War Memorial
Marble memorial, English Congregational Church, Ystalyfera
Personal Details Born Ystalyfera. Son of Thomas (born 1860) and Caroline (born 1865) King of "Hazelhurst", Lower Cwmtwrch. Lived Bryneithyn Lower Cwmtwrch. Former assistant teacher in Cwmtwrch School and enlisted at Ystradgynlais. Harold died of wounds in Mesopotamia.
Known Brothers
Known SistersHilda C (born 1891)
Elsie M (born 1892)

The Llais Llafur of 26th December 1914 records a letter received from Harold King about his journey out to Aden:-

Two very interesting communications have been received during the past few days from Private Harold King, of the Brecknocks, who is with the local boys journeying to Aden and Bombay. Private King, who is on the teaching staff at the Cwmtwrch Schools, writes from the Red Sea under date November 21st stating that the food in the troopship as well as other conveniences are by no means desirable. He adds: "Everybody will be glad to leave this old tub. The weather in the Red Sea has been very good, and the sea is like a mill pond. We saw the point at which Moses crossed the sea, and Mount Sinai. B. Company is landing at Perim, an Island 80 miles off Aden. We saw some gun practice with our escorts here.

In a later message, dated November 25th Private King writes: Have reached Aden, but are not landing: we proceed to Bombay and return later. It is very hot here.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 3rd March 1917:-

We regret to announce that, according to an official notification received from the War Office, Private Harold I. King, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas King, Bryneithin, Lower Cwmtwrch, has died of wounds in Mesopotamia, on 19th February. Private King joined the Brecknocks soon after the outbreak of war, and was drafted to Pembroke, where he was in training for some months. He then volunteered for foreign service with the battalion and accompanied them to Aden where he took part in the memorable desert fight, when the battalion endured much hardships on account of the excessive heat. They were subsequently transferred to India.
Private King remained in India until about six months ago, when he again volunteered to go with a draft of the Brecknocks to Mesopotamia. He was transferred to a Devonshire Regiment. For some time he was in hospital at Busrah, and his family heard from him from hospital as late as the end of January. It is presumed that he took part in the operations of a fortnight ago, which by now have led to the recapture of Kut.
Before the war Private King was an assistant teacher at Tro'rgleien. Deep sympathy is felt with his parents and sisters. There is a mournful coincidence in the fact that the lad would have been 21 on Thursday of this week had he been spared.

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 22nd September 1917:-

Amongst other visitors to the place this week was Nurse Hilda King daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. King, Lower Cwmtwrch, who is home from a London hospital.

Harold King was one of 14 men of Cwmtwrch remembered at a memorial service held in February 1919. The write-up in the Llais described his service thus:-

Private Harold King, Brecknocks, Enlisted September 1st 1914, afterwards transferred to S. W. B. Wounded February 17th 1917 in the attack upon Kut-El-Amara (Mesopotamia) Died February 19th


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