Major William Lorraine 'Tiny' King MC and bar, DCM

1920 marriage
in WW2

William Lorraine King

William Lorraine King b. Kensington, London 1884, died Gaza 14 Nov 1942. He had 2 children by his first wife, Isabella Olivia Alexander (who died in Dublin in 1917), then married a Helen Sophie Gilbert (she is given as born in Dublin, but was born in India ) in Rathdown, Oct/Dec 1920 and had one child. They divorced in 1926, and he then married Dorothy Spencer Dawson, b. Bradford Yorkshire in 1939.

1884 Sept 12 Born London. His parents were: William King Born 1840 Died 1917 in London and Margaret Reid Born 1856 in Scotland


1891 census

osten Mews

Osten Mews today

1891 census, the family is living at 9 Osten Mews Kensington. His father is listed as a coachman

1901 census living at 9 Queensberry "M E", Brompton, Kensington with mother and father. He is an apprentice carpenter and his father a horse keeper/groom

1901 census

middlesex engineers

1901 William joined the 1st Middlesex Royal Engineers (Volunteers) as a Sapper in 1901. 1st Middlesex Royal Engineers (Volunteers) were based at 67 College Street, Fulham. The 1st Middlesex Royal Engineers (Volunteers) supplied 8 men to the 'City Of London Volunteers, formed in Dec 1899 and departed for South Africa in 7 detachments during Jan/Feb 1900. During next 7 months up to Oct 1900 it had 6 killed in action, 65 wounded, 37 died of disease, 130 invalided from sickness.


The Times 25 Nov 1901

Volunteer Engineers operated in special service sections made up of 1 subaltern, 1 Sergeant, 1 corporal, 1 corporal, and 22 sappers, or 26 of all ranks. The men were to be enlisted for the regular army for a period of one year or the duration of the war, those taken for the "Waiting companies" being transferred to the reserve until required for service. The conditions of enlistment were that the men should be not under 20 or more than 35 years of age, 1st class (volunteer) shots, efficient in the years 1898 and 1899, of good character, medically fit, and, by preference, unmarried. They were to be paid, rationed, clothed, and equipped as soldiers of the regular battalions (though continuing to wear the designation of their volunteer battalions on their shoulder-straps), and were to be granted wound pensions as for the regular army. On completion of their term of service, they were to be granted £5 as a gratuity, besides any special gratuity issued for the war. The corps to which the men belonged was to be given a sum of £9 to cover the cost of equipment of each volunteer, and the men were to be borne as supernumerary to their corps and to be considered as " efficients," the corps continuing to draw the full capitation grant for them.

The section would undergo a course of training at the School of Military Engineering at Chatham before going to South Africa. While the City Of London Volunteers were being organised a Special Army Order dated 2 Jan 1900 authorised the raising of a number of volunteer service companies. In order to overcome the legal restrictions of the Volunteer Act, volunteers were required to enlist into the regular army, for a period of one year. When their service was completed, the first series of volunteer companies were ordered home from South Africa. They were replaced by a new group raised under an Army Order issued in Jan 1901. This group after seeing a lot of action were replaced by a fresh group in 1902.

1902 joins the South African Police in 1902 as a first class detective head constable

1904 Jan 17 William was decorated for his role in saving lives in the Bloemfontien floods. There were catastrophic floods in Bloemfontein. The Royal Hotel was swept away and the proprietors, Mr and Mrs Smith, and their entire family, perished in the floodwaters. The Friend gives a detailed account of these events. Altogether about 60 people died.

Married Isabella Olivia Alexander (who died in Dublin in 1917). They had 2 children The wedding appears to have been in South Africa as I cannot find it in England or Ireland.

1908 born Eileen Marion King (died 1979 in Gladesville, New South Wales, Australia)

1911 census, he does not appear.

1911 Aug 11. born Sidney Lorraine King Child of King & Alexander at St Giles London Jul/Sep (d 11 Nov 1992 Bradford, Yorkshire)

1915 Aug William joined the South African Infantry at Bloemfontien. He was originally recruited as Sgt, but the CSM , A M Rankin requested relief at Bordon camp in Dec. Consequently W L King was promoted acting CSM in Dec 1915. William attained the rank of Acting Staff Captain by 1919.

medal card king medal card

The South African Union Defence Act of 1914 prohibited the deployment of South African troops beyond the borders of the South Africa and its immediate neighbouring territories. In order to send troops to Europe to support the Commonwealth in World War I, Generals Botha and Smuts created the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force. However, because of the limitations of the Defence Act, they issued a General Order (Order 672 of 1915) which stated that "The South African Overseas Expeditionary Force will be Imperial and have the status of regular British Troops." "Status" was meant to imply administrative purposes, as Britain was paying for the maintenance of the force in the field for the sake of local political sensitivities.

The 2nd South African Infantry Regiment was commanded by Lt Col W.E.C. Tanner, this Regiment was raised from Natal and Orange Free State. Many volunteers were from the Kaffrarian Rifles. There is a good write up of life with 2nd South African infantry here

The Brigade (of 4 regiments), numbering 160 officers and 5 648 other ranks, embarked for England from Cape Town and were quartered at Bordon in Hampshire, where, for the next two months, they underwent training

1915 Dec It was decided to send the South African brigade to Egypt, where the Senussi tribe led by Gaafer Pasha, was threatening to overrun the country.

1916 Jan 20. 2nd South African Infantry arrived at Alexandria in Egypt from England, and the 2nd Regiment was immediately moved to join his column. For lack of railway transport, they moved from Alexandria by boat, landing at Mersa Matruh on 21 January. This page is a more detailed account of the North Africa Campaign by the South Africans

1916 Jan 22 The British force left Matruh to attack Sanusi camped at Halazin & covered 12 miles to Bir Shola, a night bivouac was made with no camp fires allowed.

1916 Jan 23 Before dawn two columns were formed with the infantry on the right and cavalry on the left. The Sikhs were in the forward attack formation with the 2nd South African Infantry and New Zealand battalions to the rear in support. The Sanusi army was in a crescent shape half a mile long. 10am The Sikhs advanced on the centre of the Sanusi army, while the 2nd South African Infantry and New Zealanders followed. The advance stalled in face of fire from 5 Turkish machine guns. The Notts Battery RHA returned fire at 1200 yards. At Midday the Sanusi were observed moving along both flanks of the column, two companies of 2nd South African Infantry were sent to cover the right flank, but were checked by machine gun fire, one company of New Zealanders with machine guns sent to reinforce the2nd South African Infantry, but the column continued to be outflanked. A company of Royal Scots sent to reinforce the 2nd South African Infantry as well. These moves greatly extended the Sanusi front, but the flanking threat was eventually stopped. The 2nd South African Infantry was then able to join the Sikh front line and then worked their way through the Sanusi camp to the final line of trenches, the Sanusi army was in full retreat to the west., by mid afternoon battle over. Allied casualties 31 dead and 291 wounded, and the Sanusi & Turkish casualties estimated at 200 dead and 500 wounded.

1916 Feb 26 Sidi Barani was occupied without opposition. They marched along the coast and engaged the enemy at Agagia. With the aid of the Dorsetshire Yeomanry's cavalry the Senussi were routed and Gaafer Pasha and his staff captured. After successfully bringing this brief campaign to a close, Brig Gen Lukin and his brigade were transferred to France.

1916 Mar 8 the whole force had assembled at Sidi Barani for an advance on Sollum.

1916 Mar 9 The 4 South African battalions left Sidi Barani

1916 Mar 11 A group of armoured cars led by the Duke of Westminster left Sidi Barani for Alam al Ribiya to the plateau to reach Sollum. The force bivouacked at Baqbaq and reports arrived that the well water was insufficient and of bad quality. The force proceeded with two of the South African battalions only to the Medean pass with a company of Australian Camel Corps bearing water. The remaining two South African battalions were sent back to Baqbaq to become a 3rd column and it would take the route along the coastal track. A cavalry column would also move along the coast. The three columns would reunite at Halfaya Pass 3 miles SE of Sollum

1916 Mar 12.The armoured cars reached the Medaen Pass just as the first South Africans reached the Plateau, dehydrated and gasping for water. Most stayed below until water arrived the next day the 13th.

1916 Mar 13. The Australian Camel Corps arrived at the foot of the pass. Day spent getting men, supplies, water and camels on the plateau. Late afternoon column on plateau moved to Bir Siwiat and set up camp. Infantry on plain below was at Alam Tajdid where there was water, and the cavalry column was at nearby Baqbaq.

1916 Mar 14 At 4am the cavalry column left Baqbaq and united with the infantry at Alam Tajdid and the combined columns moved down the Khedival Road. The convergence of the force took place at mid morning. At this time aeroplane reconnaissance reported that the Sanusi had evacuated their positions at Bir War’r and Solluum 7 miles away. The armoured cars set off in pursuit and headed into Libya for 25 miles and fought a battle against the Sanusi at Bir Aziz. Of the Turkish and Sanusi 50 were killed, 40 surrendered and the rest fled into rocky terrain. It was over by 1pm. Genral Lukin’s infantry marched into Sollum without opposition led by a band of South African Scots playing bagpipes. The main objectives had been achieved with the Sanusi defeated along the coast and Sollum occupied.

1916 The whole South African Brigade transferred to France

1916 May 12. Commissioned 2nd Lt. The Oct 1916 Army List gives 2nd South African Infantry. (Natal and Orange Free State Regiment), 2nd Lieutenant King W L 12 May 1916

1916 Jul The most costly action that the South African forces on the Western Front fought was the Battle of Delville Wood

1916 Jul 15 to 20 – of the 3,153 men from the brigade who entered the wood, only 780 were present at the roll call after their relief. King is recorded as a 2nd Lt on the roll call. And there is a note that he was later MC and bar. This account, the diary of a South African at Delville Wood is moving and a testimony to the horrors of war

1916 Jun 21 Mentioned in Dispatches in Gazette of this date.

dsm card

1916 Jun 21. The South African Brigade was then withdrawn from the battle area for a sorely-needed reorganisation. Everyone was crowded into cattle-trucks, which set off for an unknown destination. Many hours were spent with the train stationary, and only a few with it in motion. In due course the 2nd Regiment arrived at the village of Estré-Cauchy, north west of Arras. They found it comparatively restful. The weeks his battalion spent there was a time of resting, doing a bit of training, eating French bread, wandering through the cornfields, spending evenings in estaminets and quarrelling over pickled onions. A bottle of pickled onions was a rarity, and highly prized. It formed an occasional item of the rations, and, being small, was allotted to platoons in turn. But there was always a dispute as to which platoon's turn it was, and, within the platoon, which section's.

1916 Aug 5, the Army Commander, Sir Charles Monro inspects the regiment

1916 Aug 11. King George V inspects the regiment. The battalion was packed off to Divisional Headquarters; there the men waited in the hot sun, full equipment on their backs, for what seemed an interminable time. At length the King appeared and passed along the lines, stopping now and then to speak to some soldier whose ribbons caught his eye.

1916 August 17 Leave Estré-Cauchy. Night march to communications trenches. Seas of slime and mud. Fall down communication trench, miles of boarding. Reach dugouts. Packed 30 or 40 feet down. Perpetual night. Night working party. More miles of boards in single file. Then carry heavy girders from dumps about a mile. Trench twists and turns and great job to get round corners and make way for other parties. Navvies' work with a vengeance. Shots pass overhead. Return and make second trip - much relief only sacks. Get back 2 am. (left 8 p.m.) quite worn out. German shells dropping fairly near our dugout. Quite nice in trench when fine.

1916 Aug 23 The South African Brigade went into the line, the four battalions thereafter taking it in turn to enlarge their experience of the great discomforts of trench warfare in the rain. For the weather was abominable: at one stage the men were standing in two feet of water, and in the last few days before the Division left the sector it rained so heavily that the parapets crumbled, and every available man had to be employed repairing them. The sector itself, however, was reckoned a quiet one. The enemy was rarely to be seen, but made regular use of his trench mortars. The shells would come plopping over the ridge, and down into the valley below. The safest place was in the trenches on the western slope. Down below it was a good deal more dangerous. The latrine was a particularly risky spot; many casualties occurred there, and constipation was at a premium. The cemetery, nearby, was none too safe either. When not in the front line system, the South African battalions were either in Brigade or in Divisional reserve. Divisional Headquarters were at Camblain l'Abbe

1916 August 29. Stayed in the village Camblain l'Abbe for 4 or 5 days, doing ordinary parades, etc. Hot bath. On Sunday afternoon start off for working party in trenches again. Very wet and slippery march. In the trenches it never seemed to stop raining:

1916 August 31. A miserable wet cheerless day. Yesterday morning we were literally washed out of our dugout by a thunderstorm, and in the rain and mire had to go and look for other quarters.

1916 Sep 2. Up again at 4 a.m. and on march to reserve trench. Here we do fatigues day and night e.g. 2.30-5.30 filling and piling up sandbags 7.30-8.30. Out at 8.30. First do a ration-carrying fatigue. Then at 1 a.m. off through a foot or two of mud and water to a trench where we had to stay the night fixing up sandbags. There we remained in considerable misery till about 5.30 a.m. Had about an hour's sleep. Then hauled out to go on officers' mess fatigue. There I toiled all day washing plates etc. Considerable strafing by Germans who have our range nicely. Two men killed one fell fairly near me. At night Very lights continually going up and strafing and gunners always busy. Funeral going on but shelling so heavy that parson and all scoot.

1916 Sept 5. "All togged up and nowhere to go". Great rush to get up and have "breakfast" (no rations or bread). March out in full kit. Halt in trench about half hour. Then about turn to camp again and put on carrying fatigue.

1916 Sept 7. After 3 days break in Guoy Servins back to trenches again.

1916 Sept 13 The most important single incident of the South African Brigade's time in the trenches at Vimy Ridge was the successful raid on the German lines by B and D Companies of the 2nd Regiment at 04:00 on the night of 13/14 September. Under cover of an artillery barrage, 2 officers and 60 men rushed across No Man's Land and jumped into the German trenches, killing (according to the official history of the 9th Division) at least 12 Germans and bringing back 5 prisoners. The South Africans themselves lost only two men wounded, though one had to be left behind in the German lines.

1916 Sep 22. 3782 Actg. CSM. W. L. King, South African Infantry. For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great coolness under heavy fire, and did fine work throughout the operations.Gazette The engagement must have been prior to 12 May 1916 when he was commissioned.

1916 Sept 23. We left Vimy Ridge on the 18th expecting to go into billets, have hot bath etc. Instead we are moved back to reserve trenches where crowded into a wretched rat-run of a shelter. Cannot sleep for rats running over us. Washing almost impossible. Very heavy rain. Nearly all dugouts washed out. Daily fatigues navvy work repairing trenches. My boots give in. Have to wear canoes size 12. Fetch wet shirts at night. Fall into ditch. Improvement in rations. Moving off today to billets at Guoy Servins.

1916 Oct 2. Spent one night at Guoy Servins, then on the next day - a long march - to Lignereuil a small village where we have been ever since training with a view evidently to returning to the front at an early date. On march formed one of the connecting files between B and C Companies. Lignereuil nice little village with fine avenue of elm trees. Training not too strenuous. Barn free of rats. Very dirty and lousy owing to no hot baths. Chief attention now paid to feet. Foot inspection every day.

1916 Oct 9. Left Lignereuil on October 5 and did long march to Fortel. There we stayed a day and a half, then after marching and waiting for hours taken by motor vans to near Beheaucourt where we stayed the night. Next day off again. Told only 3 miles. Turn out to be about 13. Worst march up to date. Just about gone in. Marched for 1,5 hours without halt and stood in full pack in thick mud for an hour. Eventually put into train. One hour's train journey then march in dark through mud to open trench where we encamp for the night.

1916 Oct 10. Haversacks and spare kit taken from us, but pack still abominably heavy and in addition we have to carry spades and sacks full of rations. Have to plough along a narrow muddy and uneven trench. Eventually reach our destination (at night) - an extremely narrow trench. Here we have to spend the night. I am placed on guard. Get of course no sleep. Night fortunately not too cold. Suffer from feet. Next day still on guard. No hot drinks or cooking. Enemy's fire very heavy and many men hit. No shelters or dugouts inside trench. Rotten part is number of dead men lying about unburied and wounded men crawling about in the open unattended.

1916 Oct 12 Promoted Lieutenant

1916 Oct 12. Zero hour was set for 14:05 on 12 October. B and C Companies of the 2nd South African Regiment were to lead the attack, with A and D Companies in support. From their trenches on a slight forward slope below the ruined farm of Eaucourt l'Abbaye, the 2nd Regiment could look across a shallow valley to the Butte. Advanced German positions, with machine-gun posts and a trench system, ran across the valley in front of the South Africans. The 2nd Regiment's first objective was to occupy these positions, several hundred metres away. Then, according to the plan, they would move up the ridge and capture the Butte itself. During this operation, however, they would be continuously exposed to the German machine-guns sited in the valley and up on the hillside below the Butte.

Preparations for the assault were sketchy. General Furse, commanding the 9th Division, had protested. The confused fighting of the past weeks and the frequent rains had led to a good deal of uncertainty about which of the muddy jumble of trenches in which the area abounded was occupied, and by whom. General Furse urged, in vain, that before the attack went in, a day or two should be spent on reconnaissance, so that the supporting artillery might be sure exactly where the Germans were. As it was, the barrage, though heavy, was inaccurate, and failed to demolish the German trenches and machine-gun positions. So when the South Africans came over the top, and started down the slope towards their first objective, the German machine-gunners were ready for them.

C Company - or what remained of it after three days under shell-fire - lined its trench ready for the signal to climb the parapet. Looking at Creighton, waiting alongside him, my father was struck, he later recalled, by his friend's extreme pallor. Perhaps, my father reflected, the Angel of Death had already cast his shadow on him - or perhaps his own face was equally pale. That was the last time he saw Creighton, or many of his other comrades. When C Company went into the trenches at the Butte de Warlencourt, my father shared a dugout with four other men. A few days later, he was the only one still alive.

It was, in its awful way, a classic operation, everyone's nightmare of an attack on the Western Front. None of the heroics of Delville Wood here. No medals won or legends created. Simply over-burdened men climbing out of a trench into the mist and smoke of a drizzly October afternoon; trudging, the grey mud an anchor's weight on their boots, into a sheet of machine-gun fire; and being shot down without reaching even the first of their objectives.

From 9 October, when the 2nd Regiment went into the line, to 19 October, when the Brigade was relieved, South African casualties amounted to about 1 150. And so intolerable were the conditions, the rain, the mud, the cold, the lack of hot food and often of any food at all, the bodies and the smell of death, that, taking the 9th Division as a whole, more men were lost over this period because of illness and exposure than were killed or wounded. The Butte de Warlencourt was never in fact taken during the Battle of the Somme. Ironically, it fell into British hands when the Germans voluntarily withdrew from it in February, 1917, as part of an adjustment of their line.

1916 Oct end. the entire 9th Division had been taken out of the line, and sent back for the period of reorganisation that necessarily followed any major attack in which heavy casualties had been suffered. The 2nd South African Regiment spent much of November in billets at Lattre St Quentin, a few miles west of Arras, occupying itself with training, repairing roads and communications, and preparing for its next spell in the line. Early in December the Division took over trenches outside Arras.

1916 Nov 7. Left Doullens Station evening of November 5th (Sunday). Arrived Saulty Station 10 p.m. Marched in rain 15 miles to join Regiment. Arrived 3a.m. Had 2 hours sleep on floor. Posted to C Company. Parades same day. Bayonet fighting! Corrected by fussy subaltern for wrong stance! Mud and rain. Rain and mud. Slept in shed. No blanket but dry. Place called Agnez.

1916 Nov 8. Two days at Agnez. Parades etc. Left Agnez this morning and arrived at Lattre St. Quentin about 6 miles off. Weather still wet.

1916 Nov 23. Have been at Lattre St. Quentin all this time. A lot of new officers whose one object seems to be to make the private's life one long misery. They won't let you alone for a moment - a constant round of irritating parades inspections etc. Today got 3 extra fatigues for having a dirty bayonet!

1916 Dec 4. Left Lattre St. Quentin in motor buses for Arras. Took over front line of trenches. Sentry day and night wiring parties etc. Trench mortars active.

1916 Dec 8. Came out of front line into town of Arras. Pretty comfy billets in cellar of a convent.

1916 Dec 9 Had a good view of Arras on way to having a hot bath. Fine big town with good buildings. Now in a pitiful state of deserted decay. Hardly a building left intact. Cathedral and town hall a mass of ruins. Still one or two small businesses chiefly butchers, restaurants going.

1917 Jan 6. Have spent last month continuously in trenches. Very trying time. Crater guard. No sleep. Eventually report doc. and am given light duty-gas guard. Xmas and New Year in trenches. Pretty rotten. Three of our men in 12 platoon killed on Xmas Day. Company very weak, lots having gone to hospital.'

1917 Feb 2. Another month gone by finds us still in the trenches. Shave every other day - a heroic process in this Arctic weather. Constant rain of shells and "minnies". Fritz has lately become very aggressive and blows our trenches about almost at will. Casualties fairly frequent. Candle factory in very exposed position and near one of our batteries, but has so far escaped. Wish to goodness we were out of it.

1917 Feb 15. Left the candle factory for Arras on February 9th after a continuous spell of about 2 months. Eventually joined the company at the convent and there have been enjoying a lazy life while my comrades have been working hard!

1917 Mar, the three brigades of the 9th Division were withdrawn from the line in turn for periods of training for the new British offensive which started north and east of Arras on 9 April.

1917 Mar 9. Regiment came out of the line and I rejoined C Company. First night in hut near Etrun. Then on next day to Tilloy. I and a few other light duty men rode in motor trolley. Tilloy small village. No. 11 platoon housed in usual sort of draughty barn: straw. Platoon does drill and fatigues .

1917 Mar 19. At St. Pol en route for Rouen! From Tilloy Regiment moved to Monchy Breton, not far from St. Pol. Day we moved from Tilloy started with fatigue party at 9 a.m. for Hermaville - about 2 kilometres away. Cooled our heels at Hermaville until 1 p.m. Then marched off a mile or two to do fatigue, cleaning big shells. Waited in cold shed till about 8 p.m. Then marched back to Hermaville, where we boarded motor buses which took us to Monchy Breton, where we arrived about 11.30 p.m. Whole of C Company in one big barn.

1917 Apr 12 The South African Brigade took another fearful hammering at the battle of Arras: the 2nd Regiment lost over two thirds of its strength in a wretchedly unsuccessful attack

1917 Sep 13, his wife dies in Dublin aged 38

1917 Nov 23. Lt. William Lorraine King, Inf. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led his platoon with great dash and coolness in the attack. At the final objective, when his company commander was wounded, he took command of the company, fearlessly exposing himself in directing the consolidation of the positions, and during counter-attacks and a bombardment steadied his men by his magnificent example Gazette Gazette

1917 Nov 28 Army List. 2nd South African Infantry (Natal and Orange Free State Regiment), Lieutenant King W L, MC 12 Oct16 (has War service)

1918 Jun 30 The under mentioned temp. Lt. to be acting Capt. : W. L. King, M.C., D.C.M. South African Force Gazette

1918 Oct 8. South African Force T./Capt. William Lorraine King, M.C., D.C.M., 2nd Bn.South African Infantry. Gazette Gazette On 8th October, 1918, east of Beaurevoir, he personally rushed and captured an enemy machine gun with its crew. On the 9th, when consolidation was peculiarly dangerous, he showed absolute disregard of personal safety, which spirit was strongly reflected in his men. Later, he was again largely responsible for the capture of two machine guns. His fine courage in three, attacks was a cheering inspiration to his men. (M.C. gazetted 26th November, 1917.)

1918 Wounded at Le Cateau

1918 Nov 28 Army List. 2nd South African Infantry (Natal and Orange Free State Regiment), Lieutenant King, W. L., M.C. D.C.M. (Acting Capt. 30 June18) 12 Oct.16 (has War service)

1919 Aug 19 2nd South African Infantry Temp. Capt. W. L. King, M.C., D.C.M., relinquishes his commission on completion of service, 19 Aug. 1919, and retains the rank of Capt.Gazette

1919 William’s career then went back to the police when served for one year between 1919 and 1920 as a staff officer and instructor with the Gold Coast Police in Accra.

1920 Oct 11. Joined ADRIC as T/Cadet with service no 834

1920 Oct 14.On a raid with A Coy as a T/Cadet .

1920 Oct 26. He was appointed the commander of "F" Company Auxiliary Division, based in Dublin Castle. Company Commanders in ADRIC held the equivalent police rank of 1st class District Inspector. Prisoners captured with seditious documents of any importance or weapons found on them were taken to Dublin Castle to be interrogated in the intelligence office, by (not exclusively) the team of Captain Jocelyn Lee Hardy DSO MC and Captain William Lorraine 'Tiny' King MC.

King was described by Ernie O'Malley in his book, On Another Man's Wound , as huge in stature, a South African, who had made his way through the ranks. He was over six feet tall, well built, with an an air of command and the lines on his forehead were drawn together when he spoke.

Captain Hardy was described as small in stature, in the uniform of the Connaught Rangers, with piercing blue rimmed eyes, with huge black pupils. Between these two men, torture and murder was to prevail. O'Malley described Hardy's interrogation technique, as a combination with the efforts of Major King, of ultra violent beatings in the face, strangulation and screaming threats, followed by a mock execution with a blank firing pistol near the back of the head in the windowless dungeons of the castle. O'Malley survived his ordeal; some confessed, one at least became an unsuccessful double agent who was shot dead on a golf course in Middlesex, while some died in the environs of the prison. Private J.J.P.Swindlehurst, whose diaries are found in the Imperial War Museum recalled that interrogated suspects were dragged out of the interrogation rooms more dead than alive. David Neligan, one of Michael Collins Dublin Metropolitan Police spies inside British Intelligence remarked that he thought Hardy had a hair trigger temper and a slate off meaning him to be insane. There certainly seemed to be a propensity toward violence, with less concern in getting information than with beating victims to a pulp.

king wedding

1920 Nov 29. married in Dublin to Helen Sophie Gilbert (she is given as born in Dublin) in Rathdown. She was the daughter of Lt Col. Gerald Edwin Lloyd Gilbert, and both she and her father had been born in India.

Witness Statement by Commandant Martin Finn W.S.921.
Prior to the raid on my home previously referred to, Captain King - well known subsequently as an active Intelligence Officer for the British - had been stopping in the local hotel for a period ostensibly engaged as sales representative for the Minimax Fire Extinguisher Company, an English Company with headquarters in Dublin. He apparently, used this as a means of travelling round the country with a view to obtaining information regarding the movements of the I.R.A 

1920 Nov 21. Secret Register of Secret Documents- Dublin
District WO 35/174, search and raid reports carried out in Dublin in 1920/21. Capt.W.L.KING was involved in the majority of the raids
1) Date of Search- 21.11.20   01.30 hours
2)Place Searched   36 Gloucester Street, Lower
3) Name of Householder in full, together with place of birth and occupation
J. Fitzpatrick  Dublin, Auctioneers Assistant.
4) Names of all other persons found on premises searched, together with place of birth, and permanent residence; and occupations.
R.McKee      Dublin     Compositor
B.Clancy      Dublin     Draper      unemployed
J. Fitzpatrick Dublin    Auctioneers Assistant.
The headings were on official notepaper, the report was handwritten, on the top left hand corner of page 1, was written- Capt. W.L.King, to the right in different handwriting-
First two prisoners shot in Coy. Guard Room 22/11/20 attempting to escape.
5) Articles seized in Search by Capt.W.L.King in front room . Ground floor
6) Persons arrested ( if any ) R.McKee, P. Clancy, J.Fitzpatrick
7) a) Reason for Search; Seditious literature, Arms, Ammunition
b) Composition of Search Party; Officers, T/Cadets. Armoured Car. Searchlight.
d) Disposal of Persons arrested ( if any ) R.McKee, P.Clancy  Coy. Guard Room.
J. Fitzpatrick transferred to Beggars Bush Bks. 21.11.20
Date of Report- 21. 11. 20.    Signed Capt.D.I.1. O.C. F. Coy. Aux Div R.I.C.
Forwarded by    Capt. D.I.1.
O.C. F. Coy. Aux.Div. R.I.C.

1920 Nov 21 King was implicated and court martialed for the deaths of Conor Clune, Paeder Clancy, and Dick McKee, the latter two leading lights in the Dublin IRA, the former a luckless Gaelic League member who were all captured in Dublin on 21th November 1920, the night before Bloody Sunday. Clune was caught at Vaughn's Hotel in Parnell Square, Dublin and the two IRA leaders at Lower Gloucester St. complete with British army officer uniforms and detonators. Sometime between then and the next day, in the Dublin Castle guard room, as news no doubt filtered in of the deaths of several British intelligence officers, the prisoners were killed in questionable circumstances. According to an official report from Dublin Castle, they attempted to grab rifles and hurl unfused grenades and were killed in that action. The guards of 'F' Company in the room at the time were cleared of wrongdoing by a court inquiry. A Major Reynolds of 'F' Company is said to have passed details of the killers to Michael Collins. The Times noted that it seemed as if the prisoners had been lined up and shot. In a later novel, Hardy more or less confessed to the killing of one of the prisoners.

1920 Nov 21. King was not in his room when the assassins arrived, he was interrogating the 3 prisoners in Dublin Castle

1920 Nov 23. From Patrick Lawson witness statement "a Second Lieutenant with F Company, 1 Battalion, Dublin Brigade), he had a brief encounter with Capt Hardy. He was in Lourdes House (Street unknown - though probably North Dublin Inner City) when he and a number of other volunteers were counting monies collected in Croke Park on 'Bloody Sunday'. Between 7.15 and 8pm (approx), the premises was raided by Tans and Auxiliaries and all present were arrested. A Capt Hardy interrogated those present and a Major King was in charge of the British Raiding Party. Hardy roughed up my grandfather, tying to get any information out of him, but to no avail. The IRA captives were taken to Dublin Castle for further interrogation and my grandfather was moved to Beggars Bush and eventually to Arbour Hill before he was released in February 1921. Lawson held the company roll (a copybook containing everyone's address, employment and what weapons each held). It happened that he wasn't searched and he destroyed the roll once he was in Dublin Castle by eating the written pages and flushing the rest down the toilet. He was helped by a PJ Ryan, the Company Intelligence Officer.

1920 Dec 11. Wrote a report on a raid on 198 Parnell Street. He was not on the raid.

1920 Dec Michael Noyk,, pages 31,32 ref King and Hardy -
Shortly before Christmas of 1920, I was invited out to a birthday party of one of the children of Mr.William Sinclair whom I have mentioned in connection with the Cavan election.He lived in a house overlooking the Bailey Lighthouse in Howth. In the party was a Mrs. Salkeld, mother of Cecil Salkeld, the artist; the late Padraig O Conaire, the well known Irish writer, and Paul Farrell, the then actor and now a medical doctor. After we had had our meal we sat round the fire and somewhere about 9 o,clock there was a loud knock at the door, which was an unusual thing in that locality. Mr. Sinclair went out to answer the door and seemed to be a long time away. Suddenly a number of Auxiliaries came into the drawing - room where we were seated, headed by the notorious Captain King. He went over and opened a violin case, but he did not say anything which to me seemed very strange. However, I soon learned the reason. After about ten minutes, the door opened suddenly and in rushed a British Officer wearing a " British warmer". He did not walk across the room, but rushed in, the reason for which I guessed later. Without any ado, he pounced on Padraig O Conaire and seized him by the coat, asking him what his occupation was. Padraig said he was a writer and he then proceeded to search him and took out a small notebook which Padraig had, and, on the first page was written the name " Michael Collins". "Ow ", said this gentleman, who so far, had not disclosed his identity, " you know Michael Collins " ? " Oh no ", said Padraig, " that is the name of a dog". He then turned to Farrell and he asked him what he did. Farrell said, I am an actor, "Ow", continued the officer, can you recite Kevin Barry? You know, he added, " I am Captain Hardy". None of the others were aware of this "gentlemans " identity, but I happened to know that he was the head of the " Murder Gang", which did not make me feel too comfortable. He then turned to me and said, " what do you do ? "I summoned all the coolness I could command, knowing the reputation of this gentleman, replying, I am a solicitor. Again he said " Ow". Do you know Duggan, the solicitor. He has accused me of torturing Kevin Barry. " Oh, yes ", said I,"I know Duggan professionally, just as I know Sir Henry Wynne", who was the Chief Crown Solicitor. With that, Captain King turned round and said "I have arrested him twice already". "No", I said, " you have not arrested me twice - you are wrong". That evidently knocked him out. Hardy then turned round and pointing to O Conaire, said, "Come along with us".He took O Conaire out and a dead silence ensued in the room. One lady who was in the party began screaming, " they,ll murder Padraig " but I said keep quiet, I am certain they have not gone away yet. I was correct. They came back with Padraig after about twenty minutes, so we were all delighted to see him again. As Sinclair was preparing to pour out a glass of whiskey, in they came again, and again asked Padraig to come out. This time we were certain that " he was for it". However, after what appeared to be an interminable delay, Padraig came back. We all spent an uneasy night, especially myself, as I knew the identity of Hardy and could not communicate it to the others. I may mention that Hardy had a limp and, in order to disguise it, walked very quickly so that it might not be noticed. It would, of course, lead to his identification and, needless to say, he was very much sought after by Michael Collins, not exactly for "social reasons".

1921 Jan 21. William Lorraine King's affidavit at the trial of the IRA men tried in connection with the failed ambush at Drumcondra reads: I am a District Inspector in the Auxiliary Division R.I.C. stationed at Dublin Castle. At about 10-30 hours on 21st January 1921, in consequence of information received, I proceeded with a party of Cadets along the Drumcondra Road Dublin. Just before reaching the Tolka bridge, a lorry laden with R.I.C. Constables passed me going in the direction of Dublin City. One of the Constables shouted a warning to be on our guard. On reaching a low wall bordering some "Allotments" opposite St. Patrick College, I saw five men in civilian clothes running away from the main road across the Plots. Two men arose from behind the wall and ran. I heard a shot fired, and I immediately fired at the running man who was nearest to me (about 25 yards away). The man fell, but got up and ran, whereupon I again fired, as did several of my men. The man fell to the ground and remained there. ... The wounded man gave me his name as Michael Magee, and address as 20 Ostman Street, Nth [North] Circular road, and stated that he was a Section Leader of "A" Company I.R.A..

1921 Feb 7. Moved to Permanent position in RIC as 3DI, but still attached to ADRIC. An odd move that I do not understand. It was purely a paper move, and may have been designed to distance him from ADRIC

1921 Feb 9. Two IRA prisoners Patrick Kennedy and James Murphy (both men may have been on the execution squads on Bloody Sunday) in the custody of 'F' company of the Auxiliaries were shot dead with pails on their heads and their bodies found at Clonturk Park, Drumcondra, Dublin. The two prisoners had been taken from Dublin Castle. The dying James Murphy testified that King had taken them and stated that they were Just going for a drive. Captain King, and two of his men, one Irish, were arrested and put on trial. They were acquitted by a court-martial on the 15th April as testimony from a dying man was inadmissible. O'Malley met King in the prison exercise yard, who bemoaned his fate that he was a political scapegoat, taking the blame for the government. King was transferred to Galway city where it seems he caused a near riot during the truce.

1921 Feb 14. King was suspended until the not guilty verdict was reached on 16 Apr.

1921 Apr 16. At the Court Martial Capt. King was found not guilty and his suspension from duty was removed on 16/4/21. On the same day, he left "F" Company and went to "R" Company . In Command

1921 Apr 17 Goes on leave

1921 May 20 Returns from leave

1921 May 24. Five weeks later he moved from "R" Company and assumed command of "D" Company, in Galway. He stayed with "D" Company until he relinquished command on 15/11/21, a note in the records states that he ceases to be attached to A.D.R.I.C. which he had been since 7 Feb 1921

The night of murders in Galway city, the conflict at the dance hall which involved the notorious Major William Lorraine ''Tiny'' King during the truce and the murder of the Loughnane brothers, the sack of Tuam stand out among many. Duff wrote in 'Sword for Hire' (his life as a paid mercenary) of his time in the Maam valley, and whitewashed himself and the tans as game lads.

The Times reports on Oct 4 and Oct 5 1921 do not mention King.

1921 Nov 15. King relinquished command of D Coy and ceases to be attached to A.D.R.I.C. (from RIC) which he had been since 7 Feb 1921

1921 Nov 15. King returned to the army.

1926 Divorce Court File: 2175. Appellant: Helen Sophia King. Respondent: William Lorraine King. Type: Wife's petition for divorce.

1939 His marriage to Dorothy Dawson was registered in Romford (vol 4a page 2680) in the September Qtr of 1939.

1939 Registry. He is living at Golf Club House , Hornchurch . His occupation is Sec of Golf Club, retired Army Capt and Police Inspector. , and his wife Dorothy is with him. A note is added to say that his offer of volunteering his services was ignored

1940 Mar 4 General List. The under mentioned to be 2nd Lt.:— Capt. William Lorraine King, M.C., D.C.M. (125401). Gazette General List into the 2nd Regiment, South African Army and was mobilised on 5th of March 1940. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Provost Marshall, 51st Highland Division and firstly was posted to DAPM HQ in Nigeria. Later he was posted to Alexandria.  William was appointed Town Major of Raja and Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal on 19th of April 1941. William was posted to Corps of Military police Base depot on 14th September 1941and died a little more than a year later whilst still serving.

1942 Nov 14 Died in Gaza . Major W L King, General List, age 57, service no 125401, MC and bar, DCM. Son of William King and of Margaret King (nee Reid); husband of Dorothy King, of Manningham, Bradford, Yorkshire. Buried at Gaza War Cemetery

1974 Feb 28 His widow dies in England

Kings widow dies

the Times 1 March 1974