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King, Lucas Henry St. Aubyn

Lieutenant / King's Royal Rifle Corps

1894 - 1915

Lucas Henry St Aubyn King was born 8 August 1895, the eldest son of Sir Lucas White King of the Indian Civil Service, and Geraldine, daughter of Alfred Harmsworth and the eldest sister of Lord Northcliffe. His younger brother, Alfred Curzon King (E1916-1918, see individual entry) was killed by enemy action when a torpedo hit the ship in which he was travelling back from Ireland to Holyhead on 10 October 1918. 

He came to Winchester College from Mr. A.H. Trollope's school, Tyttenhanger Lodge, St. Albans in September 1908 and was in A House, Chernocke. Lucas became a House Prefect in 1912, rowed in the School IV for two years and left Winchester in the summer of 1912 for RMC Sandhurst where he was prize cadet. 

Lucas obtained his commission in the 4th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps in September 1913 and joined his regiment in India. They returned home in November 1914, leaving for the front on 20 December. He was severely wounded at Dickebusch a month later and the rejoined his battalion at the beginning of May 1915. He was killed in acation a few days afterwards on 8 May during the Second Battle of Ypres.

The British and French armies had been preparing for their spring offensive and were caught by surprise when the Germans launched their own offensive around Ypres on 22 April, an action which saw the use of chlorine gas for the first time in battle. On 8 May King, with 4 KRRC, commanded by Major B J Majendie DSO CMG (I 1889-1892) was in the line east of Bellewaarde Lake and endured a day of fierce fighting with shrapnel and high explosives taking a heavy toll. By mid morning the shelling was so severe that very little of the 4KRRC trenches remained and it was estimated that around 300 men and three officers of the battalion had been killed. Two of the officers were Wykehamists: King and 2nd Lieutenant Ninian Mark Kerr Bertie (B 1910-1914 - see individual entry). King was killed by shell-fire and it proved impossible to retrieve his body. Both he and Bertie are commemorated on Panels 51 and 53 of the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

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