Arthur Duncombe King

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Wimbledon, Surrey, England, United Kingdom

General information

Station Hand - Farm Hand

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
 —  Australian Machine Gun Corps, 1st Coy.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Molenaarelsthoek, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Row: B
Grave: 13

Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Arthur Duncombe King was born in Wimbledon, England in 1893. He emigrated to Australia, where he worked as a farm hand.

Arthur enlisted in December 1914 and was assigned to the 4th Battalion Australian Infantry, with which he served at Gallipoli. In March he was assigned a new service number in Moudros, Greece. In May 1915 Arthur was hospitalized for Inflammation Connecting Tissue at his foot. In August 1915 he was wounded again. This time he was hospitalized with a superficial Gun Shot Wound to the head. After convalescing, Arthur left for France, where he arrived in March 1916. He was promoted Temporary Corporal of his unit April 17th. However, he reverted ranks at his own request by the end of May. At that time, he also joined the 1st Australian Machine Gun Company. In August he was admitted to hospital (probably with tuberculosis). From September 1916 until May 1917 he was part of the Assistant Provost Marshal staff.

In October 1917, the 1st Australian Machine Gun Company was to support the 1st Australian Division’s attack during the Battle of Broodseinde. The 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion was to take the first objective, a line past the hamlet of Molenaarelsthoek on the Broodseinde Ridge. The 1st Australian Infantry Battalion (on the left) and the 4th Australian Infantry (on the right) were then to take the second objective, a line west of Celtic Wood. “C” section of the 1st Australian Machine Gun Company would cover the attack of the 1st Battalion, “D” section would cover the 4th Battalion. Once the first objective had been consolidated “D” section took up positions on the Broodseinde Ridge, between Molenaarelsthoek and Noordemdhoek, with four machineguns. However, the section was caught by a few German, but also a few allied, shells. One gun crew was taken out. The three remaining guns took up new positions near Molenaarelsthoek.

Arthur King, 24, was reported to have died of his wounds on October 5th. A later enquiry stated that he had been killed in action on the 4th of October. He was one of the 34 casualties of the Machine Gun Company. He was buried behind the new frontline near Retaliation Farm. After the war his remains were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery.

Sources 7

Australian War Memorial
Sources used
Sources used
Mc Carthy C., Passchendaele Day-by-Day account, Unicorn Publishing Group, 2018, London, pp. 110-113.
Further reference
Service Record
Sources used
The AIF-Project
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary
Sources used