Harold Stanislaus King

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Malton, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

General information


Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
 —  Australian Infantry, 3rd Bn.  (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
Plot: XXVI
Row: D
Grave: 9

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

Private Harold Stanislaus King served in the Australian Infantry 3rd Battalion, part of the 1st Australian Brigade, of the 1st Australian Division.

On the 4th of October 1917 the 1st Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. The objective of this battle was to capture Broodseinde Ridge which had been taken by the Germans in 1915. Two brigades were to take part in the attack: the 1st and 2nd Brigade. The 3rd Battalion would advance first, with the 8th Battalion on the left and the 8th Devons on the right, and take the first objective. The 1st and 4th Battalion would then pass through the 3rd and capture the second objective.

At 2 am on the day of the battle, the 3rd Battalion moved into position near the front line. Their progress was slowed down by the mud and occasional shells and indirect machinegun fire. They eventually arrived at the jumping-off lines at 4 am.

While the Australians were waiting for zero hour, the Germans suddenly opened fire and shells landed on the 1st Brigade, resulting in some casualties. This occurred at 5.30 am and was part of a counterattack the Germans had prepared for 6.10 am.

However, this attack was never carried out because the 1st Brigade advanced first at 6 am. The 3rd Battalion advanced swiftly, despite some opposition, and was able to push the Germans back. In their pursuit of the retreating Germans, they passed by their objective. Nevertheless, they were soon reorganised and the consolidation of the first objective, the Red Line, began at 7 am.

At 8 am, the 1st and 4th Battalion passed through the 3rd and were able to capture the second objective, the Blue Line. Throughout the rest of the day, the Germans heavily shelled the Red Line. Eventually, on the 5th of October, the 3rd Battalion was relieved.

Private Harold Stanislaus King was killed in action on the 4th of October 1917, near Molenaarelsthoek. It is possible that he was killed while advancing towards the Red Line. His remains were exhumed after the war and reinterred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 1

Sources 5

"Randwick to hargicourt : History of the 3rd battalion A.I.F.", Wren E., Ronald G. McDonald, 1935, page 256 - 263
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Service Records
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The long, long trail
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War Diaries
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