Engineer Lieutenant Commander Percival King

Service Royal Navy
Rank Engineer Lieutenant Commander
Ship:HMS Winchester
Date of Birth: 25/06/1887
Born Gillingham, Dorset
Date of Death: 23/10/1919
Memorial: Not Listed Memorial Inscription

Service History

Percival King entered the Royal Navy and served four years as an Engineering Student at the Training College, Keyham, Devonport. He was given the rank of Engineer Sub Lieutenant with seniority of 1 August 1906. He took passage in H.M.S.HAWKE to Kong Kong to join H.M.S. KING ALFRED on the China Station (28.11.1907-30.10.1908). He passed ‘creditably’ for Engineer Lieutenant and was appointed with seniority of 1 November 1908. He returned to the Home Station and was posted to the Royal Naval College, Osborne in May 1911. He was noted in August 1913 as a volunteer for service in the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps. Frequent reference is made to his sporting abilities, playing Rugby Football for the Royal Navy. His character references were “VG, VG, VG, Temperate, zealous, good officer & good at games” and similar. He appears to have done “excellent work with the Cadets (at Osborne).”

On 6 November 1915 he was appointed to H.M.S.VIVID -”additional for NARWHAL – building”. This would have placed him at the centre of construction and inspecting the engineering element of the ship under construction. She was one of 103 ‘M’ Class destroyers being built.

It might be imagined that the role of Engineer officer was focused on propulsion but it included all mechanical and electrical systems that kept the ship’s weapons in operating condition.

Engineer Lieutenant Commander Percival King was appointed on 30 November 1917 to H.M.S.VICTORY (R.N. Base, Portsmouth) additional for WINCHESTER. Once again he was in a supervisory role for the construction of an Admiralty ‘W’ Class Destroyer being built by Samuel White at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Engineer Lieutenant Commander Percival King had been taken sick in February 1918, and was ‘Reported to be sick from Consumption’. He was admitted to R.N.Hospital, Haslar with pulmonary tuberculosis, and on 22 March he was discharged to King Edward VII Sanatorium, Midhurst.

He was to be submitted to a resurvey at Haslar on 1 June 1918, but the Acting Medical Superintendant at KG VII, Midhurst reported that Eng Lt Cdr King ‘is unfit to travel’. He was placed on the Retired List as ‘Physically Unfit’ on 11 May 1918.

Association with Dawlish

Percival King was a cousin of Charles Frederick King who was killed in action on 20 September 1917 (q.v.). Their grandparents were George and Elizabeth King, born in Gillingham. George King (1830- ) was a tailor employing one man and two boys in his business. They had five children by the 1871 census, being: James Frederick son, (1855- ),  Ellen J dau, (1857- ),  William Charles son, (1859- ),  Lucy A dau, (1865- )  and Kate Eliza dau, (1867- ).

William Charles King was an accountant, aged 24, when he married Amy Hatcher in Wilton, Somerset on 6 September 1883. By 1891 they had moved to Weston Super Mare and were living at Walliscote Grove Road with Percival, aged 3. By 1901, Percival King was a boarder at King’s School, Ottery St Mary, aged 13. The headmaster, Frank Wyatt, had three children, all born in Dawlish.

The 1911 census shows the parents at 5 Severn Road, Weston Super Mare, with Arthur, by now a Solicitor aged 26. There had only been two children, both still living.

Devon Roll of Honour
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: William Charles King, father
Last Known Address: 5 Severn Road, Weston Super Mare

Grave of Percival King with reference to his cousin Charles Frederick King, in Dawlish Cemetery


Royal Naval Engineering College, Keyham, Devonport.

Royal Naval College, Osborne, I O W. Base for training Naval Officer Cadets.

Naval-History. Net

National Archive, Kew for Service Record, ADM 196/131/81

Free BMD refs

Charles Frederick King (

Wikipedia for Naval Ship data

Refs via subscription sites;

Birth Marriage Death refs

Census data