I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Photograph from Sidwell Street, W. S. Dinham King, Exeter, Devon, 1918

This young soldier has kindly signed this portrait, "Yrs sincerely, W.S. Dinham King -- 8. 1. 18," taken at the H. Hall & Co. Studio, Sidwell Street, Exeter, England during the last year of  The Great War.

A search of the 1901 England and Wales Census found one close match in Exeter:  William S. King, age 1, living at the home of his grandfather, Alfred R. L. Perkins, a surgeon, age 54.  William's parents are there as well, William R. (41, a bank manager) and Winnie King (27).  The family is living at 29 St. Sidwell Street, Exeter, Devon.  Coincidentally (or not), this is the same street as where the photographer's studio is located.

I'm not absolutely certain that this is the same fellow, but following the paper trail, I found an entry in the England & Wales Free BMD Index, 1837 - 1915 in Exeter, Devon, Apr-May-June of 1900, for William Samuel D. King.

I thought I would have a closer look at the uniform W.S. Dinham King is wearing in the photograph, particularly his cap badge for additional clues.  I found a database of World War I cap badges. The one he is wearing appears to belong to the Devonshire Regiment, an infantry regiment in the British Army. I tried to find army or pension records on Ancestry to no avail, but on the National Archives (UK) Campaign Medals Index on their Documents Online site, I found a listing for William Samuel Dinham King, 2nd Lieutenant, Devonshire Regiment.  While it doesn't list his enrollment date it shows he also was part of Inns of Court Officer Training Corps, Reg. #12949 as a private.  I suspect he enlisted in 1918 because the birth information we found indicates he would have turned 18 that year.

In the England & Wales Death Record Index there is a William S. D. King, born abt. 1900 who died in 1937 in Devon at the young age of 37.  The England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1861-1941 shows an entry for William Samuel Dinham King of Inglewood, Brixham Rd. Paignton, (Devon) who died June 11, 1937 at the Paignton & District Hospital.  Probate in London on 13 September to Marjorie Noreen Robinson King, who was probably his wife.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful photo of a very young officer! I found an entry for him in the "Inns of Court OTC during the great war" book:


    From this it shows he enlisted in the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps on 19 Apr 1918 and was transferred to the No. 21 Company Officer Cadet Battalion on 4 Oct 1918. He was commissioned into the Devonshire Regiment on 16 Mar 1919.