|Abstract||WW2 Memorial Profiles for West Mersea
Martin Aurel King
Pilot Officer 42845, Royal Air Force
249 (Gold Coast) Squadron
Shot down over Southampton 16 August 1940, age 18.
Buried Fawley, Hampshire, 22 August 1940
Martin Aurel King was born 15 October 1921 in West Mersea to George Edwin King 1887 - 1927 and Ivy Ethel Wallis 1888 - 1980. They lived at "Honan" in Seaview Avenue. George was a Medical Missionary and in July 1922 the family left for Shanghai. Martin's later siblings were born in China, and George drowned there in 1927. Martin was educated in China and did not return to England until 1938.
Essex County Standard 21 September 2018 - click on image to enlarge
Jim Nicholson wrote on a 249 Squadron website:
Martyn Aurel King was born on 15th October, 1921 in West Mersea, Essex and joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1939. He completed his training and arrived at 5 OTU, Aston Down in late May 1940. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 249 Squadron at Leconfield on 9th June. On 16th August he took off with Squadron Leader Eric King and my uncle, James Nicolson. Tom Neil tells how angry he was that my uncle would not let Tom fly that day, as he had been on duty as officer cover all the previous night. As a result Martyn King was going to be flying Tom's own Hurricane GN-F, serial number P3616. Like many pilots, Tom didn't like anyone else flying his aeroplane and remembered warning Martyn in the strongest terms to be careful and not to get his beloved Hurricane damaged!
Many will know the story of how all three Hurricanes were subsequently damaged and Martyn was forced to bail out, as was my uncle a little later. Also, that as they descended they both came under fire from some Home Guard soldiers. It is believed their fire was the cause of Martyn's parachute collapsing. He fell onto the roof of 30, Clifton Road, Shirley, Southampton, his parachute got caught around the chimney stack causing the straps to snap and Martyn fell onto the lawn where he died in the arms of the owner, a Mr Fred Poole. The remains of his parachute were still there some months later.
Martyn was buried in All Saints' Churchyard, Fawley, Hampshire. His headstone states that he was aged 19, although in fact he was only 18 years old at the time of his death.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
|Title:|| Youngest of the Few: Historian uncovers story of Mersea teenager killed in Battle of Britain. By Charley Goff.
The youngest pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain was only 18 years old and came from Mersea. Martyn Aurel King, who died in the battle, was born on the island 15 October 1921. He was shot down by fighters over Southampton August 16 and was buried in Fawley, Hampshire, churchyard 22 August 1940. The age on his gravestone was incorrectly recorded as 19. It should be 18.
From Essex County Standard 21 September 2018, page 24.
From CWGC: Pilot Officer 42845, 249 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
Son of George Edwin King, M.B., B.Ch., and of Ivy Ethel King, of Mill Hill, Middlesex.
|Date:||21 September 2018|