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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Arthur Sydney King

In memory of:

Private Arthur Sydney King

October 23, 1943

Military Service


Service Number:

A/11526

Age:

22

Force:

Army

Unit:

Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.), R.C.I.C.

Additional Information


Born:

December 20, 1920
Sheffield, England

Enlistment:

September 28, 1939
Stratford, Ontario

Son of John Joseph King and Edith Hope King, of Kirkton, Ontario.

His father, John Joseph King, died of wounds sustained during the First World War. Arthur King came to Canada with his mother in 1929 and settled in Usborne Township near Kirkton. After leaving school he worked on his stepfather's farm until the time he enlisted in 1939. Arthur King enlisted in the Perth Regiment at Stratford on September 28, 1939. He trained with the Perths in Canada, and sailed with them to England in October 1941. For some reason, possibly because reinforcements were urgently required in Sicily and Italy, Private King was transferred on June 1, 1943 to I Canadian Special Base Depot. On June 7, he sailed to the Mediterranean and disembarked at the Canadian Depot in Algeria July 13, 1943. He was eventually sent forward August 31, 1943 to the Saskatoon Light Infantry, then serving as a support battalion with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in Italy. As a member of the Saskatoon Light Infantry, Private King took part in the pursuit of German forces up the toe of Italy in September 1943 and then the battles of Motta, San Marco and Campobasso in October. On October 23, 1943, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade waded across the Biferno River with the aim of capturing Colle d'Anchise and Spinete, about three miles from the river. The fighting which followed was bitter and confusing. There was considerable congestion on the Biferno River crossings as support elements trying to cross were heavily mortared. In the midst of this confusion, Private King was killed. He was survived by his step-father, T. Foley of Usborne, his mother Edith Hope Foley, and step-sister, Doris May Foley. He is commemorated on a bronze plaque on the Cenotaph located in St. Marys, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 177 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

VIII. B. 7.

Location:

By the winter of 1943, the German armies in Italy were defending a line stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, to the Adriatic Sea south of Ortona. The Allies prepared to break through this line to capture Rome. For its part, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was to cross the Moro River and take Ortona. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it. Today, there are 1,615 graves in the cemetery, of which over 50 are unidentified and 1,375 are Canadian.

The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery lies in the locality of San Donato in the Commune of Ortona, Province of Chieti, and is sited on high ground near the sea just east of the main Adriatic coast road (SS16). The cemetery can be reached from Rome on the autostrada A25 (Rome-Pescara) by branching on the autostrada A14 and leaving it at Ortona. The approach road to the cemetery from the main road passes under an arch forming part of the little church of San Donato. The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Cenotaph– Private Arthur Sydney King is also commemorated on the cenotaph in Exeter, ON … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cenotaph– Private Arthur Sydney King is also commemorated on the cenotaph in Exeter, ON … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • St Marys Cenotaph
  • St Marys Town Hall Bronze Plaque

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