Herbert Charles King

Mate - Thames Watermen and Lightermen - Merchant Navy - SS River Thames

Background Information


12th December 1914



Mate - Thames Watermen and Lightermen - Merchant Navy - SS River Thames



21st December 1940 age 26

Herbert Charles King was born on 12th December 1914 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Herbert King, a River Pilot, and his mother was Ada (née Tupper). The first school that he attended was Holy Trinity School in Gravesend.
In 1928 Herbert King joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Herbert’s address as 5 Whitehill Road, Gravesend. Two younger brothers also attended the School, Kenneth (born 1917) and Clifford (born 1924). Kenneth served in the Merchant Navy during World War Two as an Able Seaman and Clifford was an Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves.
In 1929 Herbert left the School and he joined the Thames Watermen and Lightermen as a Deck Boy. By 1940 he was serving as a Mate on the tugboat SS River Thames.
On 21st December 1940 the SS River Thames was hit by an aerial mine and sank in the Thames Estuary north of Sheerness. Herbert King was pronounced missing presumed drowned with two other crew members, the Master of the tugboat survived. Herbert King was 26 years old. He is remembered at the Tower Hill Memorial Panel 87.

There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest:

Tower Hill Memorial Panel 87