Second Lieutenant James Harvey King



James Harvey King was born on 9 June 1892 at Tullyvin, Castleblayney, County Monaghan, the fifth of six children of farmer David King and his wife Mary (nee Harvey). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tullyvin with his parents and two of his siblings.

King enlisted in the North Irish Horse in October or November 1909 (No.407 – later Corps of Hussars No.71022). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Over the following years King rose to the rank of Squadron Sergeant-Major then Warrant Officer Class 2. He was mentioned in Field Marshal Haig's despatch on 7 April 1918.

During 1918 King applied a commission and returned to the UK for training at a cavalry cadet squadron. He was made a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 4th Reserve Cavalry Regiment on 13 March 1919. Just prior to that (22 February) he had been transferred as an 'other rank' to Class Z Army Reserve.

He relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921.

King died in Enniskillen in September 1956. His obituary in the Belfast News-Letter described some of his post-war career:

... [King was] former estate agent of the Prime Minister, Lord Brookeborough, at Colebrook. He collapsed at the Ulster Farmers' Mart auction and was taken to Fermanagh County Hospital where he died. He was 64.

A native of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, he was commissioned during service in the North Irish Horse in the 1914-18 war. He served under Lord Brookeborough in the "B" Specials from their formation and in 1925 became estate agent at Colebrooke.

He was well-known as a judge of beef cattle not only in Northern Ireland but also across the Channel. Two years ago he retired owing to ill health but still took an active interest in the affairs of the Colebrook estate.

He collapsed yesterday afternoon just after the sale of a draft of the Prime Minister's herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle which he had done so much to build up.

He is survived by his wife and a married daughter.


Lieutenant King's brother George also served during the war. In 1918 while a despatch rider with the Royal Engineers he was awarded a Military Medal.


Corporal George King


Images, from the Belfast Weekly Telegraph of 8 June 1918, courtesy of Nigel Henderson, researcher at History Hub Ulster.


This page last updated 2 April 2023.