School for the Deaf’s Gardener

A confectioners son from Northamptonshire, David King father eventually became a gardener. He himself became the gardener and boilerman for Doncaster School of the Deaf. He was exempted from service for an appendicitis wound.

Born on the 5th of March 1886 in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire, David was the son of George and Susan King. In 1891 the family lived on the High Street in Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire. George was a confectioner and Susan a shopkeeper. They lived on the High Street so they probably lived above their shop. George had a second job as a labourer. George and Susan had 7 other children: James William and Lizzie were older. Arthur, Polly, Edith and Emma were younger. In 1901 they still lived in Yardley Hastings. David had begun working as a shoe worker with his brother Arthur. George King senior and James William King were working as gardener’s labourers. This is probably how David got a start in the gardening trade.

By 1911 David had moved to 104 East Laith Gate, Doncaster, where he was a boarder of 57 year old Maria Marsh. He now worked as a domestic gardener. David’s fellow boarder was a 34 year old widower, Thomas Jaques.

In 1918 David was working as gardener and boilerman for the Doncaster, School for the Deaf. His employer applied for exemption from fighting in the First World War on David’s behalf due to an open appendicitis wound. The recommendation of the tribunal indicates his exemption was most likely granted. He does not seem to appear in any military records.

In 1939 David was doing heavy work as a steam fire boilerman. It is not clear if he was still working for the Doncaster School for the Deaf. He lived alone at 256 Sprotborough Road, Doncaster, although on the 1939 census he claimed to be married. In 1955 he passed away in Doncaster at the age of 69.

Not all Medical Exemptions went quite so smoothly!

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