King, Margaret Ann (No. NFX139589)

King, Margaret Ann (Margaret)

Sergeant

No. NFX139589, AIF 114th General Hospital, Australian Army Medical Corps

Died after a medical operation on Thursday 4 May 1944 (aged 47)

Buried:

Goulburn General Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia (Plot G Row A Grave 7)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Australian Second World War Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial

BIOGRAPHY

Margaret Ann King was born on 27 December 1896 at 23 Kenbaan Street, Belfast and she was the younger daughter of James Henry and Margaret Finnegan (nee McMaster) of Ballyridley, Portaferry.  They were married in Balligan Church of Ireland Church, Innishargie on 28 February 1892.  James Henry Finnegan worked as a farm servant for Francis McDonnell who farmed in the townland of Demesne, Ardquin, Portaferry.

James Henry and Margaret Finnegan had at least five children:

Isabella (born 10 April 1893 in Ballyward)

Thomas (born 28 February 1895 at 15 Dufferin Street, Belfast; died of measles 6 May 1896)

Margaret Ann (born 27 December 1896 at 23 Kenbaan Street, Belfast)

William James (born 6 July 1899 in Portaferry)

James (born 28 December 1906 in Portaferry)

James Henry Finnegan died on 3 June 1943 (aged 76) and was buried in the Abbacy Graveyard, Portaferry.

Margaret Finnegan died on 27 December 1945 (aged 75) and was buried in Ballyphilip Church of Ireland Graveyard, Portaferry.

Both Isabella Finnegan and her sister Margaret worked as seamstresses and domestic servants before moving to Australia.  On 13 September 1912, Isabella sailed from Liverpool to Sydney aboard the White Star liner Irishman and on 21 March 1914 Margaret followed her sister to Australia aboard the same ship.  On 18 July 1914 Isabella Finnegan married David Murray in Tenterfield, New South Wales and they had nine children.

On 28 June 1916 Margaret Finnegan married Arthur James Kong Pow in Killarney Presbyterian Church, Queensland and they had two children, both born in Killarney, Queensland:

Margaret Florence (born 15 February 1917)

Joyce (born 26 June 1919)

Arthur Kong Pow’s mother (also called Margaret) died on 13 February 1920 (aged 78).

Arthur Kong Pow died on 15 June 1960 (aged 64) and was buried in Killarney General Cemetery, Queensland.

Using the name Margaret King, Margaret Kong Pow enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on 15 October 1942 at Goulburn, New South Wales.  To enhance her chances of acceptance she declared that she was single and that she was 39 years old (rather than 45).  She gave her date of birth as 27 December 1903.  Margaret King was allocated service number N437885 and the rank of Private.  She was taken on strength of the 114th Australian General Hospital at Goulburn with effect from 15 October 1942. On 15 December 1942 she was transferred to the Australian Imperial Force Nursing Service and allotted army number NFX139589. She was appointed Acting Corporal on 9 March 1943 and, from 15 June 1943 until 26 July 1943, she herself was hospitalised. From 19 October 1943 until 16 November 1943 she attended a Cooking and Catering Course (Australian Womens’ Services) at the Cooking and Catering School in Sydney.  Known affectionately as Kingy, Margaret King was appointed Acting Sergeant on 20 January 1944.

On 7 April 1944 Sergeant Margaret King was readmitted to the 114th Australian General Hospital, Goulburn and, following a hysterectomy, she died of cardiac failure on 4 May 1944.  That day her sister Isabella, who was living in Bargo, New South Wales, received the news by means of a hand-delivered telegram.

Margaret King was buried in Goulburn General Cemetery.  During the Second World War, 17 Australian Infantry Training Battalion was located at the Goulburn Showground and in 1942 Kenmore Hospital became the 114th Australian General Hospital (114 AGH).  Various supply units were located in Goulburn to support the Battalion and the hospital.  Japanese Prisoners-of-War from Cowra, New South Wales were treated at 114 AGH.  The Goulburn General Cemetery contains war graves of those who died of wounds, illness or during training.

After she died, Margaret King’s family in Australia placed a death notice in the 5 May 1944 edition of the Goulburn Post.  Her family in Northern Ireland placed a Died on Active Service notice in the 20 May 1944 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle in which she was described as the youngest daughter of Mrs Margaret Finnegan of Ballyridley, Portaferry, a sister of both William Finnegan and James Finnegan (on active service with the Middle East Force) and a sister of Mrs D. Murray in Australia.

After the war James Finnegan, along with his wife Emily (nee Reid) and their two sons, Thomas and James Henry (Harry) moved to Australia.

The notice in the Newtownards Chronicle contained the text:

Resting where no shadows fall

Sergeant Margaret King (No. NFX139589) was awarded the War Medal and the Australia Service Medal and she is commemorated on Panel 96 of the Australian Second World War Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial.

Her age is recorded as 40 on her CWGC headstone.