ANZAC Search

William Lyttle King


Australian Flying Corps


William Lyttle King - Information

William Lyttle was a son of James and Elizabeth King, who had moved to the Campbelltown area in the 1880s. William was born in Campbelltown on the 6th of April 1894, before he, his parents and some of his siblings relocated to Egilshay in Wentworthville. He then attended Sydney University where he studied law, economics and commerce. When the war started, William decided to apply for a commission in the Flying Corps, joining the AIF on the 23rd of December 1916. William was assigned as a 2nd Lieutenant to the Australian Flying Corps No. 4 Squadron, sailing from Melbourne on the 17th of January 1917 upon the RMS Omrah.

While at sea, William reported to sick bay and upon arrival in England was admitted to hospital. By April, he had recovered and was sent to Castle Bromwich for a course of instruction with the 45th Training Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. After learning how to pilot a plane, William was transported to France in September 1917, and was taken on strength to the 69th Squadron. The following month, on the 24th of October, William was wounded in a flying accident. He was flying a new machine from the depot to his Squadron when he had to jump out before it crashed. He fell from a great height and fractured his arm and received multiple contusions. William was rushed to the 12th Stationary Hospital, the 8th General Hospital and was finally evacuated to England with a fractured humerus and a concussion. After he was shipped to the 3rd General Hospital in England, William was promoted to Lieutenant on the 11th of November 1917. His injuries were extensive, and consequently he was ordered home in January 1918.

When he returned to Australia, William underwent a medical examination at the Garrison Hospital in Sydney. The accident had caused permanent injuries. The movement of his right arm was very limited; he could not touch his shoulder with his fingers or completely straighten or rotate his arm. His health was also poor as he was suffering from asthma. After William was discharged, he fell in love with Annette Cook, deciding to get married in Ashfield in 1921. They then settled back in Campbelltown. Unfortunately, on his 31st birthday, William passed away. He left Annette alone, after only three years of marriage and with a young daughter. William was buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Campbelltown.