Michael King was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, in 1898, the son of John and Catherine King. He was one of ten children, and had a twin brother named Joseph. The family home was at 23A, Reading Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
He engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, at a monthly wage of £6-0s-0s. and joined the vessel at 8 a.m., on the morning of 17th April, before she left the River Mersey for the final time. His previous ship had been the White Star liner Cedric.
He was killed, three weeks later when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk within sight of the Old Head of Kinsale and within hours of her home port. He was aged 17 years.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
In August 1915, his family was sent the balance of wages owing to him in respect of his sea service from 17th April 1915 until 8 May, 24 hours after the liner had sunk.
Tragically, Michael King’s first cousin, Trimmer Joseph Turner, was also serving on board the final voyage of the
Lusitania, and also died. Like Michael, Joseph’s remains were never recovered or identified and he is also commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill. Michael’s mother Catherine and Joseph’s mother Margaret were sisters.
1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Patricia Allerton, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 334.