Ernest Waldron King was born in the village of Ardrahan near Gort in Co Galway, Ireland on 29 January 1884.
He was the son of Thomas Waldron King (b. circa 1853) and Caroline Gibb (b. circa 1854). His father was from Galway and his mother was English by birth, the daughter of an engineer, and they had married in Clifden, Co Galway on 28 July 1875. His father was a teacher and, like his father before him, was also a Church of Ireland Minister.
One of four surviving children from seven, King's known siblings were: Andrew Samuel (b. 9 July 1876), Ethel Jeanette (b. 12 July 1880), Herbert (b. 29 July 1882), Thomas Maurice (b. 21 March 1886) and Charles Hume (b. 14 March 1891).
The family moved to Blackrock, Dublin not long after Ernest was born. He first appears on the 1901 census living at 25 Mountjoy Square, Dublin City aged 17 and a pupil under the tutelage of a Mr Robert Edwin Vanee and a Mr George Anderson whilst his mother and brother Charles are listed as living at 11 Bawnogues, Straffan, Co Kildare. The 1911 census shows Ernest as unemployed and living with his mother, father and brother at 4 Aghnahola in the parish of Currin in Co Monaghan where his father was the Church of Ireland Rector.
When Ernest went to sea is not certain but it appears that his first working sea voyage was aboard Olympic; he was serving aboard her in the latter half of 1911 when that ship had her collision with the HMS Hawke.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 9 April 1912 King gave his address as the Currin Rectory, Clones, Co Monaghan. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a clerk and assistant to the purser he received monthly wages of £5.
Ernest King died in the sinking and his body was recovered by the Minia (#321) and buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 May 1912:
No. 321 (M15)
SEX-Male. Estimated age-25.
Dark brown hair, heavy in front.
Light eyebrows, large prominent nose, sharp features.
Height 6ft, weight about 160lbs, No marks on body.
Effects: wrist watch (gun metal) Sliver cuff links "E. K.", bunch of keys with tag marked Assistant purser's window; cigar-otto case, small pen knife for watch chain; papers, receipt for furnished room for one week dated April 6th, 1912, signed "A Hutchinson", made out to Mr. King; combination knife and paper cutter; collar marked "E. K.", socks marked T. W. King; ladies' handkerchief with lace border marked T.G.F. ?
Probably Purser's Assistant
Name T. W. KING
Buried at Fairview
Effects del White Star Line.
His father Thomas died in Monaghan on 18 December 1917 and his mother in November 1926; they are buried in Currin Churchyard. His brother Charles died in Maidstone, Kent, England in 1972.