Corporal James Gordon William King-Patrick was born at Toowoomba in Queensland on 1st July 1914, the son of Walter Beresford James Gordon Sparkes and Jessie Elizabeth Sparkes. He was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School. He applied for ground crew training in the Royal Australian Air Force on 2nd January 1940 and he was found suitable for employment as an Aircraft Hand (Guard Duties). At the time of his application he was unmarried, employed as a Jackeroo and he gave his address as “Ingleside”, Evans Road, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney. At the age of 25 years and 6 months he was enlisted into the Permanent Forces of the R.A.A.F. at Richmond in New South Wales on 22nd January 1940 after giving an undertaking that he would serve for the duration of the war and up to 12 months thereafter. His physical description was that he was 6 feet 2 inches in height. He had a fair complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He stated that he was of the Presbyterian religion. He gave his next of kin as his natural father, Mr James Sparkes, residing at “Lynley” via Dalby in Queensland. He also listed his mother, Mrs Jessie King–Patrick, 10 Evans Road, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney as a person to be notified in the event of his injury or death.
He made a Statutory Declaration on 23rd January 1940 stating the following:
I, No. 12142 Aircraftsman Class 1, James Gordon William Beresford King-Patrick, Aircrafthand (Guard Duties), do solemnly and sincerely declare that I and James Gordon William Sparkes, as shown on my certificate of birth, are one and the same person, and that during my term of service with the Royal Australian Air Force, I wish to be known as James Gordon William Beresford King-Patrick.
Corporal James King-Patrick was allotted the service number of 12142. He completed his recruit training during the period 8th February until 29th February 1940. After completing his recruit course he was mustered as a Guard. He joined the Station Headquarters at Richmond R.A.A.F. Base on 11th March 1940. He was transferred to the Station Headquarters at Bankstown R.A.A.F. Base on 17th December 1940. He was promoted to the rank of Temporary Leading Aircraftman on 1st February 1941 and promoted to the rank of Temporary Corporal on 1st June 1941.
Corporal James King-Patrick died at the Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick on 14th June 1941 as a result of a fractured skull received as the result of a car accident. At the time of his death he was 26 years of age. He was the driver of a car that ran off the roadway and struck an electric light pole at the side of the Hume Highway, near Stacey Street, Bankstown on 13th June 1941. The Ford sedan car was the property of Doctor J. King-Patrick. He was cremated at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium, Botany, Sydney, New South Wales.
The Commanding Officer of R.A.A.F. Station Bankstown sent the following letter to James King-Patrick’s mother on 17th June 1941:
Dear Madam, I wish to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family in your recent sad bereavement. The late Corporal King-Patrick was always of a cheerful disposition and the manner in which he performed his duties was an inspiration to other members of this service. His untiring energy and willingness to serve won for him the esteem of his superior officers and only recently I recommended his promotion to Corporal. It is some consolation to you to know that your son passed to Higher Service whilst a member of His Majesty’s forces. Yours faithfully, Squadron Leader Allen.
Corporal James King-Patrick, for his service during World War 2, had entitlement for the War Medal. His name is commemorated on Panel No. 97 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra under his assumed name of James Gordon William King-Patrick. His name is commemorated locally on the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board.
Toowoomba Grammar School archive records show that he enrolled as a student on 1st February 1927 and that he left the School on 31st December 1928.