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Communion Set - Around the World with Reverend King


WDM Collection, WDM-1973-S-4132

Answering the Call

In 1900, a young Frank Herbert King sailed from England to South Africa, eager to serve in his country’s war against the Boers. After the war ended in 1902, King remained in South Africa, working with Church of England missions.

The ministry appealed to King so in 1905 he left South Africa for college in England. His studies completed, in 1908 King answered the call for missionaries in western Canada.

Right: Reverend Frank H. King
Canterbury Cathedral Archives photo

Canterbury to Canada

A year ago last week I was...in one of the dearest spots in the world, Canterbury, now I am on the Canadian Prairie with upwards of 1400 square miles in my parish.
                    Frank H. King correspondence, November 11, 1909

Canterbury was a long way from the small shack King called home near Watrous, Saskatchewan. King ministered to five congregations including those at Zelma and Young, often travelling by bicycle from one to another. His baptismal font, clerical robes, books, and special communion set were stashed in a tin box on the back.

The Railway Mission: No Soft Job

In 1910 King answered a new call, this time to the Church of England’s Railway Mission in western Canada. The job description declared it “no soft job.” King was accepted and posted to Delisle. He took his communion set to his new charge.

In 1912 on his way to Regina, King was on board a train that crashed into the river at Saskatoon. Lucky to be alive but suffering from broken bones, King went back to England to recuperate. A year later he returned to Saskatchewan, this time as rector in Arcola. His stay in Arcola was brief as in 1914 King left Canada for Australia.

Right: Bridge collapse, Saskatoon, 1912.
B.P. Skewis photo, WDM Barton Collection, 12009

First World War Chaplain

Two years later, King enlisted as chaplain with the Australian Imperial Force. By year’s end he was on his way back to England and from there shipped out to Egypt via Greece. Rescued when his ship was torpedoed, King finally made it to Alexandria, the communion set safely in hand.

Communion in Jerusalem

King was with his Australian unit in Jerusalem when the city fell to allied troops. In his words, the communion set “was used at the first celebration of Holy Communion...immediately after the taking of the Holy City in...November 1917.”

Return to Saskatchewan

In 1918 King went back to Australia returning four years later to the small parish he had served at Young. Saskatchewan. When he left the community in 1923, King entrusted his precious communion set “to his beloved people of Young, Sask., Canada, in token of many happy hours spent there.”

Today, both the communion set and the little church from Young are now part of the Western Development Museum collection.

Right: St. Peter’s Anglican Church in the Saskatoon WDM
WDM Collection, WDM-1973-S-100


This artifact is part of an exhibit marking the outbreak of the First World War. Four showcase exhibits have been created – initially, one will be shown at each of our four Museums. We hope visitors will pause and read the interesting Saskatchewan-based stories they have to tell. Later in 2014, the four showcases will be combined into one exhibit that will travel throughout the WDM system over the next few years.

Find out more about the exhibits and see more WWI artifacts -->


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About the WDM Collection

How to donate an artifact