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Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets

The names of 197 local men who lost their lives in World War I are
inscribed on the bells of the Memorial Community Church in Plaistow. They are our local heroes

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George William Husk

Limehouse, London - 17 November 1888
France and Flanders - 3 May 1917
Killed in action
Served in
1915 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal
Malmesbury Terrace, Canning Town

George William's story

Thanks to Corinne Wheeler for this information:

George William Husk (Hursk) was born in 1888 probably in Cable Street (his parents first known address). His family name was spelt Hursk but some members of the family spelt it Husk later, which is why he is Husk in the records. He was born in Limehouse, Stepney to father James William Hursk/Husk (1859-1941) and mother Mary Ann E Wenden. He had four siblings, one of which was my grandfather. He went to Ricardo Street School when he was four. His mother died when he was 18 years old.

In 1911 (aged around 23) he was recorded in the census as homeless, “wandering without shelter” near Victoria Docks. I can only speculate that there was no room for him with his siblings (and half-siblings from his father’s second marriage) in Malmesbury Terrace, Canning Town.  I expect he stayed in digs somewhere and it’s possible he may have sought help from the church and that was the connection? The last address I have for him was in 1901 at 67 Burnham Street, West Ham when he was 12.

George worked with his younger brother William Henry Hursk (my grandfather) at a fertilizer and their friend Charles Wilks worked there too. Charles’ sister Susannah married Willliam Henry in 1921 and became my grandmother. George, William and Charles all went to join up together when the war started. George and Charles were accepted but my grandfather was rejected on health grounds. George enlisted at Stratford and served with the Essex Regiment, 13th Battalion. He was awarded the Victory, British and Star Medals.

George was killed 3rd May 1917 and is on the Arras Memorial, Grave Bay 7. Charles Wilks was killed December 1917, and is interred at Etaples, France.

George didn’t marry or have any children so has no direct descendents. We ‘remember’ him though. I can’t tell you how delighted I was when I found these bells on the internet. To discover that my great uncle George has his name right there, for people to see, even if you knew nothing about him, his existence and sacrifice are not lost and this is so important to me.

Service Number
Mary Ann E Wenden
James William Hursk (later Husk)
Arras Memorial, France
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