George Henshaw GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 19/05/1910 41 Avondale Rd, Eastbourne, Sussex. d. 14/02/1973 Eastbourne, Sussex.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 31/05 – 01/06/1935 Quetta, India.

George Henshaw (1910-1973) was born on 19th May 1910 in Eastbourne, Sussex, the son of Harry and Carrie Rebecca Henshaw (nee Bedwell). His father was a bricklayer’s labourer. Little else is known about George’s childhood and early working career, before he enlisted in the 1st Battalion, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), and by the time of the events in Quetta he had reached the rank of Lance Corporal.

George Henshaw GC

On the night of 31st May to 1st June 1935, after the earthquake his unit was sent to the Quetta Grammar School. Henshaw showed an utter disregard for his own safety and was prominent in the rescue operations in what was an extremely dangerous building. Later he was employed in the rescue work in St John’s Road, where an Indian child was located below some wreckage, above which was a large amount of debris liable to fall at any moment. Henshaw dug under the wreckage and dragged the child out alive.

Henshaw was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division, one of nine such awards for the Quetta Earthquake, on 19th November 1935. In 1939, George married Marjorie O’Dell and they had two children, Sheila and Charles. George served in World War II, being posted to Burma and the France and Germany theatres. Following the creation of the George Cross in September 1940, George was entitled to exchange his EGM and attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 21st February 1942.

Following the end of the war, George returned to Eastbourne, and began to work for British Rail. He worked as a parcels clerk for many years, right up to his death on 14th February 1973 aged 62. He was cremated at Eastbourne Crematorium and his ashes were scattered in area AR2. George’s medals including his GC, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, 1953 QEII Coronation Medal and his Viceroy’s Certificate of Commendation for Gallantry were sadly stolen from his son’s kit which was being held in storage while he was on active duty. They are still missing.




Area AR2