George Heard was Chelmsford born and bred. After working as an errand boy and railway porter he joined the army and was killed in action near Ypres in October 1917. His home was in Haycock’s Row, off Broomfield Road.
George was born in Chelmsford, on 28th April 1897, the son of John Heard and Julia Heard (nee Wilson). He was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Chelmsford on 27th June 1897. At the time George’s father was a labourer of 4 Haycock’s Row, off Broomfield Road, Chelmsford. His father had been born in 1866 in Chelmsford; his mother in 1869 in Good Easter.
Private, 8th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
George has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium, on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford, the Great Eastern Railway War Memorial, and by the Chelmsford Parish Great War Memorial in Chelmsford Cathedral. He was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal (pictured below with his 'Dead Man's Penny').
The 1918 register of electors listed George’s parents (pictured above) still at 4 Haycock’s Row. His father died in 1949, aged 83. His mother died four years later, aged 84.
George’s parents had married on Christmas Day 1892 at St. Mary’s Church, Chelmsford. At the time his father was aged 26, a labourer of Chelmsford, and the son of George Heard, also a labourer. His mother was aged 23, of Chelmsford, and the daughter of William Wilson, labourer.
George’s three siblings, all Chelmsford-born, included Eliza Ann Heard (1895-1966), Daisy Hannah Heard (1898-1880) and Ada Dorothy Heard (1902-1947).
George’s family were still living at 4 Haycock’s Row at the time of the 1901 census. Three year-old George was accompanied by his parents and two sisters, with his father employed as a labourer in the iron foundry at Christy and Norris', a firm he was to work for for some 40 years.
A decade later the 1911 census recorded 14 year-old George living with his parents and youngest sister at 4 Haycock’s Row. George was an errand boy for a newsagent’s; his father was a general labourer.
He subsequently worked as a porter for the Great Eastern Railway at Chelmsford railway station prior to the war. He is pictured immediately left in his porter's uniform.
George enlisted into the army at Chelmsford. Pictured bottom left are 3 surviving cards that he sent home. They were placed in his bible which is on the left side of the photograph.
Pictured left is a postcard sent home by George, dated 6th March 1917.
He was killed in action on 22nd October 1917 while serving as Private 30333 in the 8th Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment. He was aged 19.