Elected FRS 1975
George Walker was one of the most creative, inspirational and influential volcanologists of the twentieth century. Born in Harlesden, London, on 2 March 1926 in a respectable working–class neighbourhood, he was the first member of his family to take an interest in science and to attend university. His father, Leonard Walker, an insurance salesman, was badly wounded at Passchendaele in World War I as a sergeant bomber and never fully recovered. He died in 1932, when George was six years old. His mother, Evelyn Frances (néeMcConkey), was a nurse. George had no siblings. He attended Acton Lane Elementary School and recollected a lesson on the making of iron as being memorable. Other influences included natural history, adventure books and visits to the South Kensington Museum and London Zoo. He did well at school and in 1937 won a scholarship to Willesden Secondary School.