At around 1910, George King, a Jewish gangster was the ‘guv’nor’ of Walthamstow
racetracks, making all the stall holders pay rent to him. A fish shop in the area
called Crayses disliked King and they hired Arthur to protect them, hoping to
get rid of him from the racetracks once and for all. So Arthur and four of his
close pals went to Walthamstow and started having a drink in the pub. Suddenly
King burst through the door and said what translated roughly to “who wants to
have a go?”, but knew he was beaten because there were five of them, all with
guns, and only one of him.
Arthur left the scene after explaining that King’s interference with Crayses
would not be tolerated, and headed home on the train. Arthur knew that someone
might end up getting killed, and a moment of clarity on his train journey home
enlightened him to the reality that the risk of death could well be just around
the corner. He was not far wrong.
The next evening, Arthur was outside Clarks Coffee Shop whilst his boys were
in the pub, ‘The Hare’, just nearby. Out of the blue, King came walking along
the road, crossed over and pulled a gun out of his pocket. Arthur turned sideways
so as to be less of a target and at that moment, Taylor came round the corner
and put a gun into his back. King knew he was beaten.
The next day, the gang wanted to go and have it out with King, and went to meet
him at the racetracks fully armed and ready to kill. Arthur, not wanting to get
killed and not advising the idea to any of his gang, stayed at home. He was sitting
waiting for his gang to arrive back from the tracks, fearing that they may have
been in trouble or worse. Very late into the night, he heard gunshots only a few
metres away at the end of his road in Gibraltar Cottages. He ran out of his front
The scene was pretty ugly. One Jewish chap called Phil Schonk, part of Georgie’s
gang, was sprawled out in the road and the shop on the corner was peppered with
bullets. Many Jewish gangsters were there, including ‘Darky the Coon’. Arthur
spotted King disappearing down an alley way and decided to pursue, holding an
Irish constabulary revolver. Fortunately for King, two uniformed policemen were
walking up and stopped Arthur in his tracks.