History KS3: Gus Bialick: The boy who loved Britain

Throughout his life, Gus remained fiercely committed to the values for which Britain fought.

Gus Bialick’s parents emigrated from Poland in 1905, joining a vibrant Jewish immigrant community in the East End of London.

Gus’ father fought for Britain in World War One.

When World War Two started, Gus was conscripted to fight, and first saw action in 1943.

He was fiercely passionate about the cause for which he and others were fighting, describing himself as being “ecstatic” after Germany had been defeated in 1945.

In spite of his old age, he enjoys speaking to groups of young people about his parents’ experiences as immigrants, his own wartime experiences and his love of Britain.

This short film is from the BBC series, Our Greatest Generation.

Teacher Notes

This short film could be used as part of a study of World War Two and the different nationalities that lived in Britain then and now.

Students could look at this on both a local and national level, looking at who moved to their area during the same time as Gus' family. Maybe their ancestors are in the school today.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching history at key stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and third and fourth level in Scotland.

More from Our Greatest Generation:

Jim Purcell: The boy with no shoes
Dorothy Hughes: The girl who broke the rules
Elaine Kidwell: The girl who loved the Guides
Konnie Ho: The girl from Chinatown
Freddie Hunn: The boy who loved poetry