George Meegan is one of the people celebrated with a wall display in the Railway Pub in Rainham giving details of his epic walk across America in the 1980s. He walked for 6 years covering an incredible 30432 kilometers from the southern tip of South America to Alaska.

Rainham's George Meegan - Famous Walk Across America

I think many readers of Action Forum, and certainly his many friends in Rainham, will have heard of George Meegan, one of Rainham’s most famous residents. I first met George during my last year of junior school at Wakeley Road, 1962. I joined for that last year as my parents had returned from Malta where my dad worked in the dockyard. We struck up a great friendship straightaway which continued through secondary school at Rainham Boys.

We have remained friends all our lives. George led a fantastically varied life, too incredible to give details here, but people who know will know! He was most famous for walking the length of America, documented in his book, ‘The Longest Walk’. He married Yoshiko during this walk and had two children Ayumi and Geoffrey, eventually settling in Japan where he taught English. Unfortunately, his marriage didn’t work out and he returned home to Taswell Road until poor health led him to Marlborough House in Rainham four years ago.

His health continued to deteriorate and, following a stroke and fall early this year, is in a residential home in Burnley, near Ayumi and his grandchildren, who visit regularly. Sadly, George barely recognises family or friends although, when I spoke to him in the summer, he said immediately where I lived so some recognition is there. I thought George’s many Rainham friends would like to be informed and I have his address if anyone wishes to write. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telling me how you know George, and I will give you the home’s address.

Regards, Alan Crowde

Update: 12 Jan 2024 from Jim Hattersley

Your action forum 597 arrived today and I noticed the article about George. Things have moved rapidly since you went to print. Poor George died on Wednesday 10th January 2024 after contracting pneumonia. Best known for his 19,000 mile walk up through the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego to the north shores of Alaska, George deserves some kind of permanent recognition to keep his memory alive. This is currently being investigated. His daughter will set up a crowd funding page when designs and permissions etc are sorted out. He will be greatly missed by those that knew him. Hopefully, with enough people 'banging the drum' we will ensure that George will 'live on'.



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