Hull's Jewish Community
Hull's Jewish community dates back to at least 1766 and is one of the three oldest in England.
The Hull ports made travel easier for traders, allowing Jewish businesses to flourish and encouraging them to put down roots. Hull's first recorded Jewish inhabitant, was Michael Levy, in 1766, a watchmaker. In 1788 a local jeweler, Aaron Jacobs, created an 'elegant crown' for the King William (King Billy) equestrian statue, on the centenary celebration of his victory over King James the Second.
The port of Hull was a prominent destination for migrants heading from Eastern Europe to a new life in the US. Historians estimate that more than 500,000 Jews passed through Hull in the 19th Century. As Hull already had a thriving Jewish Community many stayed.
Over the 300 years since Hull's Jewish community, first put down roots at a former Catholic chapel in Posterngate, its presence in Hull has brought vitality to the city. Sports clubs, drama societies, and welfare organisations established by Jewish residents, have contributed much to the cultural life of the city. They included the:-
Hull Hebrew Board of Guardians (founded 1880) for the relief of resident and casual poor.
The Hull Hebrew Young Men's Literary and Debating Society (founded 1895) for promoting the intellectual and social welfare of the Jewish community of Hull.
Hull Hebrew Self-help Friendly Society (founded 1889)
Jewish Girls Club (founded by 1900)
The City Club, Wright Street (founded 1901)
Hull Hebrew Recreation Club (founded 1900)
Hull was once home to 14 synagogues. Some of these were located at Cogan Street, Adelaide Street, Great Passage Street, Pryme Street, Park Street, Dagger Lane, Great Thornton Street, Prince Street and Nile Street. There were at least 6 Jewish Cemeteries in Hull. There were also active social and sporting clubs, such as the Hull Judeans cricket team, the Hull School of Art (founded 1861), the major cultural center, the Royal Institution, in Albion Street (1853), the Ice House Road, Citadel (1902), the Emigrants Waiting Room (1871), which is now the 'Tiger's Lair' on Anlaby Road, the Duveens' Art collections in the Guildhall and in Ferens Art Gallery, and the Hull Market Place, where up to the 1960's, a large proportion of traders were Jewish. The founders of Marks and Spencer's arrived in Hull, and opened one of their first shops, in Whitefriargate, and the family responsible for the Max Factor cosmetics giant, sprang from humble beginnings in Hull's Osborne Street, before emigrating to the USA. The economic vitality of the city continues to be supported by numerous Jewish businesses, such as the architects firm, started by B.S. Jacobs, the Jewelers, Segal’s, the solicitors, Graham and Rosen, and the accountants, Sadofsky’s. Individual members of the Jewish community, such as Leo Schultz, Victor Dumoulin, Edward Gosschalk, Benno Pearlman, and various members of the Rosen family have contributed much to the civic life of the city, through their work as mayors, sheriffs, and societal leaders.
During World War 1, about 50,000 Jews served in the British Armed Services and some 10,000 died on the battlefield. This was a very high proportion of those that enlisted. Britain's first all-Jewish regiment, the ‘Jewish Legion’, comprising of 5 Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers, fought in Palestine. Five British Jewish soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross, during the Great War (1914-18). An important consequence of the First World War, was the British conquest of Palestine, and the Balfour Declaration, promising a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
Many from the Hull Jewish community, volunteered for active service at the start of the 'Great War'. A group photograph in the 'Hull Times', on 26th September 1914, shows 17 Jewish recruits. (photo to follow). Some of Hull's Jewish casualties include, Louis Cuckle (photo above) and the following list:
Hull Western Synagogue
The Hull Western Synagogue, contains a beautiful war memoria,l to those from Hull's Jewish community that lost their lives in the war. They include:-
Corporal, Harry Silverstone, 9th Essex Regiment, died 3rd July 1916, aged 39. He is commemorated on the Somme memorial to the missing at Thiepval.
His brother, Private, Marcus Silverstone, 1st Royal Fusiliers, died on the 7th October 1916, aged 40, and is commemorated on the same memorial. They were the sons of Caroline and the late Barnett Silverstone, at 121 Walker Street. These casualties of the Battle of the Somme were commemorated on the Jewish War memorial at Hull’s Western Synagogue on Linnaeus Street, Hull.
Hull Western Synagogue, Linnaeus street (now closed)
Listed on the same memorial, are two Jewish Officers, 2nd Lieutenant, Harold Issac Opet, London Regiment, 7th Bn, (the Post Office Rifles), killed on the 23rd March 1918, during the German Spring Offensive. He was aged 30 and the son of Siegfried and Rachel Opet who ran a Draper business.
Also, 2nd Lieutenant, Lionel Franks, 8th Bn, East Yorkshire Regiment, 'C' Company, killed on the 5th May 1917, aged 19. He was the only son of Benn and Nellie Franks who lived at 18 Park Avenue, Hull. Lionel Franks is buried at the St Sever cemetery in France.
Annowitch & Aaron
Pte, Joseph Annowitch, ex Durham Light Infantry, who died on the 3rd December 1918, is buried at Hull’s Hebrew Cemetery. He was the son of Jacob and Mary Annowitch, at 61 Barnsley Street and his Grandparents, Isaac & Jane lived nearby at 41 Courtney Street, East Hull.
Pte. James Aaron, 8th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, killed on the 1st July 1916. He was the son of Faith and James Aaron, who lived at 46 Egton Street. (A photo of him appears in the HULL TIMES 26/9/14). Jim Aaron was awarded the Military Medal and died on the First day of the Battle of the Somme, aged 23.
Private, MAURICE WILLIAM MORACK, 10/225. Born in Leeds in 1894, Maurice was the eldest of three children to Matilda Morack of 32 Pryme Street, Hull. A Tailor's Machinist before the war, Maurice signed up for the fledgling 10th Battalion having queued in those long uneven lines of the first week of September 1914. He served in Egypt from December 1915 to February 1916 before shipping to France. One of the Original Pals, Maurice was a veteran of the Somme, Oppy Wood, the German Spring Offensive, the disastrous attack on Ploegsteert Wood and came within a fortnight of making it out the other side. Alas, he was seriously injured in October 1918 and failed to recover, dying of wounds on the 29th. He is buried at Kezelberg Military Cemetery; Maurice was 24 years old.
Private, Myer Black, 11th EYR, killed on 13th November 1916, age 23, lived at 47 Dock Street. He was one of the first to enlist in the Hull Pals Battalion, and his family ran a local shoe repair business. His name is commemorated on the family grave in the Hebrew cemetery, Marfleet, Hull.
Private, Solomon Sole, 13th EYR, died in Hamburg, as a Prisoner or war on the 5th May 1917, aged 31. He was the son of Solomon and Alice Sole at 116 Campbell Street. His brothers Ernest, Alfred and Sydney Sole all served in the war.
Pioneer, Maurice Feldman, Royal Engineers, died in Italy, of sickness on the 30th July 1919. aged 21 years old. He was the son of Samuel and Ann Feldman of 76 Lister Street, Hull.
Pte, Samuel Solomon Sugarman, 10/1331, 12th East Yorkshire Regiment, died on the 15th August 1916, aged 21. He is buried at the Caberet Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez near Arras. He was the son of Mark Sugarman, of 4 Park Street, Hull and Bocksburg, South Africa. Sam Sugarman had been a clerk before the war, and had originally enlisted with the 10th ‘Hull Commercials’ Pal Battalion.
Lieutenant, Edward Myer Gosschalk, 6th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was born in Hull in 1884. He was killed at Deville Wood on the 28th August 1916, aged 32. He was the son of Edward and Esther Gosschalk, 11 Crown Terrace, Anlaby Road. His brothers also served. He is commemorated on the Hymer's College Memorial in Hull.
Rifleman, Louis Gosschalk, 2/5th Post Office Rifles, born in Hull,1890, was killed at Ypres, on the 20th September 1917. He was the son of Lionel and Annie Gosschalk and brother to Leah and Esther Gosschalk who lived at 69 Park Street, Hull.