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  • Buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery
Person Details
Geoffrey Charles was the second son of Charles Edward and Mary Dakeyne Townroe (née Webster). His father Charles Edward was born in Nottingham in 1857 (J/F/M Nottingham), the son of Rev. James Weston and Annie Townroe. His father was a curate in Sneinton and later canon and vicar of St Peter at Gowts, Lincoln, where he died in October 1934. His mother Mary Dakeyne was born in Nottingham on 18 July 1849 (J/A/S Nottingham), the daughter of Joseph Webster. Charles and Mary were married at St Stephen Sneinton on 12 April 1883 (A/M/J Nottingham) and had three children: Bernard Stephen b. 1885 (A/M/J Nottingham) bap. 29 April 1885 St Alban Sneinton, Sybil Mary b. 1888 (A/M/J Nottingham) bap. 3 June 1888 St Peter at Gowts Lincoln d. 1891 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Geoffrey Charles b. 1894 (O/N/D Nottingham) bap. 6 December 1894 St Stephen Sneinton. Charles and Mary were living on Clipstone Avenue, Nottingham, when their son Bernard was baptised in 1885, but by 1891 were living at 2 Lenton Road, The Park, with their two children, Bernard (9) and Sybil (2). Charles, a bank clerk, employed two female general servants. Their daughter Sybil died later that year aged 3. The family was still living at the same address in 1901 but only Geoffrey (6) and his parents were in the home on the night of the census; his brother was in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in the home of two maternal aunts, Emma and Florence Webster. Charles employed a cook and housemaid. Charles and Mary had moved to 12 Park Terrace, The Park, Nottingham, by 1911 although on the night of the census neither Bernard nor Geoffrey were in the home. Bernard had married Marjory Collingwood (b. India, British subject by parentage), at Newton-le-Willows St Peter. Makerfield, Lancashire, on 19 October 1910 and at the time of the census they were living at 10 Winmarleigh Street, Warrington, Lancashire. Bernard was a private secretary (working from home). Geoffrey (16) was a pupil at St Edward's School, Woodstock Road, Summertown, Oxford. Charles and Mary were still living at 12 Park Terrace at the time of Geoffrey's death in 1917 and this remained their home until at least 1938 when Charles died on 1 March. On the 1939 England & Wales Register, Mary was recorded as a visitor at the Albany Hotel, Hastings Sussex. She died at Sevenhampton Vicarage, Gloucestershire, on 20 February 1941 aged 92. She was buried in St Andrew's churchyard, Sevenhampton. Charles' brother Bernard was gazetted in The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) and promoted from second lieutenant to lieutenant on 1 November 1911. He served in the South Lancashire Regiment during the war and was in France from 27 April 1917; he was attached to the Intelligence Corps GHQ. After the war he lived initially in London but at the time of his death on 22 July 1962 he was living in Yateley, Hampshire. His wife Marjory survived him.
He was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. Member of Nottingham Rowing Club. Student Christ College Cambridge and member of Cambridge University Contingent, Senior Division, Officer Training Corps
08 Sep 1917
143379 - CWGC Website
1/4th Bn South Lancashire Regiment
"D" Coy 1st/4th Bn. London Gazette 23 December 2014: Cadet GC Townroe from the Cambridge University Contingent, Senior Division Officer Training Corps gazetted second lieutenant. London Gazette 17 August 1915: temporary lieutenant from 24 June 1915. London Gazette 12 September 1916: as temporary captain reverted to temporary rank of lieutenant from 24 June 1915 on alteration in posting on 11 August 1916. London Gazette, 12 February 1917: temporary lieutenant to be temporary captain from 6 August 1916. London Gazette 1 June 1917: second lieutenant as temporary captain, promoted lieutenant (temporary captain) from 1 June 1916. Relinquished temporary rank of captain 2 June 1917 and reverted lieutenant. London Gazette 25 October 1917: gazetted acting captain from 20 July 1917 ('since killed in action'). Geoffrey served in France from 4 August 1916. He was killed on 8 September 1917 by a piece of shell while in charge of a working party digging a cable trench and was buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery (grave ref VIII.G.8). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Misere Domine' (Lord have mercy) Nottingham Evening Post, 17 September 1917: ‘Lieutenant GC Townroe. News has been received of the death in action, of Lieutenant Geoffrey Charles Townroe, of Park-terrace, Nottingham. Lieut. Townroe, who was only 22 years of age, was educated at St. Edward’s School, Oxford, and had completed his first year at Christ College, Cambridge, at the outbreak of the war. He received his commission in the South Lancashire Regiment in December 1914, and was promoted lieutenant in June last year. He had just been recommended for further promotion.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) St Edward’s School Chronicle, October 1917: 'Losses. Next come three who have only recently left the School … [3] Lieutenant Geoffrey Charles Townroe, the South Lancashire Regt. (Pioneers) … the third was one of those quiet retiring dispositions who are seldom distinguished at school, but whose after career brings out their latent capacity, and shows them trustworthy and strong. Their death for the cause has won for all three an imperishable name’. (www.archive.stedwardsoxford.org) Nottingham Rowing Club archive (Nottinghamshire Archives DD 865/67/1-59) includes an obituary to GC Townroe: 'Killed in Action Saturday, September 8th 1917, “out in charge of a working party digging a cable trench. A piece of shell struck his heart, death being almost instantaneous. (added in manuscript). He was buried in the military cemetery at Mameringhe (sic).' Probate: Townroe Geoffrey Charles of 12 Park-terrace the Park Nottingham captain in HM Army died 8 September 1917 in France Administration Nottingham 11 January to Charles Edward Townroe bank accountant. Effects £6369 8s. 6d. Charles' mother, Mary Dakeyne Townroe, was a painter and at least one of her works, 'Nasturtiums', is owned by the Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery
    G E Townroe - Buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery