Henry Richard Bristed of Islington
Anna Mary Bower
George Robinson
Emily Louisa Bagnham
Maj. Richard Bower Bristed
Constance Robinson
Cpt. Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed


Family Links

1. Florence Elvira Rowe
2. Norah Gertrude Sebag-Montefiore

  • Richard John Cecil Bristed
  • Christabel Anthea Bristed
  • Susan Mary Bristed
3. Enid Douglas Hull

Cpt. Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed

  • Born: 16 Jan 1891, Wellington, New Zealand 1
  • Married (1): 23 Jun 1917, Warnham, Sussex, England 2
  • Married (2): 25 May 1925, Marylebone District, London, England 3
  • Married (3): 1943, Westminster District, London, England 4
  • Died: 7 Nov 1969, Las Palmas, Spain 5 6
  • Buried: Cementerio inglés, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Provincia de Las Palmas, Canary Islands 5

  Research Notes:

BRISTED.—At Wellington, on January 16th, the wife of Richard B. Bristed, of a son.

Press, Volume XLVIII, Issue 7766, 21 January 1891, page 4


Biography (can be read in full here). 7

Geoffrey entered Clifton College in Bristol in January of 1906 as a boarder in South Town House. He attended Clifton College for the Junior School Forms IIIa through IVa and left the college in April of 1908. While at the college he had been a member of the Engineering Cadet Corps and held the rank of Cadet Sapper.

After leaving Clifton College at the age of 17, Geoffrey served three years as a pupil of and assistant to Sir John Jackson, Civil Engineer. He worked with Sir John in Chile and Bolivia on railway and irrigation construction projects and was involved with practical survey and construction work. There is about a two-year gap in Geoffrey's life from the time he left Bolivia until the time he entered King's College Cambridge on the 2nd of October 1913. It may be assumed that he took an extended holiday and toured places of interest in South America and elsewhere.

At King's College Geoffrey studied for Mechanical Science Tripos. Twenty days after entering King's College, Geoffrey decided to join the army as a Special Reservist. It is interesting to speculate on why he did this. Although there was talk of a possible war in Europe, unbeknownst to Geoffrey the start of the Great War of 1914-1918 was still almost ten months away. Geoffrey had a good education up to this point in his life and he had a good deal of engineering experience after working with Sir John Jackson in South America. He had been accepted to a prestigious university and had a promising career in engineering ahead of him. Despite all these advantages he chose to enlist in reserve cavalry regiment as a trooper. He did not even try to enlist in the Corps of Royal Engineers where his education and work experience would be an asset to him and to the army. One can assume that he enlisted out of patriotic zeal. It may also be that he was a restless soul who as a young man had already experienced adventures that made him thirst for more. Perhaps he thought that being a reservist in the army, and especially in a cavalry regiment, would add spice to his life as he studied at Cambridge. Little did he know that in less than a year his education would be interrupted by German ambitions on the continent.

Geoffrey enlisted as a Special Reservist in the army on the 22nd of October 1913. He was given a medical examination at Cambridge on that date and was certified as fit for military service by Medical Officer Robert Michell. He was also issued a Certificate of Primary Military Examination at Cambridge on the same date by the Recruiting Officer, Major E.W. Hermon. Major Hermon certified Geoffrey as fit for service in King Edward's Horse.

On the 6th of November 1913 Geoffrey Bristed attested as a Trooper in King Edward's Horse (The King's Overseas Dominions Regiment) at Cambridge. Geoffrey indicated that at the time of his attestation he was an undergraduate student and that he was residing with his family. He declared his religion to be Church of England and indicated that he was not married. He also stated that he was not an apprentice, that he had never been imprisoned by civil power and that he was not presently a member of His Majesty's forces. Finally, Geoffrey stated that he had never previously been rejected for military service and that his next of kin was his father, Mr. R.B. Bristed of 59A London Wall, London, E.C.

Geoffrey's enlistment was approved in London by the Officer Commanding King Edward's Horse, Lieutenant Colonel V.S. Sandeman (Reserve of Officers). His enlistment was for four years in the Army Special Reserve. Upon the approval of his enlistment, Geoffrey was given regimental number 329 and the rank of Trooper and was issued his uniform, which is described in the Army Lists as drab with scarlet facings and a black plume. Trooper Bristed then went to join his regiment, the headquarters of which were located at The Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea, London, S.W.

Geoffrey Bristed was discharged from King Edward's Horse at Canterbury on the 13th of November 1914 to take a commission in a reserve cavalry regiment. His total service with King Edward's Horse amounted to one year and eight days. His character upon discharge was rated as "very good" by his commanding officer.

On the day following his discharge from King Edward's Horse, Geoffrey Bristed was commissioned a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry under the command of Brevet Colonel H.N.M. Thoyts. This regiment was affiliated with the 4th and 8th Hussars and had many regular officers from these regiments assigned to it. The other officers in the 10th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry were either men holding commission in the Reserve of Officers or men like Bristed with temporary commissions. Bristed served for almost nine months with his new regiment before being transferred to the Royal Engineers.

2nd Lieutenant Geoffrey Bristed was transferred to the Royal Engineers on the 8th of August 1915. There are many possible reasons for his transfer. Firstly, he had studied civil engineering and been a member of the Clifton College Engineering Cadet Corps while in school. Secondly, he had field experience in engineering working for Sir John Jackson in South America for three years and finally his father, Richard Bower Bristed, was a civil engineer who was commissioned in the Royal Engineers as a Captain during the same month that Geoffrey was transferred to the Corps.

Immediately following his transfer, 2nd Lieutenant Bristed was posted to Aldershot to attend a 3-week course, probably in field engineering. Upon completion of the course he was posted to the 3rd Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, a mounted unit of the R.E. assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Division. His assignment to a mounted unit of the Royal Engineers seemed appropriate given his riding skills and his prior experience in cavalry regiments.

Bristed joined his squadron in December 1915 while the unit was in winter quarters following the Battle of Loos. During this period the 3rd Field Squadron was employed on General Headquarters defence lines by distributing personnel of the squadron among cavalry working parties.

On the 1st of July 1916 Bristed's squadron went into action at Albert in the great British offensive on the Somme under the control of British XVIII Corps....

Bristed remained in France following the German surrender and in March of 1919 he was posted to the 82nd Field Company, R.E. with the 18th Division. He was subsequently transferred to the 459th (West Riding) Field Company, R.E. with the 6th Division, British Army of the Rhine. He remained with this unit until the company was posted home.

Captain Bristed proceeded home from France with the 459th Field Company on the 3rd of September 1919. The company embarked at Calais and disembarked at Dover. He was granted leave on the 25th of September 1919 and proceeded to the home of his father at 3 Waverley Grove in Southsea, Hampshire. His father, Major R.B. Bristed, R.E. was still in France at that time and did not join his son at their Southsea residence until the 14th of November 1919.

Geoffrey Bristed's leave terminated on the 19th of October 1919 when he was required to report to Newark in Nottinghamshire for his demobilization medical examination which took place on the following day. He was demobilized on the 21st of October 1919.

For his service in the Great War of 1914 to 1918 Captain Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal with mention in despatches oak leaf....

Bristed was re-mobilized for service in Mesopotamia on the 26th of February 1920. He embarked at Southampton for India on the 9th of March 1920 aboard A.T. Vita and disembarked at Bombay on the 1st of April for a 3-day stay in that city. He again boarded A.T. Vita at Bombay on the 4th of April bound for Mesopotamia. While en route to Mesopotamia, the London Gazette of 6 April 1920 announced that he was a Temporary Captain and would retain the rank of Captain with seniority from the 18th of May 1918.

Captain Bristed disembarked at Basra, Iraq on the 10th of April 1920 and received orders posting him to the Roads & Buildings Section in Mosul. He appears to have remained in Basra for a few days and on the 19th of April he arrived in Mosul and reported to the Commander Royal Engineers at that location.

Bristed worked in the Roads & Buildings Section in Mosul until the 1st of January 1921 when he was assigned as the Adjutant to the Commander Royal Engineers of the 18th Division. On the 20th of March of 1921 he was posted to General Headquarters in Baghdad where he performed administrative work associated with railway construction and traffic as well as irrigation projects. He continued his work in Baghdad until early in January of 1922 when he sailed on H.T. Braemar Castle for home.

In 1929 Geoffrey was living at 18 York Terrace, Regent's Park, London and was employed as a banker. It appears that he abandoned his career as an engineer, possibly because he never completed his degree requirements at Cambridge. He was a member of the Oxford and Cambridge University Club at 71-77 Pall Mall, London, SW1.

In 1958 he retired as the Director of United Dominion Trust Commercial Ltd. In 1962 was living at 8 Wilton Place, London, S.W.1 and was member of the Travellers Club at 106 Pall Mall, London, SW1. His residence at Wilton Place was located to the west of Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park Corner, between Knightsbridge and Belgrave Square.


In the 1939 Register Geoffrey T Bristed (b. 16 Jan 1891), married, bank manager, was at Grand Hotel, Aytoun Street, Manchester Lancashire.


Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed of 1a Herbert Cres London S.W.I died 7 November 1969. Probate London 1 April 1970. Effects £47549. 6

  Marriage Information:

Geoffrey married Florence Elvira Rowe, daughter of Richard Rowe and Florence Hughesdon, on 23 Jun 1917 in Warnham, Sussex, England. (Florence Elvira Rowe was born on 7 Dec 1886 in Brighton, Sussex, England, christened on 29 Jan 1888 in St. Peter, Newdigate, Surrey, England, and died on 25 Feb 1919 in Chestnut Lodge, Horsham, Sussex, England, aged 32 years.)

  Marriage Notes:

A marriage has been arranged, and will take place this spring, between Lieutenant Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed, R.E., only son of Captain Bristed, R.E., and Mrs. Bristed, and Florence Elvira (Vera), youngest daughter of the late Mr. Richard Rowe and Mrs. Rowe, of Chestnut Lodge, Horsham, and Dibrugarh, Assam.

The Civil and Military Gazette (Lahore), Sunday, 11 Mar 1917, p. 7


Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed, age 26, bachelor, soldier, resident of Horsham, son of Richard Bower Bristed, R.E., civil engineer, and
Florence Elvira Rowe, age 30, spinster, resident of Warnham, daughter of Richard Rowe, gentleman

Married after Banns

Witnesses: John G Millars? Lieutenant commander, . . . . . . . Williams, Lt, Florence Rowe, Rowena F Rowe, R. B. Bristed

  Marriage Information:

Geoffrey also married Norah Gertrude Sebag-Montefiore, daughter of Maj. Cecil Sebag-Montefiore and Emily Margaret Raphael, on 25 May 1925 in the Marylebone District, London, England. (Norah Gertrude Sebag-Montefiore was born on 2 Dec 1901 and died on 3 Jun 1994 at Harley Court Nursing Home, 79 Dartford Rd., Sevenoaks, Kent, England.)

  Marriage Notes:

[Engagement announced of] Mr. Geoffrey Bristed, only son of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Bristed of 69, Upper Berkeley Street, W., and Miss Norah Sebag-Montefiore, elder daughter of the late Mr. Cecil and Mrs. Sebag-Montefiore of 37, Rosary Gardens, S.W.

The Tatler (London), 25 Feb 1925, p. 54

  Marriage Information:

Geoffrey also married Enid Douglas Hull in 1943 in the Westminster District, London, England. (Enid Douglas Hull was born on 6 Jul 1908 and died on 16 Oct 1982 at 11/13 Ladbroke Terrace, London, England.)


1 New Zealand Births Deaths and Marriages, Reg. # 1891/4634.

2 Warnham Sussex Parish Registers, Marriages, p. 1, no. 2.

3 England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005, Marylebone district, 2nd Quarter, vol. 1a, p. 1354.

4 Ibid., Westminster district, 2nd Quarter, vol. 1a, p. 856.

5 FindAGrave, Memorial. The date of death provided here appears to be incorrect.

6 England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995, 1970, p. 550.

7 Captain GEOFFREY THORNBORROW BRISTED, Royal Engineers (formerly Trooper, King Edward's Horse), by Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis, 2015.

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