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Royal Engineers
(formerly Trooper, King Edward's Horse)

Lieutenant Colonel Edward De Santis
Ó 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Unless otherwise noted, the details supplied in this narrative were extracted from the soldier’s service papers, War Office files WO339/19631, obtained from the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) at Kew, Richmond, Surrey.


Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed was born in Wellington, New Zealand on the 16th of January 1891. He was the son of Richard Bower and Constance Bristed. The 1901 Census of England shows that at that time of the census Geoffrey was living with his mother and his siblings in Buxton, Derbyshire. The 1901 census data are shown in the table below.

Dwelling: 22 Broad Walk, Buxton, Derbyshire.
Census Place: Civil Parish - Buxton. Ecclesiastical Parish - Buxton St. John the Baptist. Town - Buxton. County - Derbyshire.
Source: National Archives Reference No. RG13/3270, Registration district: Chapel En Le Frith. Sub-registration district: Buxton. Enumeration district No. 7. Folio 35.


Estimated Birth Year



Civil Parish


Constance Bristed


Liverpool, Lancashire




Geoffrey Bristed


New Zealand




Phyllis Bristed


New Zealand




Joan Bristed


New Zealand




Evaline Sewell


New Zealand




It is believed that Geoffrey's father was still in New Zealand at the time of this census and that he did not return to England until about 1913.

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.

Sir John Jackson

At King's College Geoffrey studied for Mechanical Science Tripos.[1] 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.


The following is a description of Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed at the time he enlisted in the Army Special Reserve in 1913:[2]


22 years and 280 days.


5 feet 10½ inches.


11 stone 8 pounds (162 pounds).

Chest Measurement (normal):

35½ inches.

Chest Measurement (expanded):

38½ inches.


32 inches.

Helmet Size:


Boot Size:


The following is a description of Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed at the time he was recommended for a commission in the Army Special Reserve in 1914:


23 years.


5 feet 9¼ inches.


147 pounds.

Chest Measurement (minimum):

34½ inches.

Chest Measurement (maximum):

38 inches.


32 inches.






L.V. = 6/6 .5; R.V. = 6/8 .5

Colour Vision:


General Remarks:


A comparison of the descriptions of Geoffrey Bristed made about a year apart indicates that he lost 1¼ inch in height, 15 pounds in weight and one inch around the chest between the two medical examinations. While the weight loss is likely and the loss of an inch in his chest measurement is possible, the loss of more than an inch in height seems unlikely. These discrepancies in the physical description of soldiers enlisting in the army are often due to the careless manner by which measurements of size and weight were made by military officials at the time.


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.[3]

King Edward's Horse, Other Ranks Cap Badge and Troopers on Parade

Geoffrey's enlistment was approved in London by the Officer Commanding King Edward's Horse, Lieutenant Colonel V.S. Sandeman (Reserve of Officers).[4] 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.


King Edward's Horse (1913-1914)

Geoffrey Bristed probably underwent a period of training with King Edward's Horse before being released back to civil life subject to call-up in the event of an emergency. He took up residence at 16 Inverness Terrace in Hyde Park, London, W. Inverness Terrace is a north-south running street located to the west of Paddington Station and connecting Bishops Bridge Road with Bayswater Road. While living at this address he was employed as a civil engineer. His records do not indicate who employed him. Other than his experience with Sir John Jackson, Geoffrey did not have the credentials to be truly classified as a civil engineer as he had not completed his degree requirements at Cambridge. It is also unclear from his military service record whether Geoffrey continued his studies at King's College during this period that he was employed.

The emergency requiring Geoffrey's military service came with the start of the Great War of 1914-1918. King Edward's Horse was embodied for war service on the 5th of August 1914. Trooper Bristed was called to the Colours and posted to "C" Squadron of the regiment at Watford in Hertfordshire. On the 20th of August Bristed was appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal.

On the 24th of August 1914 Geoffrey Bristed was recommended for a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in a cavalry regiment of the Army Special Reserve by the Officer Commanding King Edward's Horse. In support of this recommendation Certificates of Moral Character were submitted on Geoffrey's behalf by the Provost of King's College, Cambridge and by Sir John Jackson. The recommendation for his commission also indicated that he was a proficient horseman.

Lieutenant of Cavalry (1914-1915)

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.[5] 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.

France and Flanders (1915-1919)

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.

The specific work of the 3rd Field Squadron during the Great War has been described below where a description of the unit's employment could be found in official histories. However, because of the static nature of the war on the western front, the field squadrons of the British cavalry divisions did not always perform the normal work of mounted engineer troops. Their work usually consisted of one or more of the following tasks during offensive and defensive operations:[6]

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.

The 3rd Field Squadron went up to Querrieu with its division on the 24th of June 1916 for the Somme offensive, and took part in trench work with the dismounted cavalry in front of Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.

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. The 3rd Field Squadron then reverted back to 3rd Cavalry Division control for the battle at Pozieres from 23 July to 3 September 1916. In August, Bristed and his squadron moved to Le Quesnoy, west of Amiens, and sent up a party to help the divisional machine-gunners in the Leipzig Redoubt. On the 5th of August the squadron moved to Dompierre and another party was sent to Aveluy for work under II Corps. It was at this location that Captain Cobb and Lieutenant Hay of the squadron were wounded. On the 9th of September 1916 the parties rejoined the squadron and the 3rd Division marched to Querrieu to join the Cavalry Corps.

The squadron then came under the temporary control of the 1st Cavalry Division for operations at the Scarpe between 9 and 14 April 1917. During this period the squadron carried out reconnaissances of new cavalry tracks and constructed water points. On the 11th of April the squadron, along with the entire Cavalry Corps, was withdrawn to the area they occupied during the winter and the squadron then reverted back to the 3rd Cavalry Division under whose control it remained for the rest of the war.

On the 3rd of June 1917, Major Victor Herman Simon, M.C., R.E., Officer Commanding the 3rd Field Squadron was killed east of Ronssoy.[7]

On the 26th of July 1917 the squadron was employed on water points and corduroy roads in the Westoutre area.

At the end of August 1917 the usual winter program of accommodation began. A detachment of the 3rd Field Squadron constructed an advanced Corps Headquarters and water points for three divisions at Fins and a bridge for crossing the St. Quentin Canal was prepared by Lieutenant H.D. Maconochie and arranged for loading on to two tanks. The bridge was subsequently used to improve an existing bridge east of Masnière and facilitated the withdrawal of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Bristed and the 3rd Field Squadron then took part in the action at Cambrai between the 20th of November and the 2nd of December 1917.

When the German attack began on the 21st of March 1918 the 3rd Cavalry Division was sent to III Corps. On the 26th of March the 3rd Field Squadron assisted the French in blowing up some bridges near Pontoise. The squadron was then employed northwest of Gentelles on the Cachy Switch from 3 to 8 April and took part in the action at Avre on the 4th of April. The 3rd Field Squadron was next employed at Amiens from 8 to 11 April and then took part in the pursuit of the retreating German forces to Mons, which included the battles at St. Quentin Canal (29 September to 2 October 1918), Beaurevoir (3 to 5 October 1918) and Cambrai (8 to 9 October 1918). During these pursuit operations the squadron was engaged in the establishment of water points, the filling-in of road craters, the construction of diversions and in searching for mines and booby traps.

Following the action at Cambrai the cavalry divisions were moved northward to the Lille area and made preparations for a breakthrough with the Fifth Army. However, the Armistice intervened and on the 11th of November 1918 the divisions found themselves along the Blaton canal in and around Ath.

The 3rd Field Squadron, R.E. had its share of work during the Great War. If they were denied the dashing opportunities that throughout the war were the dreams of the whole cavalry force, they carried out the same diversity of work that fell to the lot of their comrades in the field companies of the infantry divisions. They were not in the line nearly as much as they field company counterparts, as can be seen by the rather low casualty rate suffered by the 3rd Field Squadron. During the war the squadron had only one fatality among its officers. Three non-commissioned officers and two other ranks were fatalities during the war. The following is a list of these casualties:[8]

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.

Demobilization (1919)

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.[9] His medals are named in impressed block letters as follows:

1914-15 Star:


British War Medal:


Victory Medal:


Remobilization (1919-1920)

Geoffrey Bristed was living at Cox's Hotel on Jermyn Street, St. James's, London, S.W.1.[10] Jermyn Street is located just south of and parallel to Piccadilly and connects St. James's Street with Regent Street and Haymarket. He was living at Cox's Hotel in early November of 1919 when he requested his return to active service and assignment to Mesopotamia. His letter to the War Office putting forth this request reads as follows:





To: The Secretary

The War Office (A.G.7)


In view of the fact that the 459th Field Coy. R.E., to which I belonged, has ceased to exist, I have the honour to request that my services be further employed in the East, preferably in Mesopotamia, where I understand there is work on roads, irrigation, etc. to which my engineering studies at Cambridge (interrupted by the war) and three years practical experience on survey and general construction work under Sir John Hacker Ltd would fit me.

I have the honour to be Sir,

Your Obedient Servant

[sgd.] G.T. Bristed, Capt. R.E.

The War Office responded to Bristed's request on the 4th of November 1919 with the following letter:


With reference to your application for service in Mesopotamia, I am directed to request that you will kindly furnish this office with the following particulars as early as possible:-

1. Your age.

2. Whether Married or Single.

3. Briefly what your war service has been, giving nature of work and approximate dates.

4. Your technical experience in civil life.

5. Your technical qualifications and degrees.

6. Nature of employment desired.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,

Director of Personal Service.

In a memorandum dated 6 November 1919 Bristed duly responded to each question put to him by the War Office and he promptly received the following reply from the Director of Personal Services:


With reference to your letter dated 6th November 1919. I am directed to request that you will kindly hold yourself in readiness for embarkation for Mesopotamia on receipt of further instructions from this office.

Arrangements are being made for your re-mobilization, and the re-issue of your Army Pay with effect from the 10th December 1919.

Your are advised that there may be some delay in the actual issue of orders for your embarkation, but when orders are issued it will not as a rule be possible to give you more than 7 days notice.

In these circumstances it must be left to your own discretion entirely to what extent you should take action with regard to procuring your kit for overseas, and the arrangement of details connected with your private affairs.

While he was awaiting a reply from the War Office issuing further instruction, Bristed read in the London Gazette dated 26 November 1919 that he was still a Temporary Captain and would retain the rank of Captain.

After a delay of more than two months from the last War Office correspondence the following letter, dated 12 February 1920, was received by Captain Bristed at his Southsea address:


With reference to the letter from this office dated 4th February 1920,[11] No. O.8.P/540/A.G.7.(O); I am directed to inform you that arrangements are being made for your re-mobilization for service in Mesopotamia.

It is therefore requested that you will kindly hold yourself in readiness for embarkation for that country on receipt of further instructions from this office.

Arrangements are being made for your re-mobilization and for the re-issue of your Army Pay with affect from the 26th February 1920, from which date you will be regarded as available for embarkation.

You are advised that there may be some delay in the actual issue of orders for your embarkation, and when orders are issued it will not as a rule be possible to give you more than 7 days notice.

In these circumstances it must be left to your own discretion as to what extent you should take action with regard to procuring your kit for overseas and the arrangement of details connected with your private affairs.

It is requested that you will kindly complete the attached A.F.A.15 and return same to this office as early as possible.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant.

(Sgd.) L.C. Trench


For - Director of Personal Services.

Service in Iraq (1920-1922)

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[12] 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[13] for home.

Demobilization (1922)

Captain Bristed arrived at Southampton aboard H.T. Braemar Castle on the 23rd of January 1922. He was demobilized from the Army on the following day. His Protection Certificate was issued to him from the War Office on the 27th of January 1922. The following are the notations listed on the Protection Certificate:

For his service in Mesopotamia Captain Bristed was awarded the General Service Medal 1918 with clasp [IRAQ].[14] The naming on the medal is in impressed block capitals as shown here:


Captain Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed's Medal Group and Medal Index Card
(Note that his name is misspelled as Thornborough on the MIC)

The tables below summarize Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed's military service from the time of his enlistment as a Special Reservist in 1913 to the time of his demobilization in 1922.


Period of Service

Home (Special Reservist)
King Edward's Horse

6 November 1913 - 5 August 1914

Waterford, Hertfordshire and Canterbury, Kent (King Edward's Horse)

6 August - 13 November 1914

Canterbury, Kent
(10th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry)

14 November 1914 - 7 August 1915

Aldershot, Hampshire
(Royal Engineers)

8 August - December 1915

France and Flanders

December 1915 - 3 September 1919

Home (on extended leave)

4 September 1919 - 8 March 1920


9 March 1920 - 24 January 1922


Period of Service

Home Service

2 years and 224 days

Service Abroad

5 years and 218 days

Total Service

8 years and 77 days


Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed received the following promotions during his time in service:

Date of Promotion or Appointment

Rank or Position

6 November 1913

Trooper, King Edward's Horse

20 August 1914

Lance Corporal, King Edward's Horse

14 November 1914

Temporary 2nd Lieutenant, 10th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry

8 August 1915

Temporary 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Engineers

18 May 1918

Temporary Captain, Royal Engineers


Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed married Florence Elvira Rowe in 1917, probably while he was home on leave from France. Florence died in 1919, probably as a result of the Spanish influenza epidemic in Europe. In 1925 Bristed married again. His second wife was Norah Gertrude Montefiore, the daughter of Cecil Sebag Montefiore, D.L., J.P. of Stisted Hall in Essex. Geoffrey and Norah had one son and two daughters.


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.

ADDENDUM NO. 1. Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed’s Travels Abroad

The following information was obtained from ships’ manifests. It provides a summary of Geoffrey Thornborrow Bristed’s travels abroad, as far as could be obtained from the manifests listed on Ancestry.com. Additionally this appendix provides some details and history of the ships in which Bristed sailed.

The "Ortega" was a single-funnel, two-mast ship that saw service between 1906 and 1927. The ship was built by Harland & Wolff, Limited of Belfast, Ireland. It was an 8,058-ton twin-screw vessel having dimensions of 465 feet by 56 feet with quadruple expansion engines and was capable of making 15 knots. During the Great War the ship made a remarkable escape from the German cruiser "Dresden," during which she did 18 knots. The "Ortega was scrapped in Great Britain in 1927. Her sister ships were the "Oriana" and the "Oronsa."

The "Demerara" was a single-funnel, two-mast ship that saw service between 1912 and 1933; therefore the ship was almost brand new when Bristed sailed on her from Argentina. The "Demerara" was built by Harland & Wolff, Limited of Belfast, Ireland. It was an 11,484-ton twin-screw vessel having dimensions of 500 feet by 62 feet with quadruple expansion engines and was capable of making 16 knots. The ship was launched on the 21st of December 1911. Her sister ships were the "Darro," the "Deseado," the "Desna" and the "Drina."

It would appear that the 1908 voyage was the one that took Bristed to South America to work with Sir John Jackson and that the 1913 voyage was the one that took him back home to enlist in King Edward’s Horse.

The "Britannic" was a twin-funnel, two-mast ship that saw service between 1930 and 1961. The "Britannic" was built by Harland & Wolff, Limited of Belfast, Ireland. It was a 26,840-ton twin-screw vessel having dimensions of 683 feet by 82 feet (overall length 712 feet) and was capable of making 18 knots. The ship was launched on the 6th of August 1929. The "Britannic" had 479 cabins and could carry 557 in tourist class and 605 in third class. Her maiden voyage was made from Liverpool to New York on the 28th of June 1930.

The White Star Line merged with the Cunard Line in 1934. The "Britannic" served as a troopship in World War II and re-entered trans-Atlantic passenger service in May 1948. She made her final crossing in December 1960 and was scrapped in 1961. The "Britannic" had one sister ship, the "Georgic."

Bristed and his son appeared to have toured the east coast of the United States only briefly and then went north into Canada.

The "Duchess of Richmond" was a twin-funnel, two-mast ship with steam turbines that saw service between 1928 and 1947. The ship was built by John Brown & Company of Clydebank, Glasgow, Scotland. It was a 20,022-ton twin-screw vessel having dimensions of 581 feet by 75 feet (overall length 601feet) and was capable of making 18 knots. The ship’s maiden voyage was from Liverpool to St. John, New Brunswick on the 15th of March 1929. She was renamed The "Empress of Canada" in 1947 and was destroyed by fire at dock in Liverpool on the 25th of January 1953. The ship was refloated in March 1954, but was broken up for scrap in Italy thereafter. Her sister ships were the "Duchess of Atholl," the "Duchess of Richmond" and the "Duchess of York."





"Duchess of Richmond"

"Monte Anaga"



The following information was obtained from census records and telephone directories available on Ancestry.com.  It provides a summary of Bristed’s residences from about the time of his return from Mesopotamia in 1922 until his death in 1969.

Years of Residence     Address  

 1922 to 1928               69 Upper Berkeley Street, London W.1

Bristed married Norah Gertrude Sebag-Montefiore, the daughter of Major Cecil Sebag-Montefiore and Emilia Margaret Raphael on
                                      the 25th of May 1925.  Their  son, Richard J.C. Bristed, was born in 1927, presumably while they were living at this address.  

 1928 to 1939               10 York Terrace, Regents Park, London N.W.1 

                                   Note: The various references for this address list it as being in Paddington (1928), Marylebone and Regents Park, London as well as Middlesex.  In 1928
                                      his telephone number was listed as Paddington 7996.  Subsequent telephone directories show the number as Welbeck 3846. The Bristed’s two daughters
                                      were born during these years; Christabel A. Bristed in 1931 and Susan M. Bristed in 1934.

It should be noted that the ending date of the above entry and the starting date of the following entry do not match, leaving a gap of 5 years.  These were the years of World War 2 where apparently census records were not available.  An educated guess might indicate that Bristed lived at 10 York Terrace until he divorced his wife Norah and that he moved to the Wilton Place address in 1943 after marrying Enid (see Note below).

 1945 to 1963               Marsham Court at 15 Marsham Street, Westminster and 8 Wilton Place, London S.W.1

                                   During the period 1945 to 1948 Bristed appeared to have two addresses.  His name appears in the census rolls for Marsham Court during this period.
                                      This may have been an office address.  His name also appears in the census roll as living at Wilton Place from 1945 to 1963.  In 1945 he is shown as
                                      living alone at that  address.  From 1946 onward a woman by the name of Enid Bristed is shown as living at the Wilton Place address (see Note below).

 1964 to 1968               8 Wilton Mews, Belgravia, London S.W.1

                                      Bristed was living at Wilton Mews during this period.  Enid Bristed also is shown living at this address during this period.  Their telephone number was
                                      listed as 01-235-6710.

1969                             1A Herbert Crescent, London S.W.1

Richard Thornborrow Bristed died in Las Palmas, Spain on the 7th of November 1969.  His residence at the time is shown as Herbert Crescent in London
                                     and he was noted to be a retired business man.  This notice was published in The London Gazette of 30 January 1970 on page 1336 in Notices Under the
                                     Trustee Act, 1925, s. 27.  He may have been in Las Palmas on holiday at the time of his death.  He had visited Las Palmas in November 1960 according
                                     to the manifest of the SS “Monte  Anaga.”  Perhaps he had purchased a winter home there and that he liked to visit Spain during the cold months in

NOTE:    Bristed and his wife Norah divorced, apparently sometime prior to 1943.  The Marriage Registry for the April-May-June 1943 Quarter shows the marriage of G.T. Bristed to one Enid D. Hull in Westminster, Middlesex.



BORWICK, F. (ed.). Clifton College Annals and Register, 1862-1912. J.W. Arrowsmith Ltd., Bristol, 1912.

CAREY, G.V. The War List of the University of Cambridge, 1914-1918. Cambridge University Press, 1921.

COUNCIL OF CLIFTON COLLEGE. Clifton College Register, 1862 to 1962. J.W. Arrowsmith, Bristol, 1962.

INSTITUTION OF ROYAL ENGINEERS. The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers. Volume V. The Institution of Royal Engineers, Chatham, Kent, 1952.

LEJEUNE, A. & LEWIS, M. The Gentlemen's Clubs of London. Dorset Press, London, 1984.

ROGERS, H.C.B. Troopships and Their History. Seeley Service & Co., Ltd., London, 1963.

WITHERS, J.J. A Register of Admissions to King's College Cambridge, 1797-1925, Second Edition. John Murray, London, 1929.

Census Data

1901 Census of England. RG13/3270, Registration District: Chapel En Le Frith, Sub-Registration District: Buxton, Enumeration District 7, Folio 35, Page 14, Household Schedule Number 74.

Computer Software

Officers Died in the Great War. The Naval & Military Press Ltd., Heathfield, East Sussex, 1998.

Soldiers Died in the Great War. The Naval & Military Press Ltd., Heathfield, East Sussex, 1998.

Internet Web Sites

Census Data. www.ancestry.com

Braemar Castle. www.greatships.net/braermarcastle.html

Oxford and Cambridge Club. www.oxfordandcambridgeclub.co.uk

Ship Manifests.  www.ancestry.com

Telephone Directories. www.ancestry.com


London Gazette, 26 November 1919. Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 25 November 1919, No. 31660.

London Gazette, 6 April 1920.

London Gazette, 29 March 1922. Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 28 March 1922, No. 32656.

The Monthly Army List, December 1912.

The Monthly Army List, April 1914.

The Monthly Army List, February 1915.


[1] Cambridge Honours Examination.

[2] This physical description is somewhat unusual as it does not record his hair and eye colors or any distinctive marks as was customary in other enlistment papers. It appears that the cavalry was more concerned with his helmet and boot size than with his identifying characteristics.

[3] By this time it appears that Richard Bower Bristed had returned to England from New Zealand.

[4] Sandeman was a Major on retired pay with a date of rank of 15 January 1913.

[5] Thoyts was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserve of Officers with a date of rank of 15 August 1914.

[6] Corps History, Volume V, pp. 431-432.

[7] The Corps History, Volume V, gives Major Simons's date of death as 3 June 1917. Officers Died in the Great War gives his date of death as 5 June 1917. It is likely that he was mortally wounded on 3 June and died of his wounds on the 5th of June.

[8] Only three of these men, Simon, Griffiths and Lenderyou, were killed while Captain Bristed was serving with the squadron.

[9] These medals are in the author's collection.

[10] This appears to have only been a temporary address for Bristed, as all later correspondence with the War Office was sent from his Southsea address.

[11] This letter was not in Captain Bristed's military records.

[12] A.T. Vita was one of the troopships of the British India Steam Navigation Company Limited, more commonly known as B.I. It was one of a fleet of troopships in the 5,000-ton to 8,000-ton class that were built by B.I. between 1911 and 1917.

[13] One of the last ships built for the Castle Line before its merger with the Union Line, Braemar Castle was a product of Barclay, Curle & Co., of Glasgow. Destined to spend most of her career in Government service, she was delivered in the summer of 1899 and placed on the line's intermediate service from Southampton to South Africa. When Union-Castle was created in March 1900, Braemar Castle remained on the merged line's intermediate service, although her British base was moved to London. From 1909 on, when she became a peacetime troop transport, Braemar Castle was used almost exclusively for military purposes, except for one commercial voyage for Union-Castle in 1920. During World War I she served in a variety of roles: cross-channel troop transport for the British Expeditionary Force (1914); troop transport for the Gallipoli campaign (1915); and hospital ship (from 1915). In November 1916, while serving as a hospital ship, she struck a mine in the Aegean Sea, and was repaired at La Spezia (after being towed to Malta, where she waited unrepaired for three months). In March 1918, Braemar Castle was sent to Murmansk, Russia, and spent nearly a year there as a base hospital for British and French troops engaged in the Allied Northern Campaign. She returned to Russia in 1921 and, carrying patients and non-Russian medical personnel, was the last non-Russian ship to leave Archangel. She was later used to transport troops to Turkey and Cyprus during and after the 1922 fighting between Turkey and Greece. Braemar Castle made her final trooping voyage in September 1924 and was then sold for scrapping in Italy. Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Mallett's The Union-Castle Line; Dunn's Ships of the Union-Castle Line. www.greatships.net/braermarcastle.html

[14] This medal is in the author's collection.