Sapper Geoffrey PONSONBY

Royal Engineers
176 Workshops Squadron
Service Number:
Date of Death:
16th October 1956 - Died in Hospital
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
23 B 17

Personal History:

Geoffrey was born on the 16th July 1932 in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, the only surviving son of Douglas and Louie Elizabeth (née Elliott) Ponsonby. [Another son, Reginald, was born in 1928 but died the following year.]

In the March quarter 1956 Geoffrey married Eileen Margaret Gallimore in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The couple moved to live at 21 Macclesfield Old Road, Burbage, Buxton.

Probate Records show he left £1649 11s 7d [£1649.58] to his widow. This represents a relative value of £35,920.00 today [2014].

Military History:

Geoffrey served with the 176 Workshops Squadron, Royal Engineers and was one of the 371 British servicemen, 29 from the Royal Engineers, who died on active service during the Cyprus Emergency, 1955 - 59

His age would suggest that Geoffrey was a regular serving soldier, rather than a National Serviceman. [Under the National Service Act, introduced in 1947, healthy males aged 18 or over were obliged to serve in the armed forces for 18 months. After the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950, the length of service was raised to two years.]

On the 16th October 1956 Geoffrey died in Nicosia Hospital, Cyprus. He is buried at Wayne’s Keep, the British military cemetery in Cyprus, Plot 23 Row B Grave 17.

Nicosia War Cemetery for the 1939-1945 War contains 218 burials and Nicosia (Waynes Keep) Cemetery contains service graves post 1947. This is not a fully recognised CWGC Cemetery, and is within the United Nations Buffer Zone. As can be seen, as a result, Geoffrey's grave is in poor condition, and the details can only be read with some difficulty.

Geoffrey's name is a fairly recent addition to the Buxton, The Slopes, Memorial, being added on a small separate plaque in October 2010. Details can be found on 'The Slopes' page of this site. (see below).

· I am grateful to 'The War Graves Photographic Project'  for the photos of
   Geoffrey's grave and name on the Memorial.

Link to CWGC Record
No Official CWGC Reference
Waynes Keep Military Cemetery Nicosia
Geoffrey Ponsonby's grave
Inscription on Geoffrey Ponsonby's grave
The British Cyprus Memorial
Geoffrey's name on The British Cyprus Memorial
The British Cyprus Memorial:

To mark the 50th anniversary of the ending of the four-year conflict which preceded the independence of Cyprus in 1960, the British Cyprus Memorial Trust has been established to honour the memory of the 371 British servicemen who died during the course of that conflict. Almost all the Cyprus dead remain buried at the British military cemetery at Wayne's Keep now in the UN buffer-zone which lies between the Republic of Cyprus in the South and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the North.
Because public accessibility to Wayne's Keep is in consequence very difficult the permanent memorial is sited in the old British cemetery at Kyrenia.

The Memorial was unveiled on Remembrance Sunday, 8th November 2009.