Major Geoffrey Lubbock (1873-1932)

geoffry bow tie

After the death of Sir Charles Tennant in 1906 his widow Marguerite married  Major Geoffrey Lubbock. The handsome Major on his marrying the wealthy widow received a Golf Course as a wedding gift. Marguerite had been unable to play Golf locally as women were mot admitted membership s she therefore purchased the land lease for West Hills and constructed a golf course in order that women should be able to become members. The West Hills Golf course is now one of the top UK courses.

marguerite au lit

He was the second son of Henry James Lubbock JP and DL High Sherriff Co London 1894 & 1897 who was the second son of the 3rd Baronet .The Lubbocks hailed from Lammas in Norfolk and were a family of Bankers for 200 years in1744 the 1st Baronet Sir john Lubbock was born a banker and a member of parliament, and in 1772 the Lubbock & Co. bank was formed. The Bank merged in 1860 to become Robarts, Lubbock & Co.. which was located in 15 Lombard St. in London. The bank merged with Coutts & Co. in 1914.

It is regrettable that the Lubbock name disappeared at this time, there being a Lubbock among the partners since the business began in 1772. To have kept the name Lubbock in the amalgamation would have been a fitting tribute to Sir John Lubbock the 1st Baron Avebury who had died the previous year 1913 and had been one of the greatest figures in the history of nineteenth century banking as his father had been before him.

However in the amalgamation it was apparent that Coutts & Co. were the senior partner in 1914. While Robarts, Lubbock & Co. had nine partners with a capital reserve of £ 500,000 and deposits and current accounts of £4,130,850 : Coutts & Co. had had sixteen stockholders with current and deposit accounts of    £ 8,792,298 and at call to £ 2,299,200 and investments to £ 2,791,000. Lubbock had £ 3,873,820 in deposit and current accounts , £940,565 cash in hand and investments to £ 661,067. The amalgamation represented a capital and reserve of £ 1.5 million and a current and deposit accounts of over £ 12.5 million with Coutts the dominant partner. As the world rolled towards the war of 1914 , private banks began to feel the chillwind. In 1913 a sharp fal in the value of gilts cost Coutts and Co. over £ 170,000 and amalgamation gave a greater degree of security to partners shareholders and their client customers. Both Lord Avebury and Geoffrey Lubbock were partners at this time.

Geoffrey’s interests were not in the Bank like many of his antecedents they lay either on the Cricket field , his father Henry James was awardd the 1904 Radlett Cricket cup. The Eton fives cup winners and first eleven sides held Lubbock names for over one hundred years. Geoffrey faught in both the Boer War in South Africa and in the Great War of 1914-1918 where he was mentioned in despatches twice  As a Major in The North Somerset Yeomanry he was photographed going off to France with the same hunter he rode to hounds with the South and West Wilts pack of hounds. However the Somme was no picnic and he was wounded and sent back to the UK. He was made High Sherriffof the county of London in 1912.

Phil Tomaselli discovered in 2010 that he served as an MI5 officer towards the end of the war in “G” section , G2b section was, as far as I can tell, resonsible for preliminary investigation of cases of espionage, enquiries into the bona fides of persons and liaison with the police): The brief military record states as follows ;

Lubbock Maj G N  Somerset Yeomanry    (WO 374/43135)

MI5 service 01/02/1917 to 06/05/1917.

G2b Feb 1917

Geoffrey Lubbock.  Born: 18/05/1873.  Educated at Eton College & Trinity College, Oxford. Civilian occupation: Banker.

Partner in Banking Firm of Robarts, Lubbock and Co; Director of the Australian Mortgage, Land and Finance Company, 1910; Sheriff of County of London 1912 – 1913.

Previous service in Herts Yeomanry with rank of Captain.

Served in South African War 1900 – 1901 (Queens Medal, with 4 clasps). (Who’s Who 1931).

WO file says mobilised for South Africa (with Herts Yeomanry) January 1900; embarked 03/03/1900; arrived home 07/07/1901.  Commissioned into Somerset Yeomanry in 1912.

Wounded, shrapnel in back, 13/05/1915 at Ypres and returned to UK.

Following a request from MS1 for him to return to active service in March 1917 Vernon Kell noted: Major Lubbock is employed in my section and I am anxious to retain his services.

Lubbock was posted to 6th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry and then to 2/1st Somerset Yeomanry where he was judged unfit for service abroad. After the war he was  discharged from the army having relinquished his position on the grounds of ill health (osteo-arthritis of the right hip) 6th March 1919.

Died 31/12/1932 having contracted pneumonia following a series of operations.

His obituary in The Times described him as having great charm of manner, sympathy and depth of feeling.  He was generous in thought and deed.  Children loved him and he responded wholeheartedly to their appeal.  The Paddington Green Children’s Hospital was one of his foremost interests, and nothing that he undertook gave him more satisfaction than the establishment at Sunningdale of a new convalescent home, which owes much to his efforts.