Squadron Sergeant-Major George Towner



George Towner was born around 1862 at St Leonard's-on-Sea, Hastings, Sussex, the third of at least nine children of bricklayer Edward Towner and his wife Ann.

He worked as a plasterer's labourer until 24 July 1882, when he enlisted at Canterbury in the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards (No.2385). He was 6'1½" (tall for the time) and gave his profession as bricklayer. He served in the East Indies from 1 January 1883 to November 1891, rising to the rank of sergeant.

On 21 May 1894 he married Kate Louisa Frances Porter at Pockthorpe, Norwich.

On 14 September 1994 Towner was appointed squadron quartermaster sergeant, but reverted to sergeant two years later "to escape trial" for an offence not recorded on his file. Just over a year later he had his quartermaster rank restored.

On 23 April 1903 Towner was appointed to the permanent staff of the newly-formed North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry as squadron sergeant-major of C Squadron (Enniskillen). He continued in that role when that regiment was disbanded and re-formed as the North Irish Horse on 6 July 1908.

Towner was discharged on 10 February 1909 after 26 years service. His conduct was recorded as 'exemplary'.

Following his discharge Towner returned with his family to England.


The image above, taken around 1905, can be seen in its full context here.