Banks, Geoffrey

He was the son of Annie Banks and he lived at the bottom end of Northop Hall.

Geoffrey was a DEMS gunner (Defensivey Equipped Merchant Ship) – a Royal Navy man protecting a Merchant Navy ship. The ship was the ‘Putney Hill’ and was en route from Cape Town to New York to pick up a cargo of military equipment from Russia. She was hit by a torpedo from a German U Boat (U -203) about 500 miles off San Juan, Peurto Rico. The captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. The lifeboat that Geoffrey Banks was in, itself capsized and after a struggle to hang onto an oar, Geoffrey slipped under the water and drowned.

There is a very detailed account of the sinking of the ‘Putney Hill’ written by crew member Alan Shard and it is to be found on

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Northop Hall Memorial

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