Join in!

To contribute to this site you have four choices.

  1. Comment here and I’ll post it to the main blog if useful.
  2. Comment on existing posts or comments.
  3. Email your questions or info to  mikelowndes AT yahoo.co.uk (replace the AT with @ – this is to stop spam)
  4. Email me with a request to be a contributor. This is for anyone who wants to contribute directly to the blog – about your ongoing research or questions for others. You will need to set up a WordPress account for this – which is very simple.

102 thoughts on “Join in!

  1. Hi,
    I happened to stumble across this site when I too was looking for information on George Cosby Selby-Lowndes. I noticed that there was a post from “jmcgwld” who was interested in finding out more about George and his wife Alice. I just wondered if “jmcgwld” got any further with his/her research? I have discovered the following:
    I love History, and started looking for information on the Battle of Britain last year. Blame lockdown! On Pinterest I came across a photograph of two young airmen from 85 Squadron RAF who were active during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain.Their names were Gerald Albert Lewis and Richard Hugh Anthony Lee. Gerald Lewis survived the war, but sadly his great friend “Dickie” Lee was killed on 18th May 1940, aged 23, last seen chasing three German planes out to sea over Margate. Neither his body nor the Hurricane he was flying were ever found. Both of them looked so young and handsome, and I just thought how sad that Dickie Lee’s life was cut short; so, after I finished researching Gerald Albert Lewis, I started looking at Dickie Lee.
    This is where “Alice” Selby-Lowndes comes in. She was Dickie Lee’s mother. She was born Alice Esme Gertrude Unwin in 1892 (and was known as Esme, not Alice), and married Lt. Col. Charles Lee around 1913. There is a record of the birth in 1914 and death in 1915 of a baby Alice Esme Gertrude Lee in Yorkshire, which is where the Lee family came from, so it may be that Dickie Lee had an older sister who died in infancy. Dickie was born in May 1917. His father Charles was an aviator and seems to have been well-connected in the RFC and RAF, possibly a friend of Lord Trenchard, who was Dickie’s godfather. Unfortunately Charles Lee was killed in a flying accident around 1920.
    Esme then married George Cosby Selby-Lowndes in 1921. George was probably about 7 years younger than Esme, his estimated birth date being 1899. I have not been able to discover what his profession was, but it may well have been connected to the military. Their son David William George (or a combination of those three names) was born in 1922, around 5 years after his half-brother, Dickie Lee.
    George Cosby Selby-Lowndes’ older brother William, (born 1896) who I think was Army, died at the end of May 1940, around 18 days after his brother’s stepson. At that point Esme Selby-Lowndes had lost her first husband in a flying accident, possibly a baby girl in infancy, her eldest son in the Battle of Britain, and her brother-in-law. However, worse was to come. In 1941 David Selby-Lowndes, who also joined the RAF, was killed aged 19 in a training flight on the Isle of Man, where he is buried.
    I have no idea what happened to Esme after that, although I know that George died at the age of 59 or 60 in 1959. A devastating war for them both.
    You can look on Charterhouse School war memorial for information about Dickie Lee, and the Peacehaven Memorial in Sussex mentions both Dickie and David. I wonder if George and Esme lived in Sussex? It may be that they are buried in the area.
    If “jmcgwld” has any updates I’d love to hear them. I got so immersed in researching this that I felt as if Esme was a relative, although of course she isn’t, as I am a very ordinary Ulster Scot from County Antrim.

  2. Hello, my name is Robert Ward. And I have been trying to research the Lownds side of my family, that came from Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. I descend from a William Lownds Jr. born about 1863 in Halifax, who immigrated to Upstate New York in the United States sometime before 1900. So far I’ve traced his ancestry back to a Matthew Lownds born in Halifax in approximately 1800. I have identified the names of his parents as being Matthew Lownds and Catherine Cogsdell. If you can help me in providing any information about these individuals. I would be extremely grateful.

    Thank you!

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