Tonge, Septimus

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Septimus Jorge Tonge

Major, 21st Company Machine Gun Corps, Mentioned in Dispatches
Suicide, 9 May 1918, aged 38
Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard

CWGC registered (Son of Robert and Mary Tonge)

Septimus Jorge Tonge was born in Pendleton, Lancashire on 11 March 1880. He was the son of the Secretary to the Manchester Steam Association’s Secretary, Robert Tonge and his wife Mary Ann Tonge (née Harrison). The Census for 1881 records the family living at 42 Fitzwarren Street, Pendleton; Septimus (1) is recorded as living with five elder brothers and four elder sisters. The family moved to Flixton and in 1901, Septimus was described as a bank clerk. When the Census of 1911 was compiled, Septimus was staying at the house of his brother Roland at New Mills; at the same time, his parents were living at “Lymehurst”, Roumania Crescent, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. Robert Tonge was prominent in Liberal politics and the Congregational Church. Mary Ann Tonge died later that year.

After the declaration of war, Septimus Tonge joined the Lancashire Fusiliers and was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 27 September 1915. On a date unknown, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and, as a temporary captain, was mentioned in dispatches on 24 December 1917. Septimus’ last appointment was as a major in the 21st Company which had formed in March 1916 within the 30th Division which had fought on the Western Front from 1915.

Septimus Tonge committed suicide on 9 May 1918 aged 38 by shooting himself in the head with a service revolver in woods near Llandudno. According to local reports, he had served in France for two years before coming home about six months previously suffering from shell shock. He was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard and probate was granted to his brother Roland.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Christ Church, Llandudno

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