John Bridges Eustace
DescriptionThe eldest son of Colonel John Thomas Eustace, of Wynberg Cape Town, John was born at the Cape of Good Hope in January 1861. He entered the Royal Navy in 1874 and, as a young officer, won promotion for his services in suppressing slave traffic. In 1900, having gained the rank of commander, he acted as principal naval transport officer to the China Expeditionary Force and was mentioned in dispatches. Three years later he was promoted to captain and, from 1904-7, commanded the cruiser, Fox in the East Indies. He earned the commendation of the Indian Government and the Foreign Office for various diplomatic services.
He married Helena Kindeace Robertson (1875-1968) of Kindeace in Ross-shire, in 1907. There were no children.
Commodore of the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth from 1911, he remained there until he was promoted to flag rank two years later. At the outbreak of war in 1914, in the absence of a vacancy in his own rank, he returned to Portsmouth and commanded the depot there until he was seconded to the Ministry of Munitions in 1916. After he was promoted to vice-admiral in 1918 he retired from the active list of the navy. In 1922 he was promoted to admiral on the retired list.
The Admiral’s interests and activities in Berkshire were numerous. He was member for Wokingham West on the County Council where he was particularly concerned with the public health aspect of the Council’s work. He represented the Berkshire County Council on the committees of the Berks and Bucks Joint Sanatorium and the Wingfield Morris Orthopedic Hospital, Oxford. He retired from the County Council in 1944.
In addition to his civic duties, John was also vice-president of the Wokingham Club; a governor of Wokingham County Girls’ School; vice-president of the Berkshire County Nursing Association; a member of the Committee of the Berkshire Blind Society; deputy lieutenant of the county and honorary treasurer of the Wokingham Memorial Orthopedic Clinic.
In recognition of his local community and civic work a local road, Eustace Crescent, was named after him.
A prominent Freemason, he was a member of the Downshire Lodge and the Berkshire’s Masters Lodge; Past Master of the Downshire Chapter and a member of the Wellesley Chapter.
John died at his home, Denton Lodge at Shute End, on the 9th of August at the age of 87 and was buried in All Saints’ Churchyard. Helena, who died at the age of 93, was buried beside him.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1885 - 1946, by J Bell.
“John Bridges Eustace,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed October 26, 2021, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0143.