Geoffrey Marischal Dowding was the son of the Reverend Charles and Kathleen Dowding of Tichborne Rectory, Alresford, Hampshire. Born at Dibrugarh, Assam, India.
 
On 1st November 1914 off Coronel, Chile, the 'Monmouth', 'Good Hope', 'Otranto' and 'Glasgow' engaged Von Spee's much more powerful Pacific squadron;  'Monmouth' and 'Good Hope' were both sunk with the loss of all hands.