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James Townsend


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The second child, Jim was the third successive James Townsend. He enlisted in the army and was sent to France in 1914. An early group photo shows him in No.3 Platoon, ‘A’ Company, Second Battallion, Essex Regiment. In 1916 he received a gunshot wound in the right leg and was admitted to General Hospital at Rouen before being evacuated back to England. After six weeks he was returned to France and at the Battle of the Somme, suffering the effects of gas in 1917, was taken prisoner.

James spent 15 months in captivity in Germany before being released and repatriated in 1919.

He married Elsie, (born 1894), and they had two children, Leslie and Florence (Flossy), and worked for London Transport until retiring as a Superintendent. He is remembered as a sufferer of respiratory problems and ulcers, hardly surprising considering his wartime experiences!

Jim and Elsie moved to Cambridgeshire where he died and is buried at St. James Church, Lode, just east of Cambridge. Elsie passed away on 3rd December 1973, living at that time at 13a Galfrid Road, Cambridge. She is interred in the Lode churchyard “on Friday 7 December 1973” - according to a surviving newspaper obituary notice.

Information provided by Trevor Green.