TOWNSEND, Harry Gordon

No. 2444, Lance Corporal, Harry Gordon TOWNSEND
Aged 22

City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
Died of Illness on Friday 12th July 1918

Harry Gordon Townsend was born on 23rd September 1895 in Soham (Newmarket Q4-1895 3B:511), baptised on 25th October in Soham , son of Harry Warwick and Constance Louisa TOWNSEND (née TAYLOR).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at The Place, Soham with his widowed grandmother Mary TAYLOR [73] born Soham; his father Harry W Townsend [33] (own means), born Fordham; his mother Constance [32] born Soham, sisters Winifred [3] and Irene [1] both born in Soham.

1911 census...Aged 15, he was at Framlingham College. His parents, grandmother and sisters Winifred and Irene were still at The Place, Soham. He is not included on the roll of honour at the College, something that will be pursued. His only connections with Fordham appear to be his father's birthplace and his own burial there.

His parents were later at "Sunnyside", Soham.

He enlisted in Cambridge.

On 3rd September 1914 he enlisted in the Territorial Force, giving his age as 19 years. he was 5 feet 9 inches (175.3 cm) tall, chest 35" to 37" (88.9 to 94 cm)and his address was The Place, Soham.
Posted first to 1 Squadron City of London Yeomanry "Rough Riders" on 10th October he was then posted to 3 Squadron.O 11th April 1915 he embarked at Avonmouth and arrived at Alexandria, Egypt on 7th May 1915. He went sick with appendicitis and was operated on at The Citadel, Cairo on 9th August 1915 then sent to Convalescent Depot at Abbassia on 11th August before being sent back to UK on the HT "Demosthenes" on 23rd August.
First at Stoke on Trent hospital from 10th to 18th September, he was moved to No.3 London General Hospital at Putney where in January 1916 he developed a disordered action of the heart and the onset of TB. His first medical board reported he had 100% incapacity which would be for one year.
He was discharged from the Army on 28th March 1916 as no longer being physically fit for war service.
There followed various medical boards and pension arrangements but his condition worsened and he died at home on 12th July 1918.

Harry Townsend is buried in Fordham (St. Peter and Mary Magdalene) Churchyard extension

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details