John Walter “Jack” Townley was born on 23 February 1898 at West Haddon, Northamptonshire, son of Frederick Daniel Townley* (a journeyman blacksmith) and Florence Elizabeth Lawrence Townley formerly Williams.
On Boxing Day 1923 John married Sarah Howes in the Moravian Chapel Woodford-Cum-Membris, Northamptonshire. He was described as an engineering millwright. Their witnesses were Frances Lily Howes and George Albert Townley.
John died of colon cancer on 20 January 1980 at Horton Hospital, Banbury. His address was given as 22 Wappingham Road, Helmdon in Northamptonshire and the death was registered by his son Geoffrey John David Townley, son, 16 Henley Road, Bell Green, Coventry.
*John’s father, Frederick Daniel Townley aka Townly of 53 Craven Street, Coventry died on 5th March 1939. His widow, Florence Elizabeth Lawrence Townley with two sons George Albert Townley (Water Engineer) and John Walter Townley (foreman wheelwright) of 22 Canley Road in Coventry were executors of his will. The gross value of his estate was £791.14.4, net value £368.5.10 and estate duty paid was £15.12.2
The same two boys (John now described as a millwright but still residing at 22 Canley Road, Coventry) were executors of their mother’s will. Florence Elizabeth died on 25th January 1946 at 73 Station Road, West Haddon. Her gross estate was £1259.18.5, net £739.8.5 and estate duty paid was £37.7.10
(We are indebted to Candis Ibberson, John Walter’s great granddaughter for the above information and for the photograph below. The text was edited by Trevor Jordan)
Entry by Jim Blakey 20th November 2015
There are four entries on the Roll of Honour with the surname Townley. The four were brothers George, William, John and Louis.
Parish Records show that John was baptised John Watts Townley on 27/3/1898. This appears to be an incorrect entry in that his given names were John Walter. To confuse matters further the 1911 Census records him as Jack. His parents were Frederick Daniel Townley, Blacksmith Journeyman, born in West Haddon and Florence Elizabeth Lawrence Townley (nee Williams), born in Harpole. Both were described as general engineers. John was the second youngest of the four sons. His date of birth was 23/2/1898
On 26/12/1923 John Walter Townley ( hereafter referred to as John Snr) married Sarah (Cis) Howes in the Moravian Chapel, Woodford-Cum-Membris, Northamptonshire. John Snr was living at 53 Craven Street, Coventry at that time and was described as an engineering wheelwright. Their witnesses were Frances Lily Howes and George Albert Townley. They had two children, Kenneth William, born in Coventry on 6/11/1924; died 21/9/1969 and Geoffrey John David Jnr, born 1/9/1928; died 9/11/2014.
John Snr’s father died in 1939. Probate dated 21/7/1939 read;
“Frederick Daniel Townley aka Townly (Head of Household), 53 Craven Street, Coventry died 5/3/1939. Probate Birmingham 21/7/1939 to Florence Elizabeth Lawrence Townley (Widow), George Albert Townley, water engineer and John Walter Townley, foreman wheelwright. Effects £791 14s 4d”, net value £365 5s 10d and estate duty paid was £37 7s 10d. Neither William nor Louis Townley are mentioned. Their whereabouts at the time are shown on entries under their names.
His mother Florence Elizabeth Lawrence Townley of Ye Olde House, West Haddon died on 25/1/1946 at 73 Station Road, West Haddon. The executors of the will are named as George Albert Townley of Ye Olde House and John Walter Townley of 22 Canley Road, Coventry. Her gross estate was £1259 18s 5d, net £739 8s 5d and estate duty paid was £37 7s 10d.
Jack/John Walter Townley served with the Military Police in Egypt during WW1 but there was no trace of any military records in respect of him. We have however been provided with an impressive photograph of him in military uniform.
John Snr. died on 20th January, 1980 in Horton General Hospital, Banbury. Cause of his death was carcinoma of the colon. He was living at 22 Wappingham Road, Helmdon, Northampton at the time. The death was registered by his son Geoffrey John David Townley, 16 Henley Road, Bell Green, Coventry.
(Jim Blakey 20th November, 2015)