William Townsend

The Record of Baptisms shows the baptism of William Townsend at West Haddon on 1/1/1895.   His father is shown as Alfred Townsend and the mother as Townsend Townsend (really).

The only trace of William is contained in the 1901 Census which shows Roger Cowley  Head of the Household aged 57 an ordinary agricultural labourer, born in Cold Ashby living with his wife Harriett aged 50, born West Haddon and Willie Townsend their nephew, aged 6, born West Haddon living at 202 Woodmarket, Lutterworth..

There is a record of the death of Roger Cowley in Lutterworth in the July- September quarter of 1907.  The age at death equates to the above Roger Cowley.

I can find no trace of Harriett Cowley,  Alfred Townsend, Townsend Townsend  or William Townsend in the 1911 Census.

I can find no military record in respect of William Townsend.  A visit to the Northampton shire Record Office and an examination of the Absentee Voters’ List (1919) for West Haddon recorded the absence of regimental number 36031, rank Gunner of the 25th Hy Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery.


The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) was an arm of the Royal Artillery that was originally tasked with manning the guns of the British Empire‘s forts and fortresses, including coastal artillery batteries, the heavy gun batteries attached to each infantry division, and the guns of the siege artillery.  The Royal Garrison Artillery came into existence as a separate entity when existing coastal defence, mountain, siege and heavy batteries of the Royal Artillery were amalgamated into a new sub-branch. A royal warrant provided that from 1 June 1899: From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery, the RGA grew into a very large component of the British forces on the battlefield, being armed with heavy, large-calibre guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power.

Jim Blakey 11th March, 2017