Horace Aubrey Somerville (Pop) Townsend MBE (380)

Date of Birth: 19 May 1897
Date of Death: 6 Dec 1959
Generation: 8th
Residence: London
Father: Reverend Horace Thomas Edward (Hoddy) Townsend [346]
Mother: Hart, Eliza Jane
Spouse:
  1. Waller, Frances Vera M.
Issue:
  1. John Somerville [381]
See Also: Table III ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Horace Aubrey Somerville Townsend MBE (Pop)

Married 3 Mar 1938. Nothing is known about Frances Waller.

Horace was educated at Eastbourne until his father's death in 1911 when, aged 14, he had to start earning a living. He worked for a time with Great Western Railway in Paddington, London and during World War I undertook voluntary ambulance work, having been turned down for military service because he was too thin. It was during this period that he became increasingly interested in boys' club work, having applied for a commission in 1912 in the Church Army Cadet Corps. In 1920 he committed himself to full time social work and was appointed warden of the Florence Institute for Boys (1) in Liverpool. He was appointed warden of the John Benn Hostel (2), Stepney in 1927. In 1937 the work of the Boy's Hostels Association was extended with the establishment of King George's House Hostel (3) in Stockwell which Horace supervised for the next twenty years until his retirement in November 1956.

During World War II Horace undertook wartime youth club work around the country and established the Bedfordshire Association of Boys Clubs. He was appointed MBE in 1937 - "Horace Aubrey Somerville Townshend, Esq.,Warden of the John Benn Hostel for Boys, Bower Street, Stepney." London Gazette 34396 page 3094 dated 11 May 1837.

The London Gazette of 29 January 1960 records that Horace was living at The School House, Hankerton, near Malxnesbury, Wilts, when he died on 6 December 1959.

(1) See also.

(2) This was a much-needed home for older boys who were no longer able to live at home with their families but who needed a safe and inexpensive place to stay.

(3) It was here that Horace met Frances Waller in 1937 when she was appointed Appeals Secretary. They married in 1938.