Captain Samuel Edward Townsend (441)

Date of Birth: 29 Jun 1885
Date of Death: ka 10 May 1915
Generation: 8th
Residence: Perth, Western Auatralia
Father: Edward Becher Townsend [433]
Mother: White, Elizabeth Ellen
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table IV ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Captain Samuel Edward Townsend. See also

Samuel was born in Port MacKay, Queensland, a year before his father was drowned there. Sometime after this tragic loss and before he went to Sydney University in about 1905, Samuel's mother married Mr W. Barnes of ‘Selwood’, 141 Alison Road, Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales.

Following his studies at Sydney University (BA LLB) Samuel practiced as a barrister. At the outbreak of WWI in September 1914, he applied for a commission in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). According to his 'Application for a Commission' he had "About 13 years service Sydney University Scouts (?) - Captain and third in command up to 2/8/14." His application also shows that he was Registrar at the University of Perth (1), Western Australia, was 5’ 10” tall but only weighed 10 stone 5lbs!

Samuel was commissioned Captain in the 16th Battalion AIF on 1 Oct 1914 in Perth and he embarked for Gallipoli on HMAT (His Majesty’s Australian Transport?) A40 “Ceramic” (2) at Melbourne on 22 Dec 1914. Appointed Company Commander on 8 May 1915 he moved up to a high point on the front very close to the Turkish trenches known as Quinn’s Post. Two days later the Turks attacked the position and secured a foothold in the Australian trenches there. Ordered to re-take the position Samuel with about 40 men of the 16th Battalion led the counter attack in the dark. As he went over the parapet he shouted 'Fix bayonets - when I call “Australia for ever” charge'. They were met by a hail of fire, Samuel was shot in the foot and later was shot fatally as he was being evacuated. Full details can be found at "Engaged to Act on Another Front - A Working Paper describing the actions of Members of the New South Wales Legal Profession on Gallipoli."

Thirty two officers of the 16th Battalion were photographed as a group in early 1915. Twelve of them were killed in action between 27 April and 9 May 1915 - seven alone were killed on 2 May. Page 693 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Probate of the will of "Samuel Edward Townshend late of Randwick near Sydney New South Wales Barrister”, who died on 10 May 1915, was granted at Sydney on 9 November 1915 to "Victor LB Haigh Barrister”. Resealed at Dublin on 19 July 1916. Effects in Ireland £40 7s 3d.

Further on-line information about Samuel can be found at Roll of Honour and Service Record - click on 'View digital copy'. (It takes time to load as there are 52 pages!)

In a letter dated (3) 18 March 1928 to Edward Mansel Townsend [630], Annie Townsend [439] writes of her nephew Captain Samuel Edward Townshend being killed during the Gallipoli campaign. Sadly Samuel was the last survivor in the male line of the Townsends of Whitehall. (4)

(1) Now the University of Western Australia

(2) The digitised record is most interesting - it shows that he was a Methodist and gives his various rates of pay.

(3) Llanvapley Papers.

(4) The entry for Whitehall in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Edward Townsend held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £22. Lewis noted it as the residence of S. Townsend in 1837. In 1906 it was owned by the representatives of Samuel R. Townsend and valued at £21. Bence-Jones indicates that it later became the property of the Alleyne family."

Other ‘Townsend’ Australian émigrés - * Denotes with descendants.

Jonas Morris Townsend [237], Thomas Townsend [339]*, Edward James Townsend [340]*, James Townsend [342], Reuben Joseph Townsend [373]*, Edward Townsend [374]*, Edward Becher Townsend [433]*, Edward Townsend [445]*, Edward Carr Townsend [5A01]*, Andrew Colin Crofton Townsend [5B38]*, David Michael Hume Townsend [667]*, Penelope Townsend [671], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A20]*, Sarah Townsend [6B56], Constance Rosemary Townsend [6C32]*.