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  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
Person Details
Tom was born in Arnold in 1892, the son of John and Lucy Townsend. Tom was one of five children who were all still alive at the time of the 1911 Census: John (b. 1885), Emma (b. 1887), Maud (b. 1889), Tom (b. 1892) and Nellie (b. 1896). All the children were born in Arnold, Nottinghamshire John senior was born in Normanton, Derbyshire, and Lucy in Tibshelf, Derbyshire but they were living on (-) Row, Arnold, by the time of the 1891 Census. John was a coal miner (banksman). In 1891 they had three children; John (6), Emma (4) and Maud (2). By 1901 the family was living on Surgeys Lane, Arnold. There were only four children still at home; Emma (14) who worked in a laundry, Maud (12), Tom (8) and Nellie (5). The eldest child, John, has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census but in 1906 he married Beatrice Purdy and it is likely that they lived initially in Arnold as their eldest child was born there in about 1907. By 1911, though, John, a coal miners' loader, and his wife were living at Greenhill Lane, Alfreton, Derbyshire, with their three children, John Henry (4), Catherine Lucy (2) and Alice Maud (1); both girls were born at Greehill Lane. In 1911 John and Lucy were living on Cross Street, Arnold, and only Tom (18) and Nellie (15) were at home the night of the census. Tom was working as a baker and Nellie as a machinist (blouse).
In 1911 he was employed as a baker
27 Oct 1916
816872 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters at Nottingham on the 6th August 1914, being sent to their 3rd (Training Reserve) battalion then at Crownhill Barracks Plymouth. After training he was posted to the 1st battalion of the regiment which was then in France and Flanders joining them on the 28th April 1915, near Rue du Bois as part of a draft of 194 other ranks of which 105 had previously served in France, he was posted to served with “A” Company. The regimental records go on to show that on the 25th March 1916, he was admitted into hospital when the battalion were in the front line at Souchez (from the description of the weather in the battalion war diary he was probably suffering from frost bite or even trench foot). He returned to duty on the 25th of April, rejoining the battalion at Divion. Thomas was one of those who had been bringing in the rations to the Front Line trenches and he was hit by the enemy fire when aged only 24 years. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Remembered on


  • Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley
    Tom Townsend - Photo provided courtesy of Cliff Housley