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  • Buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kessel, Germany. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
24 Dec 1892
Sutton in Ashfield Nottinghamshire
Fred was the eldest son of John and Ellen Townsend (née Turner). John and Ellen were married at Sutton in Ashfield St Mary Magdalene in August 1892 and had four sons who were born in Sutton in Ashfield: Fred b. 24 December 1892 (reg. 1893 J/F/M), James b. 1894, Sidney b. 1896 and John b. 1898. All the children were baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Fred on 23 January 1893. John and Ellen were living at 7 Cursham Street, Sutton in Ashfield, when Fred was baptised in 1893 and were still at the same address in 1901. However, by 1911 the family was living at 17 St Michael's Street, Sutton in Ashfield. Fred was a barber, his brothers James and Sidney were colliery banksmen and John was still at school. Fred married Clara Humber (b. 1895) in 1913 and they had a daughter, Irene, in February 1914. They lived at 12 Oaktree Lane, Sutton in Ashfield, but were living at Mason's Square, Pelham Street, Mansfield, when Fred enlisted in 1914. Clara later lived at 21 Langford Street, Sutton in Ashfield.
1911 - barber. Fred gave his occupation as coal miner when he enlisted in 1914.
23 Oct 1918
904420 - CWGC Website
Mason's Square, Pelham Street, Mansfield. Enlisted Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
1st Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). The 1st Battalion was serving in Bombay, India, at the outbreak of war but returned to England in October 1914. It served in France from November 1914. Fred enlisted on 2 December 1914. He did not immediately join the 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters as he served in Egypt from 1 July 1915. He was admitted to the Government School Hospital at Port Said, Egypt, on 1 August 1915 having suffered gunshot wounds to both buttocks, and then on 16 November was transferred to the 19th General Hospital at Alexandria. He was invalided to England on the Hospital Ship Llanfranc on 17 November 1915. Following his recovery, Fred was posted to France on 10 February 1916, but on 15 April suffered gunshot wounds to his left thigh and back. He was admitted to hospital in Wimereux then on 19 April evacuated to England (HS New Haven) where he was treated at Huddersfield War Hospital. Fred returned to France on 30 August 1916 and was taken prisoner of war two years later on 26 August 1918. He died of wounds at 07:30 on 23 October 1918 at a German prisoner of war hospital in Gottingen, Germany. He is buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kessel, Germany, grave ref. VII.B.16, but the history of the Cemetery suggests that Fred's grave was brought in after the war. CWGC - History of Niederzwehren Cemetery (extract): 'The cemetery was begun by the Germans in 1915 for the burial of prisoners of war who died at the local camp ... In 1922-23 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries. Niederzwehren was one of those chosen and in the following four years, more than 1,500 graves were brought into the cemetery from 190 burial grounds in Baden, Bavaria, Hanover, Hesse and Saxony [burial grounds listed including Gottingen Military Cemetery, Hanover, which had 88 burials of 1914-1919]. There are now 1,796 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the Commonwealth plot at Niederzwehren.' (www.cwgc.org)
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his widow Clara was his sole legatee. His widow was awarded a pension of 20 shillings 5 pence a week with effect from 28 July 1919.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kessel, Germany. (www.cwgc.org)
    Fred Townsend - Buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kessel, Germany. (www.cwgc.org)