Townsend, Joseph Ernest
66th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Died in an aircraft accident on Tuesday 2 January 1917 (aged 25)
Bristol (Canford) Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England (Section F. Grave 320)
Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s)
Joseph Ernest Townsend was born on 15 February 1891 in Belfast Road, Lisburn, County Antrim and he was a son of Joseph and Mary Townsend (nee Trill) whose marriage was registered in the first quarter of 1888 in Birmingham, Warwickshire.
Joseph Townsend was born in England and Mary Trill was born in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.
Joseph Townsend Senior worked as a gardener and he and Mary had five children, two of whom died in infancy:
Joseph Ernest (born 15 February 1891 in Belfast Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim)
Edward John (born 29 November 1894 in Fort Lodge, Belfast Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim; was a soldier stationed in Hyde Park Barracks, London when he and Ellen May Gibson were married on 26 February 1921 in St Paul’s Church of England Church, Paddington, London; death registered September 1978 in Canterbury, Kent)
Harold Norman Victor (born 27 February 1904; baptised 27 March 1904 in St Bartholmew’s Church of England Church, Birmingham; death registered June 1962 in Birmingham, Warwickshire)
The Townsend family lived in Derriaghy; in Bangor and in England.
Before the War, Joseph Ernest Townsend worked as a tinsmith in England and, during the Great War, he served with the 66th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and he was 25 when he was killed on 2 January 1917.
Second Lieutenant Townsend was killed and his observer was severely injured in a flying accident in Gloucestershire: ‘The aeroplane when at a considerable height suddenly swerved and dropped nose downwards to the ground, the machine appearing to side-slip when banking during a turn. Second Lieutenant Townsend was dead when extracted from the wreckage; the observer was taken to hospital in critical condition’.
Second Lieutenant Joseph Ernest Townsend was buried in Bristol (Canford) Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
HE DIED AS HE LIVED
EVER REMEMBERED BY HIS BROTHERS
E.J.T. & H.N.V.T.
Second Lieutenant Joseph Ernest Townsend is commemorated on the Memorial Plaque in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s).