George Townshend

Census Address: 3 Peel's Buildings, St Paul's Street
Place of Birth: Stamford
Date of Birth: 1898
Enlistment Address: --
Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment
Service Numbers: --
Place of Death: --
Date Died: --
St Paul's Street, looking East

George was born in Stamford in 1898. In 1911 he was 13 and lived at 3 Peels Buildings (now demolished), St Paul’s Street with his parents George and Sarah (nee Skellett) Townshend and 4 siblings Albert – born 1902, Doris – born 1905, Louisa – born 1907 and Evelyn – born 1909. His father was born in Uppingham and his mother in Empingham. All the children were born in Stamford. His father was a cycle agent and George was still at school. On the 1911 Census, Sarah Ann Hales aged 76 was a visitor to the house.

In 1901 George and his parents had been living with his widowed maternal grandmother Susannah Skellett who was the publican at The Sun and Railway Inn, 2 Church Street, St Martin’s, Stamford. On this census, George shared the surname Skellett with his mother even though his mother had married ‘his father’ George Townshend in 1900 in Stamford. On this census his father George Townshend was a hairdresser. The names of seven lodgers are also included on the census. (George’s paternal grandparents ran a China and Glass and Hairdressing business in High Street, Uppingham)

George’s war service has not been positively located. A ‘George Townsend’ ( without the ‘h’) mobilized in 1916 and served in the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. This is listed in ‘Stamford and the Great War’.

George’s father died in Stamford in 1934, his mother died in 1955. George’s brother, Albert, was still living at 3 Peels Buildings in 1963. This is recorded in the National Probate Record at the time of his death.

No information of a marriage or death for George has been found.


Amendments and Addenda

  • George’s legal name was George Harold Townshend Skellett and was thus recorded on his birth certificate. (This suggests that George Townshend and Sarah Skellett were his parents but it seems they did not marry until 2 years after his birth.)
  • No-one in the family is sure how or why Townshend became Townsend. The stigma of illegitimacy may have led to the dropping of the ‘h’ later. Certainly, no future generations used the old spelling.
  • George’s service in World War One remains a source of family speculation. It is believed that his widow disposed of most of the evidence following his death.
  • George married Constance Edith Whiting, daughter of James and Elizabeth Whiting of South Wigston on May 2nd, 1925 at St George’s Church, Stamford. There were four daughters: Joan (1925-2009); Marjorie Constance (1929-); Margaret Elizabeth (1937- ) (Mrs Margaret Jackson who still lives in Stamford) and Maureen Ann (1940- ).
  • George died on the 1st May 1956 of a combination of broncho-pneumonia and cancer of the right lung and is buried in Stamford cemetery.
  • His mother, Sarah Ann Townsend, outlived him dying of senility on 26th April 1958 (not 1955)