Laura Elizabeth Provence Townshend (5D26)

Date of Birth: 19 Jan 1855
Date of Death: 12 Nov 1921
Generation: 6th
Residence: Tasmania, Capetown, England
Father: Richard William (Dick) Townsend [5D03]
Mother: Hebbert, Laura
  1. Bourdillon, Bernard
  1. Bernard
  2. Lancelot
  3. Helen
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Laura Elizabeth Provence Townshend

Laura was born in Hyeres, Provence France. This was a popular resort reputed to be beneficial for those suffering TB, as her father was. He died just ten months after she was born.

Married 2 September 1880 in Christ Church, Harrogate. Rev Bernard Keene Bourdillon (1,) son of the Rev Francis Bourdillon, Rector of Woolbeding in West Sussex, who conducted the service.

Shortly after their wedding, Bernard was appointed Rector of St George’s, Emu Bay, Tasmania (2). Sailing on the three-masted schooner SS Sobroan they arrived at Emu Bay (2) on 1 January 1881. The population of Emu Bay was about 300 when they arrived but was to grow rapidly over the next ten years. During his ministry there Bernard was very involved in building a new church, to replace the old wooden one, which was completed in 1885.

In February 1886 the family left Tasmania, bound for London, once again on the Sobroan. Sometime later Bernard was appointed Rector of Trinity Church, Capetown, South Africa, where they remained until he died in 1888.

Aged 33 Laura returned to England and in 1891 was living in Easebourne, Midhurst, Sussex. She was living at Sidley House, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex when she died. Probate of about £4,000 was left to Ella Gibbon, Laura’s stepsister.

Of the children:

Laura Frances Bourdillon was born in 1882 and died in 1883.

Bernard Henry Bourdillon was born in Emu Bay on 3 December 1883. See Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 Edn - Bourdillon, Sir Bernard Henry (1883 – 1948). He was educated at Tonbridge School and St John's College, Oxford. He joined the Indian Civil Service but transferred to the Colonial Service in 1918. After a most successful career in Africa he was appointed GCMG. Sir Bernard retired in May 1943 on account of poor health and died of TB on 6 February 1948. He married Violet Grace Billinghurst in Mumbai, India in 1909 and had three sons.

Bernard Godwin Bourdillon (1910-1946) married in 1936 in Henley, Oxon, Joy Bainbridge (1912- 2009) and had a daughter. Bernard was educated at Oxford and was a civil servant. He was killed in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Henry Townsend Bourdillon (Harry) (1913-1931) married in 1942 in Bepton, West Sussex, Margareta Tham (1916-2003) and had a stepdaughter, two daughters and a son. Harry was educated at Rugby and Oxford and was a civil servant.

Patrick Imbert Bourdillon (Imbert) (1927-2001) married in 1962 in Oxford, Joy Finnegan (1930-2000) and had a daughter and a son. Imbert was educated at Marlborough and Oxford and had a career in the Royal Navy, the Colonial Service and the Ministry of Defence.

Helen Bourdillon was born in Emu Bay on 30 March 1885. She married in 1908 in Tonbridge, Kent, Christopher (Kit) Birdwood (1882-1915) and had a son and a daughter. She died in 1951.

Christopher Birdwood (1910-1998) married in 1939 in Battle, Sussex, Sheila Woodward (1913-1985) and had a daughter and a son.

Frances Birdwood (1913-2002) married in 1935 in Kensington, London, John Russell (1911-1970) and had a daughter and a son.

Lancelot Gerard Bourdillon (Lance) was born in Cape Town on 19 March 1888. He was educated at Tonbridge and St Thomas’ Hospital and was in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Great War. He married in 1922 at Lambeth, Surrey, Sylvia Reiss (1893-1958) and had two sons and two daughters.

Margaret Bourdillon (1923-1976) married in 1950 in Henley, Oxon, Ham Ramsay (1915-2-11) and had a son and a daughter.

Dr John Lancelot Bourdillon (1925-1996) married twice and had three daughters.

Annette M. Bourdillon (1927-1992) married in 1956 in Henley, Oxon, and had two daughters.

Peter Bourdillon (1929-1931)

Most of the information in this record was provided by Viveca English, Laura’s great great granddaughter through her grandson Henry Townsend Bourdillon.

(1) Bernard was born in 1854 and died on 2 July 1888. He was educated at Haileybury and Queen's College, Oxford (MA 1878).

(2) Now called Burnie.