Colonel George Robert Townshend (6A15)

Date of Birth: 13 April 1856
Date of Death: February 1929
Generation: 6th
Residence: Woolwich and Bexhill on Sea
Father: Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03]
Mother: Newman, Frances Helena
  1. Wisdom, Petrie
  1. Hugh [6A28]
  2. Dorothea Petrie [6A29]
See Also: Table VIA ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Colonel George Robert Townshend

George was born at Garrycloyne (1).

In her autobiography, ‘Anything Once’ George’s daughter Dorothy Petrie Townsend (Carew) [6A29] wrote “My father nearly came to an untimely end in the first few months of his life as he was put out to nurse with a foster mother while my grandmother, her taste for gaieties evidently unquenched after the births of 13 children, went to London for the Season. The foster mother had not enough milk and on his mother’s return my unfortunate father was found to be nearly starved to death.”

Married 10 October 1886 at St Luke’s, Redcliffe Square, London. Petrie Wisdom (2) was the daughter of Thomas Howard Wisdom (3) of Blackrock, Dublin.

George was educated at a preparatory school in Clifton, Bristol, run by Miss Perrin, the sister of the Rector at Garrycloyne. From there he went to Haileybury in 1869 and then to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1873. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 28 June 1875 (4) and sent to India in 1876, returning from there in 1881. Promoted Captain on 16 November 1883, it was whilst George was stationed in Guernsey in 1885 that he met Petrie.

By the time George was appointed Second Class Assistant Inspector for Warlike Stores (5) on 1 April 1890 he and Petrie were living in Westcombe Park Road, Woolwich, London, where their son Hugh was born. Being the first occupants of the house they were asked by the landlord to name it – this they did and called it Garrycloyne!

Appointed as an Instructor at the Artillery College, Woolwich on 1 April 1891 (6) George remained there until 1898 being promoted to Major in the meantime and appointed Professor of Artillery.

In March 1897 George was posted to Rangoon, Burma leaving his family behind in London. He remained there until February 1901 when he returned to the UK. Later that year he was posted on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel on 16 July 1901 to command the Royal Garrison Artillery (7) in Dover. In February 1907 he was promoted Colonel and appointed Commandant of the Royal Ordnance College, Woolwich (8), where he remained until he retired in February 1911 (9).

When their daughter Dorothy started at Cheltenham Ladies College in the autumn of 1912 George and Petrie moved there to be close to her. This was followed by a move to Walton by Clevedon in Somerset in the summer of 1917 when Dorothy finished at university. They later moved to Bexhill on Sea.

Judge John FitzHenry Townsend [250] shows the marriage as 12 October 1886.

(1) Ordnance survey of Ireland. Discovery Series. 1:50,000. Map sheet 80, grid reference W593803.

(2) Petrie was born on 29 Dec 1856 and died in April 1930.

(3) ‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ records under the heading ‘Dublin Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, and Private Residents’ - “Wisdom Thomas H. 7 Maxwell rd. Rathgar.” The Directory also records under the heading ‘Dublin Directory - Portuguese Consulate, 1 College Street. Consul’ - “Wisdom Thomas H. 7 Maxwell rd, Rathmines.”

(4) London Gazette 24243 page 4409 dated 7 September 1875.

(5) London Gazette 26040 page 2100 dated 8 April 1890

(6) London Gazette 26146 page 1669 dated 24 March 1891.

(7) London Gazette 27348 page 5589 dated 23 August 1901.

(8) London Gazette 27998 page 1282 dated 22 February 1907.

(9) London Gazette 28465 page 1155 dated 14 February 1911.