Captain Evelyn Richard Townsend (6C22)

Date of Birth: 7 Nov 1877
Date of Death: 4 Aug 1925
Generation: 7th
Residence: Alverstoke, Gosport
Father: Doctor Edward Richard Townsend [6C04]
Mother: Humphries, Elizabeth
  1. Clifton, Ellen Clauda Zoë
  1. Charles Edward Clifton [6C40]
  2. Evelyn Ellen Frances [6C41]
See Also: Table VIC ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Captain Evelyn Richard Townsend RN

Evelyn was born in Cork.

Married 20 January 1909. Ellen Clauda Zoë Clifton (1) was the daughter of George H Clifton, Solicitor of Constantinople.

Evelyn qualified LRCP(I) and LRCS(I) at Queen's College, Cork, in 1900. He served two tours as a civilian surgeon with the army during the Second Boer War in South Africa 1899 - 1900 and was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal (4 clasps). His brother, Major Edward Neville Townsend [6C19] also served in the Second Boer War. In December 1903 (2) he was appointed a surgeon in ‘His Majesty’s Fleet’ and in November 1911 was promoted to Staff Surgeon (3). For most of the First World War he served as the Senior Medical Officer in the Submarine Flotilla based in the Firth of Forth and during his time there invented the "Townsend Test" for the detection of arsine in small but poisonous amounts in submarines.

Evelyn was promoted Surgeon Commander March 1917. In 1924 whilst serving on the flagship HMS Calcutta in the West Indies he developed heart disease and was forced to retire on promotion to Surgeon Captain in 1925. These details cannot be traced in the London Gazette.

Evelyn died at Gosport as a result of an abscess on his lung and his obituary was published in the British Medical Journal of 15 August 1925.

Evelyn and his wife, Ellen, are buried in plot number 33 St. Mark's, Alverstoke, Gosport and their memorial reads - "In Ever Loving memory of Evelyn Richard TOWNSEND Surgeon Captain Royal Navy beloved husband of Ellen TOWNSEND and youngest son of Dr Edward TOWNSEND of Cork born November 7th 1877 died August 4th 1925 and his loving wife Ellen Claudia Zoe daughter of G.H.CLIFTON of Constantinople born March 30th 1875 died September 2nd 1955."

Evelyn's cousin Edward Bridges Townsend [6C10] was also a Surgeon RN.

(1) Ellen was born on 30 March 1875 and died on 2 September 1955.

(2) London Gazette 27621 page 7937 dated 1 December 1903.

(3) London Gazette 28553 page 8716 dated 24 November 1911.