Monday, 19 August 2013

Bombadier Henry Townley - Uncle Harry's great grandfather

The above newspaper cutting is from the Birmingham Gazette 1924.

3 December 1924

"One of the few remaining Crimean Veterans is removed by the death at the age of 87 of Bombardier Henry Townley of Blythe Street, Ladywood, where he lived with his son-in-law. He enlisted when a youth in the 80th Foot Regiment, and went through the whole of the Crimean campaign. His active service ended in the Bengal Horse Artillery in 1861. There remains now only two Birmingham Crimean veterans, and one of these lives at Blackpool".

(Article from the Birmingham Gazette)

NB. Townley and his family were living in nearby Springfield Street in 1881.

Henry Townley was my Uncle Harry Robinson's great grandfather. He died at home in his son-in-law's pub in Ladywood, the Vesper Bell which stood on the corner of Blythe Street and Ledsam Street.

Private Henry Townley is listed in the Medal Roll (British Forces) for service in the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859) with the 80th Foot Regiment (Staffordshire Volunteers).

Members of the Horse Artillery who fought in the Indian Mutiny
 An Indian Mutiny Medal from 1857-59
At the age of just 18/19, Henry Townley (second from top on the list below) was awarded a medal for his services in the Indian Mutiny, fighting against rebels at Sultanpore on 5th March 1858, the capture of Calpee and the campaign in Oudh in October 1858 to January 1859. In the far right column there is a note that Henry Townley transferred to the Indian Army on 31st August 1858. This would explain his change of regiment from the 80th Foot Regiment (Staffordshire Volunteers) to the Bengal Horse Artillery.

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