Rank:


Lance Corporal

Service No(s):


5099

Regiment:


East Surrey Regiment

Unit:

8th Battalion

Returned:

No

Place of birth:

Newington, London

Occupation:

Shop Boy at Boot shop

Date of death:

09/08/1917

Cause of death:

Killed in action

Grave or panel reference:

Panel 34

Name of father:

Charles James Hume

Name of siblings:

Rose

Name(s) of children:

Died:

Yes

Date of birth:

Place of enlistment:

Holborn, Middlesex

Event:

France and Flanders

Age at death:

20

Cemetery or memorial:

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Sarah Susannah Townshend (nee Hume)

Name of spouse:

Address:

27 Charteris Road, Finsbury Park

Biography:

Charles Hume Townshend was the only son of Charles James and Sarah Susannah Townshend. He was born in 1896; his parents married at St Marks Church, Tollington in December of the same year.  On the marriage banns his grandfather’s profession on his father’s side is described as ‘commercial traveller’, his maternal grandfather a ‘boot maker’.

It appears as though Charles had an older sister, Rose; born in 1894 she died the following year, before Charles was born.

Census records show that by 1911 Sarah was a widow living at 27 Charteris Road, Finsbury Park with Charles and a boarder.  Charles was 14 years old and working as a shop boy for a boot maker.

Charles was recruited into the 8th Battalion of East Surrey Regiment; Service Number 5099.  He rose to the rank of Lance Corporal and fought on the Western Front.

Records show that his Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 55th Brigade in the 18th (Eastern) Division in July 1915 and fought at the Battle of Loos and the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, B Company of the 8th Battalion went into the attack dribbling two footballs which the Company Commander, Captain Wilfred Nevill had bought for his platoons to kick across no man’s land.  The “Football Attack” caught the imagination of the country, and illustrations of it are shown in the Regimental Museum, which also contains one of the footballs used.

From 10th January 1917 Charles was entitled to wear a wound stripe: a light-coloured, straight, stripe (or more than one) on the man’s left sleeve between his cuff and his elbow. The stripe was first authorised under Army Order 204 of 6 July 1916.

Charles was killed in action on the 9th August 1917.  He is remembered at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium as well as by the Hunter memorial organ at St Mellitus.

Charles’ mother, Sarah, appears to have lived to 91 years old, dying in 1951, outliving her husband, daughter and son.