Southam in WW1

Centenary Archive

Honouring those who died and all who served


Able Seaman Raymond Townsend

Raymond Townsend (born 1892), like his brothers Claude and Thomas was brought up in Napton but by the end of WWI his parents, Thomas and Ellen, lived in Southam. He joined the Royal Navy in March 1917 and as the list below shows he served on a number of ships after training on the shore-based HMS Excellent.

He had three spells of duty on HMS Hecla which gives some indication of his war service. Hecla was a civilian ship purchased for use as a stock or supply ship. It supported the Second Destroyer Flotilla from Belfast so he would have seen or been in support of action in the North Sea.

Like his brothers he had made his way to Coventry for employment and by 1911 he lived in lodgings in the city working in the artificial silk industry. He married Blanche Chayter of Foleshill in 1916 but his connection to Southam, through his parents, meant he was mentioned in the Rugby Advertiser on the  Southam Roll of Honour in the newspaper in September 1918.

The couple lived in Coventry and by 1939 he was employed as a pipe fitter. He died in Coventry in 1970.