Cyril Samuel Townsend

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Admiral Cyril Samuel Townsend, C.B., Royal Navy, Retired (28 June, 1875 – 31 March, 1949) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Townsend was born the son of Rear Admiral (eventually, Vice-Admiral) Samuel Philip Townsend of Fareham.[1]

Townsend was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 14 January, 1896.[2]

He was lent for command of a torpedo boat in the manoeuvres of 1899, but its number is not recorded.[3]

In October, 1904, he was qualified as an acting interpreter in French. On 1 February, 1905 he was appointed as Lieutenant (G) and (I) in Euryalus on the Australia Station, but official appointments as an interpreter would be infrequent for him. On 30 October, 1905 he married Mary Elizabeth Moseley, the daughter of Captain William Moseley, at Sydney, in New South Wales.[4] They would eventually have five children together.

Townsend was presently superseded in Euryalus on 23 January, 1906 and returned to England for a temporary gunnery appointment at Excellent and then a role as gunnery officer in Cressy, dated from 13 March, 1906.[5]

Townsend was promoted to the rank of Commander while serving in Cressy on 31 December, 1906. He was superseded in her on 8 January, 1907 work in the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, where he again drew upon his French skills as an acting interpreter. An appointment in Duncan spanned from 14 January, 1908 to 8 August, 1910.[6]

He took a Signal Course from 22 August, 1910 and then attended the Royal Navy War College from 12 September through 23 December 1910, where he placed fourth out of nine commanders in order of merit.[7]

The first half of 1911 found him in King Edward VII. On 24 July, however, he was appointed to Hercules to serve as Flag Commander to Vice-Admiral Callaghan, who had just transferred his flag to that ship.[8]

From 15 December, 1911, to 5 January, 1912, he served as member of a Conference on Gunnery held at the Admiralty, representing the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second Division, Home Fleet.[9]

He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1913.[10]

He took command of the Royal Navy War College, Devonport on 19 December, 1913.[11] On 2 August, 1914, he quit this post for an appointment on the Admiralty War Staff.[12]

The Great War

Townsend worked on the Admiralty War Staff until being appointed additional to Queen Elizabeth for disembarkation duties on 3 April, 1915. This appointment found him acting as Beach Master at "W" beach, where his service in action merited a commendation on 20 April. On 13 May he moved to the battleship Lord Nelson.[13]

On 4 July, 1915 Townsend was diagnosed with enteric fever and admitted to Malta Hospital. As was often the case, the illness was protracted. He was brought back to England, arriving on 9 September aboard the Braemar Castle and admitted the following day to Plymouth Hospital to convalesce. He was re-surveyed and found fit for service on 11 October, 1915.[14]

In November 1915, he was appointed to command the corvette Active, but this was cancelled in favour of command of the light cruiser Constance of the Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron. He serving on Constance through the Battle of Jutland where 4 L.C.S. supported the Grand Fleet.[15] For a time from 18 July, 1917, he was the Senior Naval Officer in the 4 L.C.S.. His role in the formation was formally enlarged on 5 January, 1918 when he was appointed second-in-command of the Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron. He would remain in this appointment through the surrender of the German fleet.[16]

Post-War

Townsend was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 19 July, 1924.[17]

He was appointed the Head of the British Naval Mission to Greece on 14 April, 1925. This posting would last a little over one year and would include some time in command of the Greek fleet at sea, but it was noted that such time would not count toward his promotion to Vice-Admiral.[18]

Townsend was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 24 May, 1929 and was placed on the Retired List the following day.[19]

Having recently suffered from some rheumatism that required a week in Haslar Hospital, Townsend was advanced to the rank of Admiral on the Retired List on 1 September, 1933.[20]

World War II

Townsend saw limited service in the conflict, including an appointment to the National Service Committee, commencing in 1939.

He died on cardiac failure on 31 March, 1949 at the age of 73.[21]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Castor
13 Oct, 1915[22] – Nov, 1915[23]
Succeeded by
James R. P. Hawksley
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Constance
Nov, 1915[24] – 25 Jan, 1919[25]
Succeeded by
Edward C. Kennedy
Preceded by
?
Second-in-Command, Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron
5 Jan, 1918[26] – 25 Jan, 1919[27]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Charles W. Keighly-Peach
Captain of Chatham Gunnery School
Jan, 1919[28] – 25 Jan, 1921[29]
Succeeded by
Wellwood G. C. Maxwell
Preceded by
Harold D. Briggs
Captain of H.M.S. Resolution
14 Apr, 1921[30] – 1 Aug, 1922[31]
Succeeded by
John E. T. Harper
Preceded by
John W. L. McClintock
Commodore-in-Command, Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth
17 Aug, 1922[32] – 26 Aug, 1924[33]
Succeeded by
Oliver E. Leggett
Preceded by
Richard G. A. W. Stapleton-Cotton
Rear-Admiral in Charge, Gibraltar
12 Mar, 1927[34] – Apr, 1929[35]
Succeeded by
Berwick Curtis
as Rear-Admiral in Charge & Admiral Superintendent, Gibraltar

Footnotes

  1. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  2. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  3. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  4. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  5. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  6. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  7. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  8. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  9. G.024/1912. at The National Archives. ADM 1/8328.
  10. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  11. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 18 December, 1913. Issue 40398, col F, p. 12.
  12. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  13. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  14. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  15. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. pp. 34, 44.
  16. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  17. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  18. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  19. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  20. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  21. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  22. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  23. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  24. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  25. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  26. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  27. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  28. The Navy List. (August, 1919). p. 865.
  29. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  30. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  31. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  32. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  33. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  34. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.
  35. Townsend Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79. f. 98.