Decorated Bramber-born war hero

Bramber Street

14349 Private Stanley Joseph Elliott Townsend, 9th (Service) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment

Stanley was born in Bramber in 1890, the son of Theodore Spencer Elliott Townsend and his wife Jane, née Stephens, and the second of their four children.

By 1901 the family had moved to 15 Priory Road, East Ham, Essex.

Stanley was 11 and his father was a watchman at an electric car works.

At the time of his death in 1908, Theodore was the proprietor of the Marquis of Granby Hotel, Littleport, Cambridgeshire where the 1911 Census shows Stanley working as a cellar man, and his older brother, Percy, as head barman.

Stanley enlisted in Littleport and arrived in France on September 23, 1915.

He died of wounds, aged 27, on Friday, May 4, 1917 and was buried in grave I.Q.21 in Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Although Stanley was born in Bramber he was not commemorated on any of our local war memorials – probably because the family had moved away from the area.

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and Victory Medal.

An extract from The People of Beeding and Bramber in the Great War by Pat Nightingale and Ken Wilson-Wheeler

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