honor role

Townsend, Fred James

* 1683 Pte 16th Bn.

Born Fremantle, Congregational.  Enlisted 18 January 1915 age 21, clerk. Nok parents, Mary and George Townsend, Battle St Mosman Park. Embarked at Fremantle 22 February 1915 per A50 Itonus.  Killed in action at Gallipoli 2 May 1915, Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.  Service medals: 1914-15 Star, BWM and VM. Later information challenges the report of his death. A mate claimed that Fred was wounded and taken aboard a hospital ship. Private John Helsin of Battle St (see Helsin in this book) stated, ‘I saw Fred Townsend in Egypt who now looks well and fat, but his mind is affected. It was some time before he was able to recollect me.’ On 29 April 1916, Henry Grieg the General Secretary of the Red Cross, wrote to the Officer in Charge of Base Records about his inquires into the matter. He referred to a Captain Taylor who had worked in the same Western Australian bank as Pte Helson who would not sign a Statutory Declaration but insisted that he saw Fred Townsend after Gallipoli.  Did Fred die at Gallipoli or was he repatriated to Australia under another soldier’s name?