Algy died on 15 July 2000, aged almost 83.

Cpl AJ Townsend
Cpl AJ Townsend

He enlisted on 7 October 1935 at Birmingham and was posted to the 3rd King’s Own Hussars, who were stationed at Tidworth.

In January 1937, together with many other 3rd Hussars, he was transferred to the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars. He joined them at the Main Barracks, Abbassia, Cairo.

He was employed as a clerk in Sabre Squadron, RHQ and the Quartermasters. He was awarded his 2nd Class Education Certificate in May 1937. He assisted the pre-war editor of The Crossbelts. He was appointed lance corporal in December 1939.

He qualified as a driver/operator and took part in the desert campaigns. The date of his promotion to corporal is not known, but his discharge papers show him as such.

He returned with the Regiment to the UK in December 1943 to prepare for the Normandy Landings. He took part in the campaign in North West Europe until October 1944 when he returned to the UK for ten months.

He served again in North West Europe from August to December 1945. He took his release in April 1946.

In civilian life he took on several jobs; as a security guard at a car manufacturer; a lawn mower mechanic; a farm worker; a feed meal worker and finally as a bulldozer driver for the Sussex River Authority before he retired due to ill health in the early 1970s.

He was married with four sons. He took great pleasure in building model aeroplanes, amateur art and oil painting, painting stage sets and was involved in stage lighting for an amateur dramatics society. He held several certificates for ballroom dancing and was a keen photographer, especially of historic buildings such as churches and castles.

These were just a few of his interests and as a man of many talents was always willing to help people whenever he could. He was an active member for many years of the St John Ambulance Brigade, which was represented at his funeral.

Algy was a loyal and supportive member of the Regimental Association and his local troop, Balaklava Troop. In later years he had to use a wheelchair to get around, but this did not stop his attendance at troop events. Each Armistice Day he laid a Regimental wreath at Eastbourne War Memorial.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Timeline: Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
  3. Timeline: North-West Europe 1944-45