Author Topic: Alexander Cockburn Townsend  (Read 797 times)

Offline townsec47

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Alexander Cockburn Townsend
« on: Friday 24 January 14 06:39 GMT (UK) »
Can anybody shed any light on the death of Alex in a "railway accident" late in Dec (31?) 1964. He worked in the Natural History Museum, London. Although a Townsend he is not one of mine, just a very distant relo

Offline rosie99

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Re: Alexander Cockburn Townsend
« Reply #1 on: Friday 24 January 14 06:46 GMT (UK) »
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Offline rosie99

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Re: Alexander Cockburn Townsend
« Reply #2 on: Friday 24 January 14 07:49 GMT (UK) »
Hi

The Times Saturday, Jan 02, 1965; pg. 13; Issue 56209 has an obituary

and
The Times  Tuesday, Jan 12, 1965; pg. 6; Issue 56217
Mr Alexander Cockburn Townsend age 59 librarian at the natural history section at the British Museum, whose body was found on the railway line near Welwyn Garden City on the night before he was made OBE in the New Years honours died accidentally, a jury decided at an inquest here today.

It was stated that the train that he was travelling on was late because of engine failure and had broken down for the second time at signals outside the station.  The driver of a passing train had reported seeing a door open and hitting something.
A passenger on the train said a man had opened the door of his compartment and told him "There is another train on this line and is going to crash into us. I am going to get out"  He could not identify the man as Mr Townsend
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Offline townsec47

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Re: Alexander Cockburn Townsend
« Reply #3 on: Friday 24 January 14 08:16 GMT (UK) »
Thanks rosie99, this is why I love roots chat, although Alex not part of my family line just had to find out more, cheers from Australia


Offline BKS

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Re: Alexander Cockburn Townsend
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 16 January 18 07:05 GMT (UK) »
Hi
Just thought I would add a personal note to this.
Alex and his wife Ruth were family friends and I was staying with them (aged 6) on the night of his death, which -as outlined- was a tragic accident. Returned to my parents by police car at 5am the next morning, I have recollections of seeing the always calm and collected Ruth in utter distress.
I remember Alex as the kindest and gentlest of men, and he was certainly well respected in his field.