Peter Townsend
British flying ace
Peter Townsend
Group Captain Peter Wooldridge Townsend, CVO, DSO, DFC and Bar, RAF was Equerry to King George VI 1944–1952 and held the same position for Queen Elizabeth II 1952–1953. Group Captain Townsend is best known for his ill-fated romance with Princess Margaret.
Biography
Peter Townsend's personal information overview.
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Photo Albums
Popular photos of Peter Townsend
News
News abour Peter Townsend from around the web
Local artisans star at Renaissance Fair - nwitimes.com
Google News - over 5 years
Fest goers still have time to visit the interesting shops of Crown Point's Jennifer and Peter Townsend and LaPorte's Carolyn and Al Gardner on the grounds of the Medieval-themed fair. The Bristol Renaissance Fair runs through Sept
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Christchurch rebuild predicted to run 15 years - Stuff.co.nz
Google News - over 5 years
Christchurch will be the construction capital of New Zealand for longer than first thought, at least 15 years, says Canterbury business leader Peter Townsend. The jump in the liabilities of the EQC to $7.1 billion is no surprise, said Townsend,
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Bristol-Open University collaboration wins Peter Townsend memorial book prize - University of Bristol
Google News - over 5 years
A book co-authored by Randall Smith, Professor of Social Gerontology in the School for Policy Studies, and colleagues Julia Johnson and Sheena Rolph from The Open University, has won the inaugural Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize
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Business chief praises Canterbury businesses - 3News NZ (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce CEO Peter Townsend says despite the devastation most businesses have managed to survive by relocating. And for those still struggling, things are gradually improving. "We have been absolutely amazed the
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Youngster Priestley has afternoon to remember for Denholme - Bradford Telegraph and Argus
Google News - over 5 years
Only Chris Gildea, with 40, offered much resistance as the home side were dismissed for 138, with Andrew Townsend taking 4-43 and Peter Townsend 4-51. Third Division leaders Oakworth II received three points after the late withdrawal of Cononley II
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Businesses feel weather impact - The Press
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the preparation for the snowfall had been helped to an extent by a "gradual" fall, with firms ready to help staff in by better transport options in some cases
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Govt may partially fund CBD plan - Newstalk ZB
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says the chamber will put in a submission as part of the plan's public consultation phase. "Most important thing from my perspective is that we ensure that we create an iconic downtown
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Language schools feel the pinch - New Zealand Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the city's biggest battle was with perception, and although about 70 per cent of the businesses "are back to usual trading", tourists and international students were still
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Rebuild to face higher interest - Stuff.co.nz
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said it was "an important decision for Canterbury" that Bollard had not pushed rates up yesterday, but rate rises by the end of the year appeared inevitable given building
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Buchanan starts strongly at masters - Stuff.co.nz
Google News - over 5 years
Buchanan's heat total of 10.15 in the small surf was one of the top five of the opening day and saw him edge out Australia's former world champions Peter Townsend and Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew. It still wasn't good enough to beat another Australian,
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Christchurch's new white zone - The Press
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce's Peter Townsend described yesterday's "snow day" as a long weekend. "It's inconvenient of course but I think compared with what our businesses have been through I don't think it will have a long-term effect,"
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Roworth's massive 44 haul gives 'Dogs win - Warren Advocate
Google News - over 5 years
Dunedoo 46 (Tom Yeo 2, Josh Flippo 2, Tyson Searle, Wes Coe, Peter Townsend, Shane Madden tries, Searle 3, Billy Foe Francis 3, Tom Besgrove goals) defeated Gilgandra 20 (Alex Prout 2, Shaun Reynolds, Jamie Towney tries, Matt Riddle 2 goals)
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Christchurch optimistic through quakes - New Zealand Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the survey result was good news, reflecting the fact that Christchurch was going to be "the construction capital of New Zealand" over the next 10 years
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Party leaders to lay down battle lines - Marlborough Express
Google News - over 5 years
In August, the chamber will hear from Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O'Reilly and from Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend. Mr Townsend will explain the lessons Canterbury businesses have learned about earthquakes
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Government urged to help insure crippled businesses - Radio New Zealand
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Townsend says the insurance companies' actions are crippling local business as some are unable to continue without insurance. He says insurers are unlikely to change their processes. Mr Townsend is suggesting the Government intervene and insure
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Insurance freeze 'crippling Christchurch's recovery' - Stuff.co.nz
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the insurance market in Christchurch was "broken", with a halt to new business policies and higher premiums for existing customers. "If we don't have a free-flowing insurance
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Bills skyrocket in quake's wake - Stuff.co.nz
Google News - over 5 years
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said insurance excess was commonly jumping from a dollar amount to about 5 per cent of total assets. So a business with $4 million of assets was having now to shoulder an excess
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Townsend
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1995
    Age 80
    Townsend died of stomach cancer in 1995, at the age of 80, in Rambouillet, France.
    More Details Hide Details A sculpture of Group Captain Townsend stands in Townsend Square, part of the Kings Hill development on the site formerly occupied by RAF West Malling. His son Giles Townsend was President of the Cambridge Bomber and Fighter Society currently restoring a MK I Hawker Hurricane of No. 85 Squadron RAF and a Hawker Fury biplane of No. 43 Squadron RAF. His son Hugo Townsend is married to Yolande, Princess of Ligne. A sculpture of Group Captain Townsend, designed by Guy Portelli, was erected at West Malling airfield in 2002.
  • FORTIES
  • 1960
    Age 45
    Although Princess Margaret later married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960, she herself underwent a divorce in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details Peter Townsend spent much of his later years writing non-fiction books. His books include Earth My Friend (about driving/boating around the world alone in the mid-1950s), Duel of Eagles (about the Battle of Britain), The Odds Against Us (also known as Duel in the Dark) (about fighting Luftwaffe night bombers in 1940–1941), The Last Emperor (a biography of King George VI), The Girl in the White Ship (about a young refugee from Vietnam in the late 1970s who was the sole survivor of her ship of refugees), The Postman of Nagasaki (about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki), and Time and Chance (an autobiography). He also wrote many short articles and contributed to other books. Townsend was a director of one of Gerald Carroll's Carroll Group companies. Peter Townsend was one of several military advisors for the film Battle of Britain (1969), and he also appeared in the PBS video, The Windsors: A Royal Family (1994).
  • 1959
    Age 44
    Posted to Belgium, Townsend met and married Marie-Luce Jamagne, a woman of that nationality, in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Their daughter, Isabelle Townsend, became a Ralph Lauren advertising model in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Isabelle and her family live in a house in France named "The Mill," where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor once resided. Group Captain Townsend is best known for his romance with Princess Margaret. He had met the Princess in his role as an equerry to her father, King George VI. Divorced people suffered severe disapproval in the social atmosphere of the time, and could not remarry in the Church of England. Thus, despite his distinguished career, Townsend had no chance of marriage with the princess unless she renounced her royal privileges. Their relationship caused enormous controversy after Margaret's sister acceded to the throne. The Princess eventually renounced Townsend, who was sent to take up a post at the British Embassy in Belgium.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1953
    Age 38
    He retired from the Royal Household in the next year, and was air attaché in Brussels 1953 to 1956.
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    In the same year, the appointment was made permanent, and he served until 1953, when he became Extra Equerry, an honorary office he held until his death.
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  • 1950
    Age 35
    In August 1950, he was made deputy Master of the Household and was moved to comptroller to the Queen Mother in 1952.
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  • 1948
    Age 33
    He was promoted group captain in 1948.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1944
    Age 29
    In 1944, he was appointed temporary equerry to King George VI.
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  • 1943
    Age 28
    In January 1943, he was appointed commanding officer of RAF West Malling.
    More Details Hide Details His wartime record was 9 aircraft claimed destroyed (and 2 shared), 2 'probables' and 4 damaged.
  • 1942
    Age 27
    Townsend was later leader of No. 605 Squadron RAF, a night fighter unit, and attended the staff college from October 1942.
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  • 1941
    Age 26
    On 17 July 1941, Peter Townsend married (Cecil) Rosemary Pawle (1921–2004) with whom he had two sons, Giles (1942–2015) and Hugo (b. 1945). They divorced in 1952. Rosemary later married John de László (son of the painter Philip de László), and still later, in 1978, became the third wife of the 5th Marquess Camden.
    More Details Hide Details After the divorce, Townsend proposed marriage to Princess Margaret, who was inclined to accept him, and applied to the Queen for her consent. This was not forthcoming, and the prospective couple went their separate ways.
    Awarded a Distinguished Service Order in April 1941, he later became commanding officer of RAF Drew in April 1942 and commanded No. 611 Squadron RAF, a Spitfire unit.
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    Townsend oversaw the conversion of No. 85 Squadron to night operations at RAF Hunsdon during early 1941.
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  • 1940
    Age 25
    A Bar to his DFC was awarded in early September 1940.
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    On 11 July 1940 Townsend, flying Hurricane VY-K (P2716) intercepted a Dornier Do 17 of KG 2 and severely damaged the bomber, forcing it to crash land at Arras.
    More Details Hide Details Return fire from the Dornier hit the Hurricane coolant system and Townsend was forced to ditch 20 miles from the English coast, being rescued by HM Trawler Cape Finisterre. On 31 August, during combat with Bf 110s over Tonbridge, Townsend was shot down and wounded in the left foot by a cannon shell which went through the glycol tank and exploded in the cockpit. He continued to lead the unit on the ground even after this wound resulted in his big toe being amputated, and he returned to operational flying on 21 September.
    By May 1940, Townsend was one of the most capable squadron leaders of the Battle of Britain, serving throughout the battle as commanding officer of No. 85 Squadron RAF, flying Hawker Hurricanes.
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    Townsend was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in April 1940.
    More Details Hide Details Two more He 111s were claimed by Townsend, on 22 February and 8 April, and a sixth share on 22 April. Enemy aircraft had been shot down in 1939 by the RAF from over Scotland's Scapa Flow shipyards during the Luftwaffe's first raid on Britain.
  • 1937
    Age 22
    He returned to Tangmere in 1937 as a member of No. 43 Squadron RAF.
    More Details Hide Details The first enemy aircraft to crash on English soil during the Second World War fell victim to fighters from Acklington on 3 February 1940 when three Hurricanes of ‘B’ flight, No. 43 Squadron, shot down a Heinkel 111 of 4./KG 26 near Whitby. The pilots were Flight Lieutenant Townsend, Flying Officer "Tiger" Folkes and Sergeant James Hallowes.
  • 1936
    Age 21
    In 1936 he was posted to No. 36 Squadron RAF in Singapore, flying the Vickers Vildebeest torpedo bomber.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1933
    Age 18
    Townsend joined the Royal Air Force in 1933, and trained at RAF Cranwell.
    More Details Hide Details On graduation he joined No. 1 Squadron RAF at RAF Tangmere flying the Hawker Fury biplane fighter.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1914
    Born
    Peter Townsend was born 1914 in Rangoon, Burma, and was educated at Haileybury College.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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