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TOWNSHEND, Maj Gen Sir Charles Vere Ferrers (1861- 1924)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Townshend
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: TOWNSHEND, Maj Gen Sir Charles Vere Ferrers (1861- 1924)
Date(s): Created 1899-1937, 1964-1966
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes or 0.02 cubic metres
Name of creator(s):


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1861; educated at Cranleigh School, Kent and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; commissioned into the Royal Marine Light Infantry, 1881; Sudan Expedition, 1884-1886; transferred to Indian Army, 1886; Hunza Naga Expedition, India, 1891-1892; Capt, 1892; garrison commander during siege of Chitral Fort, North West Frontier, India, 1895; Maj, 1895; awarded CB, 1895; transferred to Egyptian Army, 1896; Lt Col, 1896; Dongola Expedition, Sudan, 1896; Commanding Officer, 12 Sudanese Bn, Egypt, 1896-1898; Nile Expedition, Sudan, 1898; Battles of Atbara and Khartoum, Sudan, 1898; awarded DSO, 1898; Second Boer War, South Africa, 1899-1902; Assistant Adjutant General on staff of Military Governor, Orange Free State, South Africa, 1900; transferred to Royal Fusiliers, 1900; Col, 1904; Military Attaché, Paris, France, 1905; transferred to King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 1906; Assistant Adjutant General, 9 Div, India, 1907-1908; command of Orange River Colony District, South Africa, 1908-1911; Brig Gen, 1909; Maj Gen, 1911; General Officer Commanding East Anglian Div, Territorial Force, 1911-1913; command of Jhanzi Bde, India, 1913; Rawal Pindi Bde, India, 1913-1915; served World War One, 1914-1918; General Officer Commanding 6 Indian Div, Mesopotamia, 1915-1916; commanded 6 Indian Div at Battles of Kurna, Kut el Amara, Ctesiphon and the defence and siege of Kut el Amara, 1915-1916; POW, 1916-1918; created KCB, 1917; resigned, 1920; Independent Conservative MP for the Wrekin, Shropshire, 1920-1922; died 1924. Publications: The military life of Field Marshal George, first Marquess Townshend, 1724-1807 (John Murray, London, 1901); My Campaign in Mesopotamia (Thornton Butterworth, London, 1920).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1899-1937, and 1964-1966, including personal letters to Alice Townshend, Lady Townshend, and to Comtesse Cahen d'Anvers from FM Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, 1906-1911, also single personal letters from Frederick Edward Grey Ponsonby, Assistant Private Secretary to Queen Victoria, 1899, FM Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, 1901, Brig Gen Sir William Riddell Birdwood, Bt, 1906, Christian Rudolf de Wet, Minister of Agriculture, Orange River Colony, South Africa, 1909, FM Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford, 1911-1912, Rt Hon George Nathanial Curzon, Lord Privy Seal, 1915, Rt Hon Herbert Henry Asquith, Prime Minister, 1916, Paul Cambon, French Ambassador to Court of St James's, 1916, Lt Gen Sir Philip Walhouse Chetwode, 7th Bt, Military Secretary, War Office, 1919, and others; letter from Alice Townshend, Lady Townshend, dated 1916, to Mrs Morland, mother of Capt Walter Edward Thomson Morland, Aide de Camp to Townshend and captured with him at Kut el Amara, Mesopotamia, with information on the safety of her son, with three photographs of Townshend and the POW accomodation in Constantinople, 1916; scrapbook of newspaper cuttings, 1916, on the Mesopotamian campaign and the defence and siege of Kut el Amara, with signed printed portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1937; file of research correspondence by Lt Col Arthur James Barker for The neglected war (Faber, London, 1967) and Townshend of Kut (Cassell, London, 1967), 1964-1966, including correspondence with Capt Sir (Thomas) Noël Arkell, FM Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, Maj Gen George Osborne de Renzy Channer, Sir Reader (William) Bullard, Brig Kenneth Bredin Shakespear Crawford, Sir Ernest (William) Goodale, Capt Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Maj Gen Henry Hampden Rich, Col Clive Woodes Rogers, Col Eric Lechmere Stephenson, Countess Audrey de Borchgrave-Townshend, Brig Louis James Woodhouse.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

2 files, 1 volume

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Summary guide entry on-line at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Placed in the Centre in 1979 by Lt Col Arthur James Barker.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Cambridge University Library: the papers of Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, include correspondence with Townshend, 1915-1916 (ref: Hardinge); Centre for Kentish Studies: one volume of Townshend's communiques as General Officer Commanding 6 Indian Div, Mesopotamia, 1914-1915 (ref: BZ/ZTO); National Army Museum: papers comprising dispatches from Kut el Amara, 1915-1916 (ref: 6012-299), notebook and copies of communiques to his troops, 1916 (ref: 6012-399), order of the day for 4 Dec 1915, the day following Townshend's retreat to Kut el Amara (ref: 6012-288), Townshend's letter of surrender, 29 Apr 1916 (ref: 8008-47), casualty list and press cuttings relating to the siege of Kut el Amara (ref: 6009-17); British Library: Townshend papers (ref: Add MSS 63082, 63102); Liddle Collection, University of Leeds: collection of press cuttings.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Papers relating to Major General C V F Townshend's appreciation of the position after the Battle of Kut-el-Amara, etc (Parliamentary Papers. House of Commons. Session 1916, vol 21, London, 1916); Townshend of Chitral and Kut by Erroll Sherson (Heinemann, London, 1928); Townshend of Kut. A biography of Major General Sir Charles Townshend, KCB, DSO by Arthur James Barker (Cassell, London, 1967).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jun 1998

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