TOWNSEND, Robert Oliver

Lance Sergeant
Somerset Light Infantry
Service number: 
Died : 
Monday, October 4, 1943
Died on active service

Lance Sergeant Robert Townsend died in North Africa as result of an accident whilst serving with 30th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry. [1+2]

On the 8th November 1942 the then Corporal Townsend, attached to No 6 Commando, was wounded in action (remaining on duty) during Operation Torch, the allied invasion of French North Africa. [3] 

He was wounded again on the 26th February 1943 [4]. This was the date of the No 6 Commando action at the Battle of Steamroller Farm which was located on the El Arousa - Medjez-El-Bab road, Tunisia. The Commando was withdrawn to the UK after this operation having suffered heavy casualties in this and earlier actions. [5]. 

[1] CWGC.
[2] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives WO 417/73
[3] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives WO 417/54
[4] British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives WO 417/58 
[5] Brief resume from the account of Brig. Derek MIlls Roberts  in the book When Shall Their Glory Fade, author Maj James Dunning.
The fact that Townsend remained in North Africa (serving with the Somerset LI) after No 6 Commando left is likely attributable to his wounds and subsequent recovery period, and the regulations regarding being away from your unit on hospitalisation. [view the 'x' lists.]

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