Telegraph war correspondent dies age 96
Edmund Townshend, who worked as a war correspondent for The Daily Telegraph during World War II, has died aged 96. On his first ever flight in an aircraft, during the Battle of Arhem, he was shot down and had to bail out. He went on to cover the D-Day landings,
On the morning of D-Day Townshend was in a troopship in the Strait of Dover, watching a ship astern take a direct hit which cost 20 lives. When he looked from the bridge at a clock tower on land to check the time for his dispatch, he saw a shell from a British battleship neatly remove it.
Later, in another ship, which was loaded with 800 tons of high-explosive ammunition, the chief officer observed: “One enemy shell into this lot and you won’t know where to look for your typewriter.”
In November Townshend was the sole British correspondent in a Royal Marine landing craft in the assault on Westkapelle, Walcheren Island, near Antwerp.
He helped to haul wounded survivors out of the sea, and veterans told him that the opposition was fiercer than at Dieppe. His night editor, however, toned down his prose: “Too much blood and guts. Might upset the readers at breakfast.” link