Peter Townsend (RAF officer)

Peter Townsend
Peter Townsend (1914-1995).jpg
Flight Lieutenant Townsend in 1940
Born(1914-11-22)22 November 1914
Rangoon, Burma, British Raj
(now Yangon, Myanmar)
Died19 June 1995(1995-06-19) (aged 80)
Saint-Leger-en-Yvelines, France
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1933–1956
RankGroup Captain
Commands heldRAF West Malling (1943–1944)
No. 605 Squadron RAF (1942)
RAF Drew (1942)
No. 85 Squadron RAF (1940–1941)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsCommander of the Royal Victorian Order
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar
Mentioned in Despatches
Spouse(s)Rosemary Pawle (1941–1952)
Marie-Luce Jamagne (1959–1995)

Group Captain Peter Wooldridge Townsend, CVO, DSO, DFC & Bar (22 November 1914 – 19 June 1995) was a Royal Air Force officer, flying ace, courtier and author. He was Equerry to King George VI from 1944 to 1952 and held the same position for Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to 1953. Townsend also had a romance with Princess Margaret.

Early life

Townsend was born on 22 November 1914 in Rangoon, Burma, to Lieutenant Colonel Edward Copleston Townsend[1] and his wife, Gladys (née Hatt-Cook).[2] The Townsend family, of Devon, tended to send its sons into the church or the armed forces.[3] From 1928 to 1932, he was educated at Haileybury College, then an all-boys independent school.[4]