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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

(The) Bout-de-Ville Times

Its title a pun in French on the family name, this remarkable handwritten and manually-illustrated chronicle recorded the activities and achievements of the Rev Alfred Townend's numerous family over a period of nine years. Each issue comprised just the one copy, but nevertheless it was a heroic accomplishment. The text has the distinctive handwriting, puckish humour, leavened with the occasional enlightened biblical insight, evidently typical of the Rev himself, but the illustrations were provided by various sons, William especially, and the photographs by Frank in particular, using his 5/- camera! During this period the family lived opposite the chapel of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst of which he was the chaplain.

The pages of the original issues were meticulously photographed, and digitised to disk, some years ago by Hugh Townend, who very generously posted copies to other extant descendants of Rev Alfred Townend, including of course my wife Sonia.

1Untitled22 Aug 1894
2Untitled11 Sep 1894p5
3New Year Number 189516 Jan 1895
4Summer Number 189519 Sep 1895p19
5Summer Number 1896 3 Sep 1896
6Summer Number 189715 Sep 1897p29
7Winter Number 1898/9914 Jan 1899
8Summer Number 1899Aug 1899
9Winter Number 1900Feb 1900p2, p22

The last eight pages of Number 9 were added at a much later date, but nevertheless contain some useful material.