Category Archives: War Stories WW1

War stories from the 1st world war

02Jan/16

Soldiers Died in the Great War

Soldiers Died in the Great War

Collated and annotated by Ewart Tearle
May 2010

Many of these names are included in other collections on this site, however for those who came across this database on CD, here are some notes on the genealogy of each man who died, along with the link to the post wherein his story is told.

Name: Jeffrey Tearle

Birth Place: Eaton Bray, Beds
Residence: Dunstable
Death Date: 31 Oct 1914
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Dunstable, Beds
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Bedfordshire Regiment
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Number: 3/6459
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. Brother of Frank 1898 and John Henry 1885, both of whom survived the War. William 1749.

Name: John Henry Tearle

Birth Place: Hatfield, Hertfordshire
Death Date: 29 Jun 1915
Death Location: Gallipoli
Enlistment Location: London
Rank: L/Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Number: 9054
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Balkan Theatre

Son of William Francis T 1857 and Sarah Ann nee Kefford. G-uncle of Edward Kefford W Tearle who was killed in WW2 while covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. A son of the Soulbury Tearles. John 1741. See also A Visit to Gallipoli

Name: Leslie James Tearle

Birth Place: St Albans
Residence: St. Albans
Death Date: 11 Jul 1915
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: St. Albans
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hertfordshire Regiment
Number: 2007
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Edward Joseph T and Emma Elizabeth nee Warner. Has a memorial on the St Albans War Memorial in St Peters St as well as in the foyer of the Old Town Hall. Descendant of the Soulbury Tearles and cousin of John Henry immediately above. John 1741.

Name: Alfred Edward Tearle

Residence: Watford, Herts
Death Date: 10 May 1916
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Hertford
Rank: Private
Regiment: Hertfordshire Regiment
Number: 4605
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Alfred George T and Minnie nee Cyster. G-gson of George 1818 and Annie nee Haws. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780.

Name: Rowland Tearle

Birth Place: London
Death Date: 9 Jun 1916
Death Location: Home
Enlistment Location: Northampton
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Number: 55930
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Home

Rowland Grigg Tearle, son of Elizabeth 1871 of Linslade, and grandson of John 1825 (the marine) and Sophia nee Walker. Brought up by Susannah Rogers who lived in the house close to Yardley Hastings church. He caught a dreadful trench disease and died at home. Buried with a CWGC headstone in the Yardley Hastings churchyard. His story is told in detail elsewhere on this site.

Name: Albert Ernest Tearle

Birth Place: Sutton, Surrey
Death Date: 16 Apr 1917
Death Location: Mesopotamia
Enlistment Location: Kingston-On-Thames
Rank: A/BDR.
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Number: 46587
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Asiatic Theatres

Son William James 1860 and Lucy Ann nee Laine. Buried in Bagdad. Grandgson of George 1809 and Elizabeth Tearle. Joseph 1737.

Name: Charles Tearle

Birth Place: Preston
Death Date: 30 Nov 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Preston
Rank: Private
Regiment: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Battalion: 1/5th Battalion (Territorial Force)
Number: 36932
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Charles 1860 and Jane nee Swarbrick. Gson of Sarah 1831 and g-grandson of Joseph 1803 and Mary Ann nee Smith. A true Preston Tearle, mentioned on the headstone in Preston cemetery. Joseph 1737.

Name: James Henry Tearle

Birth Place: Paddington, Middx.
Residence: West Kilburn, Middx.
Death Date: 16 Mar 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Hammersmith, Middx.
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment: Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
Battalion: 12th Battalion
Number: S/21464
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Son of Jonathon 1862 and Alice nee Kearns, his usual name was James Harry Tearle. Gson William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain, hence a nephew of my g-grandfather James 1827. See also the story of the Willesden cell and Mary nee Andrews elsewhere in this Tearle Stories section. John 1741.

Name: Ronald William Tearle

Birth Place: Luton
Death Date: 4 Oct 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Luton, Beds
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery
Number: 141935
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Only son of William Underwood T and Mary nee Bird of Luton. Listed on the War Memorial alongside the Luton Town Hall. Grandson of George 1832 and Sophia nee Underwood, a well-known Luton family. Joseph 1737.

Name: Sidney Tearle

Birth Place: Dunstable, Beds
Residence: Rothwell, Northauts
Death Date: 13 Aug 1917
Death Location: Egypt
Enlistment Location: Hinckley
Rank: Private
Regiment: Royal Army Service Corps
Number: S4/090768
Type of Casualty: Died
Theatre of War: Egyptian Theatre

Son of William 1869 and Ellen nee Rollings. Buried in Alexandria. Grandson of George 1797 and Mary nee Hill. John 1741.

Name: Sydney Tearle

Residence: London, N.W.
Death Date: 9 Apr 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Edinburgh
Rank: A/L/Sergeant
Regiment: Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment)
Battalion: 9th Battalion
Number: 350354
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre

Sydney Thomas Tearle 1895 was working for the Caledonian Railways in Edinburgh when he enlisted, hence this odd regiment for a Hammersmith boy. There is a memorial at Glasgow station which bears his name, along with 708 others. Son of Thomas 1858 and Pamela nee Andrews. Grandson of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain, hence 1st cousin to James Harry above. John 1741.

01Jan/16

National Roll of the Great War

National Roll of the Great War
This list of names and accompanying text from National Roll of the Great War was compiled by Barbara Tearle in Nov 2005.
The annotations at the end of each entry were originally written by Ewart F Tearle in Dec 2011. All the entries have now been researched and further documented, and are presented in the order of the list below.

The National Roll of the Great War was a multi-volume work, never completed, which attempted to document soldiers who fought in WW1, including the casualties. Of the 73 Tearle participants in WW1, only 17 have had their stories told in this work. I have transcribed those particular entries and ordered them firstly into nearby addresses, so we can see families and neighbours and I have added biographical details, as I know them, immediately after the entry from National Roll.

Tearle, J H, Rifleman
Rifle Brigade
Joining in 1916, he was drafted to the Western Front on completion of his training.  After taking part in several important battles, he was killed in action on the Somme on March 16th 1917.  He is buried near Guillemont, and was entitled to the General Service and Victory Medals. 45 Letchford Gardens, Willesden, London NW10

James Harry Tearle 1891 of Willesden, service number: s/21464, Rifle Brigade. He married Dorothy Amelia Victoria Browne. One of the Willesden cell, son of Jonathan Tearle of Stanbridge and Alice nee Kearns, grandson of William 1832 of Stanbridge and Catharine nee Fountain. John 1741

Tearle, S T
Private
He joined in November 1917, and in the same year was sent to the Western Front, where he was engaged in conveying food and ammunition to the lines in the Arras, Cambrai, Vimy Ridge and other sectors.  He was demobilised in March 1920, and holds the General Service and Victory Medals. 120 Ashmore Road, Harrow Road, London W9

Sidney Thomas Tearle 1893 of Willesden, service number M/380389 RASC (MT), son of Zephaniah T and Annie nee Buckingham. Married Florence May Fuller. One of the Willesden cell. John 1741 via Mary 1803 and Jane 1844.

Tearle, G
Private
Royal Army Medical Corps
He joined in September 1916, but owing to the loss of an eye before enlistment was unfit for foreign service.  For three years he was engaged at various stations on special duties in connection with the wounded, carrying the injured men from the boats to the hospitals.  He rendered valuable services before being demobilised in September 1919. 77 Carlyle Avenue, Willesden, London NW10

Otho George Tearle 1882 of Willesden, service number 47279, 29th Btn Middlesex Regt and 331034, 335th Lowland Field Ambulance, RAMC, who married Ellen Yule nee Rogers. He seems always to have called himself George. He was at the above address for the birth of two of his children. Son of Jonathon 1862 of Stanbridge and Alice nee Kearns and g-son of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain. Another member of the Willesden cell. Brother of James Harry T above. John 1741

Tearle, F J

Private
8th Bedfordshire Regiment
He volunteered in March 1915, and in the same year was sent to France.  During his service on the Western Front he was engaged in the fighting on the Somme, at Arras, Bullecourt and Cambrai, and was wounded on the Somme during the retreat of 1918.  He was demobilised in November 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, the General Service and Victory Medals. Tilsworth Road Stanbridge, Bedfordshire

Frederick John Tearle 1884 of Stanbridge, son of John 1862 and Annie nee Walker. Brother of Edgar, above. John 1741.

Tearle, E
Private
7th Bedfordshire Regiment
He volunteered in September 1914 and in the following January proceeded overseas.  He served on the Western Front and fought at Loos and the Somme, where he was wounded.  On recovery he rejoined his Battalion, and was engaged in the fighting at Passchendaele, Cambria and in the Retreat and Advance of 1918.  He was demobilised in March 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals. Tilsworth Road, Stanbridge, Bedfordshire.

Edgar Tearle 1891 of Stanbridge, service number 14397, Bedfordshire Regt and 590090, Labour Corps. Son of John 1862 of Stanbridge and Annie nee Walker; grandparents James 1823 and Hannah nee Phillips. John 1741.

Tearle, E G
Private
Labour Corps
He joined in June 1918, and was shortly afterwards sent to France.  Whilst in this theatre of war he was employed on important duties with his Battalion, and was frequently in the forward areas whilst operations were in progress.  He was demobilised in October 1919 and holds the General Service and Victory Medals. 119 St James’ Road, Watford, Hertfordshire.

Edward George Tearle 1898 of Hemel Hempstead. Military serial number 643043, Recruit Distribution Training Reserve. Married Nellie Elizabeth Boultwood. Son of Edward Joseph Tearle 1874 and Jane nee Picton. This is confirmed in his next-of-kin declaration on his army attestation form. G-son of Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne, g-gson of George 1818 (one of the original Watford settlers) and Annie nee Haws. Has a significant family of descendants in Australia. Cannot find him in the WW1 Medals Card Index. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780.

Tearle, E J
Sapper
Royal Engineers
He volunteers in June 1915, and was shortly afterwards sent to the Dardanelles.  He was engaged with his unit at the landing at Suvla Bay and was wounded.  On recovery he was drafted to Egypt and served for a time at Ismailia in the Canal zone until May 1916.  He was then sent to the Western Front, and was frequently in the forward areas while operations were in progress in the Somme and other sectors.  He was demobilised in May 1919 and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals. 119 St James’ Road, Watford, Hertfordshire

Edward Joseph Tearle, 1874 of Watford, service number 101941, Royal Engineers, a skilled mason and son of Jabez 1844 and Susannah nee Payne. He is the FATHER of Edward George T 1898 above. Married Jane Picton.  He was 39 when he attested for the war. A Gallipoli veteran, he also received the Silver War Badge when he was invalided for sickness after his injuries. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780.

Tearle, E J
Private
1st Bedfordshire Regiment
He joined in November 1916 and in the following January proceeded overseas.  Whilst on the Western Front he fought in many engagements, including those at Arras, Passchendaele, Ypres, the Somme, and was gassed near Cambrai in 1918.  He was demobilised in November 1919, and holds the General Service and Victory Medals. 22 Chapel Path Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

Ernest John Tearle 1898, son of Ellen Tearle 1881 before she married Harry Toms. Military serial number 31747, Beds Regt and 44700, Suffolk Regiment. G-son Jane 1856 and g-gson of John 1823 and Hannah nee Creamer. John 1741.

Tearle, H
Stoker
Royal Navy.
He joined in 1918 and was posted to HMS Emperor of India. During the war his ship was engaged on special work patrolling the North Sea and other waters, and after the Armistice was employed on important duties off Constantinople.  He holds the General Service and Victory Medals and was still serving in 1920. 22 Chapel Path Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

Harry Edward Tearle 1900 of Leighton Buzzard, son of Ellen Tearle 1881 before she married Harry Toms. Military serial number SS119522 Navy. Younger brother of Ernest John T, above. As far as I know, neither man married. John 1741 via Ellen 1881.

Tearle, F
Private
RASC
Joining in November 1916, he was drafted shortly afterwards to Ireland.  He served in Dublin and various other places on special transport duties with his unit and did very good work, but was unsuccessful in obtaining his transfer to a theatre of war before the cessation of hostilities, and was demobilised in September 1919. 1 Alfred Street Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Frank Tearle 1898 of Eaton Bray, son of George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn.  Military serial number M/279390 RASC Motor Transport. G-son George 1831 and Hannah Maria nee Janes. Married Selina Florence Gore. Received the Silver War Badge when invalided out for sickness in 1919. William 1749.

Tearle, J
Corporal
1st Bedfordshire Regiment
He volunteered in September 1914, and was shortly afterwards drafted to France.  During his service in this theatre of war he took part in much fierce fighting, and was killed in action at the Battle of La Bassée on October 10th 1914.  He was entitled to the 1914 Star and the General Service and Victory Medals. 1 Alfred Street, Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Jeffrey Tearle 1891 of Eaton Bray, elder brother of Frank, above. Military serial number 3/6459, 1st Bedfordshire Rgt. Parents George 1861 of Edlesborough and Sarah Jane nee Horn. Britain declared war on 4 August 1914, Jeffrey joined the army in September and was killed in France on 31 Oct 1914, according to Roll of Honour (CWGC). He must have impressed because even in this short time he had been promoted to corporal. William 1749.

Tearle, H
Driver
Royal Field Artillery
Volunteering in June 1915, he was sent to France in the following November.  Whilst on the Western Front he was in action at Ypres, La Bassée, the Somme and Arras, and was wounded twice.  He was demobilised in October 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.  60 Queen Street Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Horace Tearle 1893 of Edlesborough, son of John 1863 of Edlesborough and Ellen nee Dyer. Military serial number 1421 and 890597 Royal Field Artillery. Married Ethel L Larke. G-son George 1831 and Hannah Maria nee Janes. Living in Hemel Hempstead in 1901 census, Herts. William 1749.

Tearle, H C
Private
Royal Fusiliers
He joined in April 1917, and at the conclusion of his training served at various stations on the East Coast on important duties with the 327th Works Company.  He did excellent work, but was unable to secure his transfer to the theatre of war before hostilities ceased, and was demobilised in January 1919. 58 Queen Street Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Henry Charles Tearle 1888 of Edlesborough, brother of Horace above. Military serial number 176875, Royal Fusiliers. Married Elizabeth Winter. William 1749.

Tearle, J
Lance Corporal
6th Bedfordshire Regiment
Volunteering in September 1914, be was sent to France in July 1915.  Whilst on the Western Front he fought at the Battle of the Somme and was wounded on July 1st 1916.  He later returned to the front line trenches and was again wounded at Arras in April 1917.  On recovery he rejoined his Battalion and was wounded a third time in October 1917 near Ypres.  He returned to England in January of the following year and was engaged on Home duties until demobilised in February 1919.  He holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals “South View”, Princess Street, Toddington, Bedfordshire

John Tearle 1896 of Toddington, son of Joseph Marlow Tearle and Emily nee Evans. Military serial number 16521, 7th Beds Regt. As far as I know, he never married. Joseph 1737 via Sarah 1847.

Tearle, W
Private
Machine Gun Corps
He volunteered in January 1915 and in May 1917 was drafted to Egypt.  He served in Palestine, was engaged in the fighting at Gaza, and was present at the Occupation of Jerusalem.  He was transferred to the Western Front in June 1918, and fought at Arras, Ypres and Vimy Ridge.  He was demobilised in February 1919 and holds the General Service and Victory Medals. “South View”, Princess Street, Toddington, Bedfordshire

Willie (William Marlow) Tearle 1893 of Toddington; service number 30602, East Riding Of Yorkshire Yeomanry, 150426, Machine Gun Corps. Son of Joseph Marlow Tearle and Emily nee Evans. Brother of John, above. G-gson of Joseph 1797 and Maria nee Millings. Joseph 1737 via Sarah 1846.

Tearle, W M
Private
2nd Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiments
He joined in April 1916 and 12 months later was sent to France.  During his service in this theatre of war he fought at Ypres, Passchendaele, the Somme, Cambrai and in the Retreat and Advance in 1918.  He holds the General Service and Victory Medals, and in 1920 was serving in India on garrison duties. The Square, Toddington, Bedfordshire.

William Major Tearle 1899 of Toddington, Military serial number 51273 (Beds Regt) and 43998 (Herts Regt) son of Major Tearle 1874 and Elizabeth Ann nee Turvey. Married Grace Nestor Andrews. John 1741 via Sarah 1823.

Tearle, W
Private
West Yorks Regiment He volunteered in September 1914, and proceeded to France early in the next year.  Here he saw much service, fighting in the second Battle of Ypres, and in actions near Albert and Nieuport.  In these engagements he was twice wounded, and again in the first Battle of the Somme.  On recovery from his last wound, he was transferred to the Eastern Front, where he remained until the cessation of hostilities.  Returning  home, he was eventually demobilised in June 1919, and holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals. 1 Elmfield Terrace, Wortley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Wilfred Tearle 1896 of Bramley, Leeds. Son of William 1859 and Annie Lee Lavers, g-son of George 1825 and Maria nee Franklin. George went to Leeds when others of the family of Joseph 1803 and Mary Ann nee Smith went to Preston. Joseph 1737.

20Mar/15

WW1 Canadian Soldiers

Annotated Canada, Soldiers of the First World War

Compiled by Ewart Tearle, May 2010

Annotated by Ewart Tearle, May 2010

Name: Edward Tearle

  • Birth Date: 16 Oct 1890
  • Birth Location: Preston, Lancs, England
  • Relative: Mabel Tearle
  • Relationship: Wife
  • Regiment Number: 50683

Edward 1890, son of Edward 1868 and Emily nee Morris. Grandson of Joseph T and Sophia nee Kibble and g-grandson Joseph 1803 and Mary Ann nee Smith. Married Mabel E Reid in Wiltshire, 1912.

Name: John Blake

  • Birth Date: 12 Oct 1876
  • Birth Location: Crayden Surrey England
  • Relative: Mrs W Tearle
  • Relationship: Sister
  • Regiment Number: 30183

I still do not know who this is. His birth location is obviously Croydon, but is his sister married to a Tearle, or is she still unmarried?  See “Canada, Soldiers of the Great War”, the regimental number is 30185 and there are two records both with the word “Duplicate”: one has Chas Blake, father as relative, and this is crossed out in the second record and has Mrs W Tearle, his sister, as relative, and a regimental number of 30185. Chas Blake is correct as John’s father; his address on the attestation form is 99 Stanley Rd, West Croydon, and in the 1901 census his address is recorded as 99 Stanley Rd, Croydon. The regimental number above is incorrect; on both forms the number is 30185. He has the comment “Tattoo marks cover both arms” on page two of both forms. I can find no trace of W Tearle nee Blake. I am not absolutely certain the initial is actually W, and there are no Blake girls whose name starts with W in any of the censuses. Also, peculiarly, John Blake’s birth was registered in Oct 1875, but he insists on the above date of 1876.

19Mar/15

William Major Tearle 1899, Toddington, UK (2/Beds Regt)

Tearle, W M
Private, 2nd Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

National Roll of the Great War” says:

Tearle William Major National Roll

Barbara has written to me about this chap and he is William Major Tearle 1899 of Toddington, son of Major Tearle 1874 of Toddington and Elizabeth Ann nee Turvey. Major is the son of Joseph 1843 of Toddington and Lois nee Major. Joseph is the son of Sarah Tearle who married John Garner and were hosts to niece Martha for very many years. Sarah was the dau of William 1796 of Stanbridge and Catherine nee Fossey. William is a son of Richard 1773 of Stanbridge and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth and Richard is a son of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. 

I have an interest in the Toddington Tearles because my ggg-grandmother was Mary Garner 1805 of Toddington. She married Thomas Tearle 1807 of Stanbridge and their first child James 1827 was born in Toddington. James is the father of Levi Tearle 1850 of Stanbridge, blacksmith of Wing, my g-grandfather. Thomas took Mary back to Stanbridge and the rest of the family was born there. However, since Mary was a Toddington Garner, then she would be related to other Toddington Garner families.

 

19Mar/15

William Marlow Tearle 1892, Toddington, UK (MGC)

Tearle, W
Private, Machine Gun Corps

Tearle Willie (William Marlow) MGC National Roll

J Tearle and W Tearle of Toddington are brothers of course, since they are from the same address. The first man, J Tearle, is John Tearle 1896 Toddington and W Tearle is his elder brother William Marlow Tearle (Willie Tearle) 1892 of Toddington. These are the boys of Joseph Marlow Tearle 1865 Sundon and Emily nee Evans. Joseph is the son of John Marlow and Sarah Tearle 1846 of Tebworth, with a history of name changes for her children between Marlow, Tearle/Marlow and Marlow/Tearle. She is the daughter of Joseph 1798 of Stanbridge and Maria nee Millings. Joseph is the son of William 1769 of Stanbridge and Sarah nee Clarke, and William is a son of Joseph 1737 of Stanbridge and Phoebe nee Capp.

19Mar/15

John Tearle 1895, Toddington, UK (7/Beds Regt)

Tearle, J
Lance Corporal
7
th Bedfordshire Regiment of “South View”, Princess Street, Toddington, Bedfordshire.

Tearle John L-Cpl National Roll

This is John Tearle 1896 of Toddington, son of Joseph Marlow Tearle 1865 and Emily nee Evans. Military serial number 16521, 7th Beds Regt. I am not sure why National Roll has him in the 6th Regiment, because his medals card (below) clearly says 7/Beds.R.

Here he is in the 1911 census:

1911 Joseph Marlow Tearle 1867 Tod Emily 42 May 22 William 18 John 16 Percy George 13 Joseph 11 Violet Emily 8 Frederick Hector 6 Victoria Daisy 1 in Toddington

His father, Joseph appears to be working a dairy herd on his own farm. His mother, Emily, and May, his elder sister are machinists for a hat manufacturer. It is not clear if the factory is in Toddington, or whether the women are working at home on machines they have been supplied with. The evidence above suggests that Emily has her own machine, and May walks to work. This is in the fading times of the straw hat business in Bedfordshire, but a large number of women, girls and boys were employed in the straw-plaiting and hat-making industries.

William is in a cement works and John would appear to be the runner who delivers telegrams for the Post Office.

The only other morsel of evidence I have for John’s entire life is his medals card:

John Tearle 16521 WW1 army medal rolls

You can see how early he started in the war, but National Roll tells us that he joined the 7th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment, in September 1914. Was he one of those brave young men who really did think the war would be over by Christmas, and it was an adventure not to be missed? His effective date for war pension and service medals was 26 July 1915, the day his ship dropped him and others of his unit in France.

If you look carefully at the statements by National Roll, John was thrown into the very thick of the greatest battles of The Great War. He was at Arras, he was in the Somme, he was at Wipers. How on Earth did he survive? Someone took pity on his injuries and he was sent to England (and anywhere else in the then UK) to perform light duties for the army. It is impossible to imagine what was in his head every time he heard a loud noise, whenever he went to bed, what nightmares he endured even when he was awake. When you are 18-23, things that happen to you then, stay with you vividly and uneraseably for the rest of your life. It must have been a doctor or a senior officer who had some streak of humanity to see that John was no longer fit to be a soldier, who devised a way to get him to safety. Surely he had served his country with distinction, and he was good enough to have been promoted to lance corporal.

As far as I know, he never married. Little wonder, I think, if you look at his length of service, the battles he was engaged in and the number of times he was injured and returned to service. He fought through the entire First World War, and then at the end of hostilities he still had to wait another six months before he could go home.

His grandmother was Sarah Tearle, an unmarried mother of three when she married John Marlow of Toddington in 1868. Judging by the names she had given the first three children, all born in Sundon, Bedfordshire, they look like John Marlow’s children, and Joseph himself was the second one. Sarah married John Marlow in Toddington, in August 1868. Because of his name we follow John’s ancestry to Sarah’s parents who were Joseph 1797 and Sarah nee Millings, Joseph’s parents were William 1769 and Sarah nee Clark, and William’s parents were Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp.

18Mar/15

Otho George Tearle 1892, Willesden, UK (RAMC)

National Roll of the Great War” has this entry:

Tearle, G (RAMC)

Tearle George RAMC National Roll

This is the entry for Otho George Tearle 1882, service number 47279, 29th Btn Middlesex Regt and 331034, 335th Lowland Field Ambulance, RAMC, who married Ellen Yule nee Rogers. He seems always to have called himself George. He was at the above address for the birth of two of his children. Son of Jonathon 1862 of Stanbridge and Alice nee Kearns and g-son of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain. Another member of the Willesden cell. Brother of James Harry Tearle.

Pamela wrote to me, asking what I knew of Otho George. Here is what I wrote to her:

Our common grandparents were Thomas b 1806 and Mary nee Garner. Thomas was a son of Richard 1773 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. Thomas had two sons of interest to us, James 1827, the eldest, born in Toddington. If you have a look at my pictures site, http://www.flickr.com/photos/27466815@N03/ you will see recent pictures of Toddington. You could walk there from Stanbridge in a couple of hours, and I intend to do so. Chalgrave is at the end of the High Street, on the Dunstable road.

Thomas and Mary’s third son was William 1832, born Stanbridge. James married Mary Andrews from Eggington. They had Levi, my great-grandfather, but not so long ago that our dear Jennie Pugh still remembered him very well. Levi’s eldest was Arthur and he was my grandfather. I never met him, but I did see Sadie, my grandmother about 4 times.

When James died in 1887, Mary married Charles Shillingford in 1888. Both James’ and Charles’ headstones are still standing in the Stanbridge churchyard. When Charles died in 1891, Mary married your gg-grandfather William 1832, and he outlived her by some 6 years, dying in 1920. We’ve often talked about Mary marrying her husband’s brother, which might be illegal, but there must be some way round it. Perhaps because she was Mary Shillingford when she married William, she wasn’t still the widow of James. I don’t know, and I certainly don’t think she did anything wrong. Actually, neither did Levi Tearle, her son, who was a very staunch Primitive Methodist, because he was a witness at her wedding to William – in Watford. She died in Levi’s house and he signed the death certificate as “present at the death.”

Now, your William 1832 had a son Jonathon (always called, and spelt, John) who went to London and had your grandfather Otho George – and the rest is history.

So our gg-grandfathers were brothers. If you go to Stanbridge Church, you will see the side-by side headstones of my gg-grandfather James and another of his and William’s brothers, John.

The George Tearle who married Ellen Yule did so on this form – you might like to send away for it. The date is remarkable.

Name: Otho G Tearle
Spouse Surname: Yule
Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1948
Registration district: Willesden
Registration county (inferred): Middlesex
Volume Number: 5f
Page Number: 489

I had a look to see who the Yule girl was and her entry says:

Name: Ellen Yule
Spouse Surname: Tearle
Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1948
Registration district: Willesden
Registration county (inferred): Middlesex
Volume Number: 5f
Page Number: 489

So that means that Otho George Tearle and Ellen Yule were your father’s parents – and certainly that Otho George was your grandfather.

I have attached Otho George’s baptism. You can see that his parents were Johathon and Alice, and that he was born in Notting Hill, London.

Now, interestingly, there is an 18yr old George Tearle of Notting Hill in Pentonville gaol in the 1901 census, and he is our Otho George.

Jonathon Tearle is a son of William 1832 and Catherine nee Fountain. A very famous family on the Family Tree. This is the same William who married my gg-grandmother Mary nee Andrews when both of them were in their 70s. You can see her story on in the Tearle Stories section, along with William and Catharine nee Fountain’s story.

Your g-grandfather’s name is not John, but Jonathon – but they called him John anyway, even in the census returns.

George died in 1961, the form below would show you the address at the time.

  • Name: Otho G Tearle
  • Death Registration Month/Year: 1961
  • Age at death (estimated): 78
  • Registration district: Willesden
  • Inferred County: Middlesex
  • Volume: 5f
  • Page: 214

I have come across a significant document that might help us to identify your grandfather.

An army document from WW1 shows your father, and some of his siblings with their birth dates and places, and George, and Ellen, and their address all on the same page.

Otho George lists his family on entry to the army.

Otho George lists his family on entry to the army.

Ellen is Ellen Yule, not Rodgers, which is most likely her maiden name, and she is described as a Platonic wife.  Pvt George Tearle’s army number, by the way, was 331034

From Pat Field:

It does seem however that Ellen Rogers married William J A Yule and they had 8 children together, then William Yule disappears until his death in 1944.  All the children except for one were in the Kensington and Chelsea Workhouse School in Ewell Surrey in 1911.   Ellen was in North Kensington with one daughter, Ellen aged 7.  It appears she then lived with Otho George/aka George and they had 3 or 4 children, one being Brian’s father Charles Walter Yule.  There are military records on Ancestry that are very informative naming Ellen Yule as George’s Platonic wife and listing 4 children.  Only 3 of these were Tearles because the oldest daughter was born a Yule.

I would think from this that William J A Yule was in some form of institution and this is why Ellen and George could not marry until 1948, after William Yule died.

18Mar/15

James Harry Tearle, 1891, Willesden, UK (Rifle Brigade)

Here is his service record from the CWGC

Name: TEARLE, Initials: J H
Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Rifleman
Regiment/Service: Rifle Brigade Unit Text: 12th Bn.
Age: 26 Date of Death: 16/03/1917
Service No: S/21464
Additional information: Son of John and Alice Tearle, of Willesden, London; husband of Dorothy Amelia Tearle, of 123, Malvern Rd., West Kilburn, London.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: V. A. 2.
Cemetery: SAILLY-SAILLISEL BRITISH CEMETERY
James was born in Paddington, says SDGW. The CWGC adds that he was 26 when he died, hence b1891.

National Roll of the Great War says:

Tearle, J H, Rifleman,

Tearle James Harry National Roll

It took me a while to find out the story of this family, but Barbara Tearle of Oxford reminded us that John and Alice are actually Jonathan and Alice nee Kearns, and that Jonathan 1862 of Stanbridge was a son of William 1832 of Stanbridge and Catharine nee Fountain. Here are two brothers, members of my own family, who have gone to Willesden. So I have a common ancestor for them. William’s father and Jonathan’s grandfather is my gg-grandfather, Thomas Tearle 1807 of Stanbridge who married Mary Garner of Toddington.

The army notes (below) that he was killed “In Action”, and that one small gratuity was sent to his parents, and one small gratuity was sent to his wife.

James Harry Tearle UK Army Effects

James Harry Tearle UK Army Effects.

Here is Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery in the Somme Valley, Pas-de-Calais, France.

The gate Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

The gate, Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

Massed graves Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery

Massed graves – Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

J H Tearle in Book of Remebrance Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

J H Tearle in the Book of Remebrance, Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

James Harry Tearle Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

James Harry Tearle headstone. “God’s finger touched him and he slept.”

18Mar/15

Sidney John Tearle, 1880, Dunstable, UK

Sidney John Tearle, Lance Corporal

Jo Smith wrote: My granddad was Sidney John Tearle, born in Dunstable on 22 Nov 1880. His father (my great granddad) was Charles Bowler Tearle. He died 18 Mar 1970. I don’t know that much about my father’s family, except that my granddad’s family came from either Eaton Bray, or maybe Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, and that he had a few brothers, 4 or 5 I think. My granddad was 31345 LCpl Sidney John Tearle, 2 Middlesex Regt. In WW1 he was awarded the Military Medal for Gallantry after rescuing other soldiers while they were under fire. I have attached the letter he received from King George – see below.

My dad, now deceased, was Ernest Leonard Sidney Tearle, born in Dunstable 17 Mar 1917. The only boy, he had 3 sisters. My dad was in the navy during WW2 and I think he mainly worked on mine sweepers.

Military Medal OF L CPL SIDNEY JOHN TEARLE

Paul Moseley came across the references above to the Tearle family and wrote:

‘I was interested to note Jo Smith’s comments regarding LCpl S J Tearle as I have in my collection, this brave gentleman’s Military Medal.”

Jo also said this of her grandfather:

I thought I would tell you some memories I have of my grandfather Sidney John Tearle. I always remember him having a fresh carnation in the button hole of his jacket & a coronation pen in his top pocket. He & my grandmother lived in an end of terrace house right next door to a coach depot called Costin’s Coaches in Dunstable. In their garden they had some lovely gooseberry bushes which had the loveliest tasting fruit. He wasn’t a very tall man, he was only about 5ft 4in, as was my dad Ernest. Sidney lived to a good age because he was 89 when he passed away, so had a good full life.

The King's message which accompanied Sydney's Military Medal.

The King’s message which accompanied Sydney’s Military Medal.

Sydney is the brother of Pvt George Tearle, who is buried in the Dunstable Cemetery. His parents were Charles Bowler Tearle 1849 of Dunstable and Constance nee Dickens. His grandparents were James 1806 Tebworth and Mary Ann nee Webb. Mary’s mother was Charlotte Bowler, hence Charles’ middle name. Sydney’s gg-grandparents were Richard 1778 Stanbridge and Mary nee Pestel and his ggg-grandparents were Joseph 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp. It would be no surprise that the boys called themselves Wesleyan Methodists. Phoebe was a staunch believer.

18Mar/15

Frank Tearle 1898, Eaton Bray, UK (RASC)

Tearle, F  Private, RASC

This is Jeffrey’s brother, Frank, born in Eaton Bray in 1898, son of George 1861 of Edlesborough and grandson of George 1831 of Eaton Bray and Hannah Maria nee Janes. The parents for George 1831 were Jabez 1792 and Mary nee Green and Jabez’ parents were William 1749 and Mary nee Prentice.

Here is what National Roll of the Great War  says:

Tearle Frank RASC National Roll

Below is his army medals card:

Frank Tearle M279390 WW1 army medal rolls

Frank Tearle M/279390 record card from the WW1 army medal rolls

You can see that it is woefully thin. He has served in the army from 3 Aug 1916 until 12 Sep 1919 and he gets no recognition at all. He will have been separated from his family for some time, on army duty, but because he was never posted overseas, all of this counts for nothing. Now, what I cannot do, is guess what his sickness was, but we know from this card that he was given a Para 392 discharge as “Not fit enough to be an efficient soldier.” He will have been sent to England, and possibly his own home, some time before 12 Sep 1919, because when it was determined that a Para 392 discharge was applicable, he would probably have been allowed to return to his own home, but still tied to army regulations until his discharge date.

What National Roll does not say was that Frank was the recipient of the Silver War Badge, which was given to those who, through injury or sickness, caused by active service, were unable to continue in active service. This is what the army recorded:

  • Name:  Frank Tearle
  • Discharge Unit:  R.A.S.C
  • Regiment Number:  M/279390
  • Rank:  Pte
  • Badge Number:  B307103
  • Unit: Royal Army Service Corps (Woolwich)
  • Piece:  3226
  • List Number:  RASC 4351-4600
  • Record Group:  WO
  • Record Class: 392
Frank Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge

Frank Tearle 1898 WW1 Silver War Badge

The central column in blue ink records the serial number of the War Badge that was awarded to him, and the right-most column reinforces the clear inference from his army medals card that he never served “overseas”. Ireland was counted as Home, not overseas, so it never counted as war service.

Frank married Selina Gore in 1921 and they are the parents of Peter Frank Tearle, whose headstone is in the graveyard of Edlesborough Church.