Category Archives: Tearle Family

From England we are able to research the history of the Tearle Family. Here we will share what we have found in our research, and our travels around England to find Tearle sites and Tearle graves.

18Jan/17

John Tearle of Hyderabad – A hundred years in India

All Saints Church, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

All Saints Church, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Introduction

John Tearle was a Lt Commander in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was awarded the Atlantic Star and the Africa Star. He had served on the DEVONSHIRE and the MANCHESTER.

He was awarded five medals in all, which he wore on a bar during formal military occasions. One was the War Medal 1939-1945 awarded to all personnel who had completed at least 28 days service between 3 Sep 1939 and 2 Sep 1945; then the 1939-1945 Star which was awarded for operational service between 3 Sep 1939 and 2 Sep 1945, and John certainly had plenty of that. Another was the Africa Star, the fourth was the Atlantic Star, and the fifth was the Defence Medal. Servicemen were only allowed five medals for fighting in World War 2, and John had a full house.

He would have won the Africa Star because he had served on the HMS Manchester in the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Star because the Manchester had also served in the Atlantic convoys, joined the search for the Bismark, and she had also been engaged in the reinforcement of Spitzbergen. She had a very sad end when she was hit by a torpedo dropped from an enemy aeroplane on 13 August 1942, and was severely damaged off the coast of Tunisia. Her captain decided she was unable to make it back to port, so to save his men, he ordered the ship scuttled. He was court-marshalled, found guilty of negligence, and dismissed from service. It is likely that John’s children would be very grateful for the captain’s gesture.

It is not clear when John Tearle served on the HMS Devonshire because she was never sunk, and since she was built in 1926 and scrapped in 1954, he could have served on her at any time, and for any length of time. She is famous for rescuing the Norwegian royal family in 1940, for which they still supply a beautiful Norwegian fir every Christmas to stand, emblazoned with white lights, in Trafalgar Square. In a book by the author entitled William A J Tearle, Firefighter of Lostwithiel, there is recounted the story of Victor Tearle, who served on the Onslow, and escorted the Norwegian royal family back to Norway at the end of the war. The Devonshire was the flagship of that convoy. She also served in the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean escorting ANZAC forces from Suez to Australia.

He had a brother and two sisters, known familiarly to the family as Uncle Frank, Aunt Kitty (married to Robert) and Aunt Betsy, married to Angus.

It was noted, also that John Tearle, engineer, had been recorded in shipping passenger lists to-ing and fro-ing from London to Bombay:

10 Mar 1950 from Sydney to Bombay on the Strathaird
16 August 1950 on the Strathmore (sister ship of the Strathaird)
23 May 1952 he arrives in Southampton from Durban on the Athlone Castle
30 May 1958 he arrives in Southampton from Bombay on the Carthage.

This is because he was the chief engineer at Singareni Coal Mines, not far from Hyderabad. His wife, Jean Tearle, had also made the trip to and from Bombay many times, often accompanied by one or more of her children, some of whom had been born in India.

It came to light that John Tearle’s father was John Herbert Tearle. He was a man well known in the records stowed in the Tearle Tree. Born in 1881 in Bisham, Berkshire, he married Mary Ward in Westminster City in 1900 and in the 1911 census he was an accountant. It is now possible to construct the family of which John Tearle was a member:

John’s family:

Parents: John Herbert Tearle and Mary nee Ward (married 1900, four children)

Violet Elizabeth 1901,
Francis John Enoch 1902,
Kathleen May 1910,
John Tearle 1916

It becomes immediately clear who the nick-names in the introduction belong to:
Uncle Frank was Francis John Enoch Tearle (even his obituary in The Times called him Frank)
Auntie Kitty was Kathleen May
Auntie Betsy was Violet Elizabeth.

The entire family must have lived a long time in the North, because John’s marriage to Jean Searle in 1941 was in the Northumberland registration district, although, without the marriage certificate, there is no way of telling where in that district the marriage took place. Once it was established that John Tearle 1916 in the Tearle Tree was John Tearle, Lt Commander RN above, this ancestry became clear:

John Tearle 1916 and Jean nee Searle
John Herbert Tearle 1881 and Mary nee Ward
Enoch Tearle 1841 and Elizabeth nee Jones
Abel Tearle 1810 and Martha nee Emmerton
William Tearle 1769 and Sarah nee Clarke
Joseph Tearle 1737 and Phoebe nee Capp
Thomas Tearle 1709 and Mary nee Sibley.

From the point of view of John’s grandchildren, they are looking at nine generations of their family’s history. It is now time to put some detail into the events that led to the construction of the family tree immediately above.

The trunk of John’s Tree

John Herbert Tearle has an army service record. It is an odd entry of just 3 pages, and on the first page (militia attestation) someone has scrawled diagonally across it in blue pencil: Purchased 6/12/96. At the top of the page, there is the number that John Herbert will live with for the rest of his life – 5610, his military serial number – and the unit he was joining – the 3rd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment. There are some interesting answers to the questions on the form:

Born: Aldershot, Hants.            It is not clear why he said this, because his birth registration clearly states he was born in Bisham, Berkshire.
Living: Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Employer: Messrs Medmenham Pottery Co, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, for which company he was a clerk.
The second page tells us he was 5ft 8¼ in tall with scars on his left knee. A medical examination pronounced him fit for army service on 25 November 1896.
The third page (statement of service) is very short;
Length of service: 25.11.96 to 5.12.96. 11 days. Purchased.

This would suggest he had not liked the army and, since he was only 18, it is safe to assume his father had paid the fee. His father, it turns out, is a very interesting man indeed, with a biblical name that many of us would love to carry even today.

John Herbert’s family

Parents: Enoch Tearle and Elizabeth nee Jones (married 1869, seven children)
Jeffrey Jones T 1871,
Minnie 1874,
Emily 1876,
Martha Elizabeth 1877,
John Herbert 1881,
Katherine Mary 1885,
Samuel Hugh 1889

Enoch Tearle was born in Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, on 21 June 1841, the year of the ground-breaking census exercise that has taken a snapshot of British life every ten years since, with breaks in the war years. Abel, Amos, Enoch, Levi and Noah are some of the beautiful names liberally sprinkled amongst the Tearle families, matched by equally beautiful and historic names given to girls: Abigail, Ruth, Catherine, Charlotte, Martha and Phoebe to name just a few. The Victorians loved the Gothic as you can see from their churches and public buildings and even in the decorations on their more expensive houses. Gothic was part of the language of their belief in God, and so their children’s names reflected this spirit of their deep-seated Christian beliefs. What better way to express your devotion, than to give your children the names of His favourite sons and daughters?

From Bisham in Berkshire to Stanbridge in Bedfordshire we have, in one bound, leapt into the heartland of the Tearles. It is in this village, and in the little valley where Stanbridge nestles, that the Tearles have lived, worked, loved and died for at least five hundred years. The Tearles call it Tearle Valley, and the wider district is known as Tearle Country. The map of Stanbridge helps to delineate the boundaries: the village lies at the head of a valley aligned roughly north-west to south-east, with Stanbridge at the head. Even Eggington is not within Tearle Valley. There are limestone cliffs to the south-west. This limestone has been extracted for building blocks from time immemorial. It was called Totternhoe Stone and it was soft and carveable, but hardened nicely over time – perfect for lining the walls inside, for instance, St Albans Abbey, now St Albans Cathedral. Along the base of the upland runs the A4145 from Leighton Buzzard to Hemel Hempstead. On this road is Northall. An arch drawn from Northall across the north of Stanbridge to the A5 will describe the top of Tearle Valley. Following the A5 (Watling Street) to the junction of the Icknield Way – which, since ancient times, has followed the dry route along the tops of the hills through this part of Bedfordshire – will lead to the junction of the A4146, and everything inside is Tearle Valley, the ancestral home of most of the Tearles alive today. Inside the valley are Totternhoe, Eaton Bray and Edlesborough. Within ten miles are the country towns of Leighton Buzzard, Luton and Dunstable. These towns are in the wider area known as Tearle Country, and there are more Tearles in this small area of Bedfordshire than anywhere else in the world.

It turns out that the Tearles are a Bedfordshire, and indeed a Stanbridge family of rural folk who have worked the land as tenant farmers, and occasionally land owners, until the last Tearle who lived in Stanbridge died in a cottage on Peddars Lane in 1956.

And Enoch? He was the very model of a Victorian villager. His sister Ann was a strawplaiter who died young at just 47. She never left home and never married. His sister Sarah married a fellow villager, Ephraim Gates and went to Watford. Ephraim secured a job on the railways, but very sadly was killed walking along the line in the fog of an early Monday morning, in October 1872. It must have been desperately difficult for Sarah, a washerwoman, to care for her children after Ephraim’s death. His brother Amos moved to Walsall in Warwickshire, as a mining engineer. He married there and in the 1911 census he was a retired engine driver. His sister Phoebe was married in the beautiful little Stanbridge church in 1863 and also moved to Warwickshire where she registered the birth of three children in Nuneaton, only 20 miles away.. His sister Mary Clarke Tearle was baptised a Methodist in a tiny brick chapel next to what is now the Stanbridge school. The chapel no longer stands. Enoch’s youngest brother was Benjamin. He, too was baptised a Methodist. He was in the Royal Artillery (Southern) discharged on 15 February 1883. His regimental number was 23882, he was a gunner (ie a private) discharged at the end of his 1st period of service. He had accumulated no service towards his pension. This would appear to mean that either he was on a limited engagement, or that he had not served abroad. In the 1891 Stanbridge census, he was an agricultural labourer living with Alfred and Annie Buckingham. He died in 1900, never married.

When you look at these little vignettes of Enoch’s family from 1841 to 1900, it is possible to see the impact of waves of change that transformed the Victorian years. The eldest girl shows the farm-based life of the Bedfordshire village. Strawplaiting was not well paid and a plaiter had to make a length of about 6 yards a day. From time to time a plait dealer would sell the families bails of straw and then collect the plaited lengths and pay the family for them, by the 6-yard length. There is an excellent little display on this craft in the St Albans Museum near the centre of the city, and a very extensive and fascinating display of the strawplaiter’s art in the Wardtown Museum in Luton. It is an enlightening experience to see both the complexity of the task, and the simplicity of the cottage that housed it. The lengths of plait would be turned into straw hats, and whilst Bedfordshire is no longer the hat-making capital of the world, Luton even today has businesses that make the very best hats for people who are about to attend the most prestigious events, such as the horseracing at Royal Ascot. Children as young as five were working at plaitmaking – as long as their fingers could perform the motions, they were at work. It sounds terrible, and it probably was, but to the girls concerned, it gave them a freedom that few other women in England enjoyed – because they had their own money. This means that they could stay out of service. It meant they did not have to find a poorly-paid, and sometimes very difficult job, in someone else’s house performing menial tasks for long hours, and being constantly at the call of anyone their senior. Not having to be in service was an ambition very few people in Britain could hope to attain. In this respect, the Bedfordshire girls were lucky.

Over the one hundred years from 1841 to 1941, life in Britain changed beyond recognition, and Enoch and his family felt the full force of those irresistible changes. The major element of change for the Tearles was education. Methodism introduced free education for country children that had never been available before, and literacy allowed poor families such as the Tearles to take advantage of the other huge change that occurred in the 1840s – the railways. In about 1838 a line was laid from Leighton Buzzard to Euston Station via Dunstable – and suddenly London was only forty miles away; you could save up a fare and take a third class carriage all the way to London, and be there in a day. Elsewhere in tearle.org.uk I have discussed the Willesden Cell, a group of villagers living in London who traveled to and from Stanbridge. They lived in railway cottages and earned railway wages. Nothing could be further from the rural life than that. Their education, no matter how basic, equipped them to work in urban occupations and the railways supplied the means to travel there, and even the occupations in which to work. And that life banished crop failures and starvation for those families forever.

In the midst of all this change, what did Enoch do? The best way to explore his life is through the censuses because without too much difficulty they can be download from ancestry.co.uk and the source documents can be examined. In 1841, his father Abel and mother Martha were living in a cottage in Stanbridge with Ann, Sarah and Amos, as well as his mother’s younger brother. Enoch’s father was an ag lab. This is a Victorian catch-all phrase for anyone, no matter how skilled, whose fundamental means of survival was working for a farmer. The census was usually around April, so Enoch does not appear here, but he is not far off.

Enoch’s family:

Parents: Abel Tearle and Martha nee Emmerton (married 1833, eight children)

Ann 1835,
Sarah 1837,
Amos 1839,
Enoch 1841,
Phoebe 1843,
Mary Clarke T 1846,
Benjamin 1848,
Elizabeth 1851.

In 1851, there is a picture of unchanging, stable rural life, as glimpsed through the kitchen window. Martha is an ag lab wife, Ann and Sarah are strawplaiters, Amos (11yrs) and Enoch (9yrs) are scholars (they are at school) and Phoebe, Mary, Benjamin and Elizabeth probably have the run of the village green. It is almost certain that Amos and Enoch were educated at a school in Stanbridge because in 1842 the Primitive Methodist congregation bought a thirty foot plot of land for £5 and built a chapel and school. It was a fervent belief of the Methodists that the individual needed to read the Bible. They had to know for themselves what the scriptures said, so they could fully understand God’s Word. In many English villages, if there is a Methodist chapel, it would have doubled for a couple of classrooms and it would have preceded a state-run school by several decades.

In 1861, Abel was a platelayer on the railway. No longer a mere ag lab, Abel was employed in permanent work. Platelayers, as the name suggests, built the railway track. For all that, it can’t have paid a huge amount of money because Martha, Ann, Phoebe and Mary were all still plaitmaking, while Benjamin and Elizabeth were attending to their studies at school. However, Enoch and Amos are not  there in Stanbridge.

Enoch married in 1869. Actually, he married twice; there is a certificate for their marriage in St Paul’s Liverpool, the details of which are:

17th November 1869 at Saint Paul’s Church, Parish of Liverpool, Lancaster.
Enoch Tearle:  Full Age:  Bachelor:
Father’s name   Abel Tearle: Profession: Platelayer
Elizabeth Jones:  Full age:  Spinster
Father Samuel Jones Profession:  Farmer
After banns
Witnesses Mary Drury and George Foster

And then he married again in a Methodist chapel, in Wales:

8th September, 1870 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Johns Street, Chester, Flintshire
Enoch Tearle:  Aged 28 years:   Bachelor:
Profession: Private 4th King’s own Regiment: Residence:  Chester Castle.
Father:  Abel Tearle:
Elizabeth Jones  Aged 21 Spinster:
Residence Shields Court, Castle Street, Chester.
Father Samuel Jones:  Profession:  Farmer
By certificate:
Witnesses: Richard Sanders and Esther Taylor

It would probably not be a surprise, given her name, that Enoch’s wife, Elizabeth Jones, was Welsh, and since the distance from Liverpool to Chester is not very far, perhaps Enoch and Elizabeth went to the nearest place in Wales from Liverpool while he was on furlough. Elizabeth came from Hope’s Place, Flintshire, which is a village not far from Wrexham. I wonder whose idea it was to have a second marriage ceremony in a Methodist chapel in Wales? It is a charming and romantic gesture. I am fairly certain that the St Pauls in question was the beautiful, classically Georgian building in central Liverpool demolished in 1931, almost inevitably, by the railways, and now the site of the Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium.

From the second marriage document it is clear to see what Enoch has been doing in the previous few years – he joined the army. And he has set a precedent. He has joined the King’s Own Regiment. Its full name is the King’s Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, usually shortened to the Royal Lancs Regt, or The King’s Own. The 4th Division (also known as the 4th Foot) has a home in Aldershot, Hampshire.

In 1871, the census people came to visit Enoch, and there is a lot more about his activities. For some reason he was counted twice, and that is most unusual. The first record has Enoch in the Chester Castle Barracks, he is a private in the 4th Foot, and he is from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Amongst the soldiers is a drummer from London and other men of the 4th Foot come from Liverpool, Chester, Ireland, Wareham, Northampton and Cambridge. The second 1871 census return is from Bridge St, Chester, where Enoch Tearle, aged 29 lived with Elizabeth Tearle, aged 20. Enoch described himself as private, soldier, 4th King’s Own Regiment, from Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, while Elizabeth was simply dressmaker, from Flintshire. This is not a military street, even though Chester has been a military town since Roman times. Chester Castle itself was built by the Normans and still stands within the city walls. In this street, there are another two dressmakers, a master painter, a stone mason, a butcher, a cashier in a millinery department, a draper’s assistant and a general servant. There is even a pupil teacher, the backbone of the profession in the early history of education in England. All of these are working people, but this neighbourhood is a long way, in kind and in distance, from Enoch’s village. There are no farmers and there are no ag labs. And, interestingly, in this street there are very few children.

In 1881, Enoch is much closer to his roots than in bustling, urban, militarised Chester, but the census return still tells a well-traveled tale. Enoch and Elizabeth are living in the village of Bisham, Berkshire, where he is a butler, and Elizabeth is a full-time wife. He says he is only 34 and she is 29. Enoch’s arithmetic is a little out of sync with his age because, since he was born in 1841, he was 40 in 1881. Enoch has left the army and he is working, to make up the gap between his military pension and what he needs to spend to keep his family in the manner he wants. The most senior person in a great house is the cook; the next most senior is the butler; Enoch would be on a good wage. He also has a family: Jeffrey Jones Tearle, Minnie, Emily and Martha Elizabeth. Jeffrey was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, the southern military training camp; Minnie was born in Woolwich, the London barracks; Emily was born in Athlone, Ireland and Martha was born in Aldershot. John Herbert was born in 1881 in Bisham, Berks, so he is not far away when the census enumerator comes knocking. That Emily was born in Ireland means that Enoch did his country’s duty in policing the Irish revolution that began in 1798 and finally ended with Irish independence in 1922.

The 1891 census shows Elizabeth living in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Neither Elizabeth nor Minnie, the eldest girl, give an occupation but Emily is a dressmaker and Bessie, John Herbert and Katherine Mary are at school while little Samuel Hugh is just two years old. The range of occupations is expanding in small town life – there is a foreman in a brewery, a locomotive fireman, two millers and a butler in Elizabeth’s street. Enoch was in London for this census, working at 24 Portland Place, not far from the present Broadcasting House and today houses the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. In 1891 this imposing building was the home of three elderly Yorkshire sisters, all single. They had a household of no less than nine staff, and Enoch was their butler.

In 1901, things have changed a little. Enoch’s occupation as the enumerator wrote it is illegible because of a deep black cross over it, drawn by the person who was checking all the different occupations people gave and distilling them into a few codes. So, for instance, ag lab was still in use for a farm worker. Enoch was definitely a worker so he was employed, rather than running his own business. Elizabeth, Katherine and Samuel Hugh do not give an occupation, and at 11yrs old it is certain that Samuel is still at school, but at 15yrs, it is not clear whether Katherine might be still at school, although it cannot be ruled out. The situation, though, looks calm and peaceful. Marlow, Buckinghamshire, is a rural idyll on the banks of the River Thames with large English trees, an imposing spire on a tall and elegant church and a graceful weir down which the Thames tumbles and chortles on its way to London. Enoch has moved back to his comfortable place in rural England.

The 1911 census always gives a little more than one would expect from a dry catalogue such as a census. For instance, it notes that Enoch and Elizabeth have been married for 41 years and had a total of nine live births, of whom seven are still living. Enoch is nearly seventy years old, and says he was formerly Army. Katherine is a teacher (assistant), employed by the Buckinghamshire County Council. Enoch says they are living at home in Jubilee Cottage, Newtown, Marlow.

Having found out as much as possible from the censuses taken in Enoch’s lifetime, there are a few details that can be filled in on Enoch’s army record because his discharge papers from the army in 1879 are in the public record. Firstly, they tell us he enlisted at Bedford on 15 November 1858 into the 2nd Battalion, 4th Division, King’s Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, when he was just 18yrs old and worked as a farm labourer. He was 5ft 4in tall, had sandy hair and a slight frame. He had been in service for 21 years and 9 days, which consisted of a first period of 9yrs 145 days then re-enlistment for a further 11yrs 214 days. In that time he had collected a silver medal for long service and good conduct, plus 5 good conduct badges. He was rated as conduct very good, 5B, which would appear to be the best conduct of all, since conduct ratings ranged from fair, then good 1B to 5B, then very good 1B all the way to 5B. In a written note, his conduct is described as very good, habits regular, temperate. The Methodists were keen on temperance, so Enoch was following his up-bringing. His medical record says he was sick four times in Corfu, twice being treated for climate-related conditions, between 1858 and 1863, otherwise he was never injured and never wounded. That is why he was missing in the 1861 census – he was on the island of Corfu, off the coast of Greece. He was actually on service abroad for 9yrs.  Also formally noted was that he had never been entered in the regimental defaulters book and he had never been tried by court martial. His formal discharge date was 25 November 1879, he was 39yrs old, of sallow complexion, brown eyes, red hair and his occupation was labourer. His intended place of residence was Captain Yorkes, Bisham Grange, Gt Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

At this point two more documents concerning Enoch came to light. One was a listing in the Kelly’s Trades Directory for 1907 which shows Enoch was a shopkeeper in Newtown, Marlow. Presumably, he was trading from this cottage, or at least from a premise very close to it. The last document is the calendar listing for the probate on Enoch’s will. His date of death was 4 March 1920 and the administrator for the £161 worth of his estate, was Bessie Tearle, spinster. “Bessie” was Martha Elizabeth Tearle, born 1877 in Aldershot. Bessie died, still unmarried, in 1957, in Hastings, on the south coast.

The reason for spending so long telling Enoch’s story is because it has ripples and resonance for many of his descendants; to John and even to John’s children. Enoch must have been a larger-than-life, formidable character of a man, because his influence on the future of his family is far-reaching and plain to see. However, for the moment, the story is focussed on where the roots of John Tearle’s Tree are firmly planted.

Abel’s family

Parents: William Tearle and Sarah nee Clarke (married 1795, eight children)

Joseph 1796,
Joseph 1797,
John 1799,
James 1801,
Benjamin 1804,
Daniel 1806,
Mary 1808,
Abel 1810

There is already mention of Enoch’s parents, Abel Tearle and Martha, but a closer examination is rewarding. Abel was born in Stanbridge in 1810; he is one of a family whose christenings were recorded in the Stanbridge Parish Records (PRs) that were reported on earlier. Abel is almost at the end of the records that Emmison transcribed:

Abel son of William and Sarah Tearle was baptised on 15 April 1810

Held under lock and key and hidden in the grand old Victorian safe deep in the vestry, is the Stanbridge Church banns register. When I first visited Stanbridge Church in 1997, the churchwarden carefully lifted it from a shelf in the safe and, walking amongst the pews, finally stopped and laid the book on the wooden lid of the medieval font. He opened the blue cover and I saw that the first page was headed 1821 and the first entry was dated fifth day of June. On that day, William Millar and Mary Janes had heard called out in the church the first of their three banns. The book has many pages of printed forms and the churchwarden explained that the vicar fills out one form for each couple who are going to be married. All the entries are written in india ink, which is very dense and contains no acid. The vicar uses the same kind of dip pen that children used in primary school in the 1950s, with an inkwell in the corner of a battered wooden desk, with its flip-up seat and hinged lid. Asked why the book was not in a museum, or a historical collection, the churchwarden replied,

“Because we are still using it.”

Here is a book that opened in 1821 in a small church in a Bedfordshire village and it is still in use, recording banns for the villagers of Stanbridge who love each other and want to be married. In 2006, at the very first TearleMeet in Stanbridge Enid Horton, and her daughter Lorinda, made it their mission to transcribe all the Tearle events recorded in the register. There were thirty-one entries. The first was 9 September 1825 when John Tearle married Elizabeth Mead, and the last was 21 April 1923 when Ernest Webb married Mabel Edith Tearle. The record held thirty-one marriages in 98 years. Those names are a roll-call of the Tearle family in Stanbridge. On 23 June 1833 Abel Tearle had the first of the three readings of the banns announced for his marriage to Martha Emorton (sic). The vicar has carefully overwritten the e he wrote in Emerton with an o. After much research and checking with modern spellings it was noted that the most common spelling of the name was Emmerton, so that is how it will look from this point forward.

Abel and Martha were married in the little Tilsworth church a few hundred yards along the road from Stanbridge, on 9 July 1833, because at this time, marriages were not held in Stanbridge. It is notable that no-one in this ceremony could write, except the vicar. Abel, Martha, and the witnesses William Crawley and Eliza Emmerton all make their mark. We see nothing more of Abel until the 1841 census. Abel and Martha are living on the Leighton Road. For someone standing on the grass where the cars park outside Stanbridge Church, looking straight up Mill Road to Eggington, Leighton Road is to the left and does indeed go to Leighton Buzzard, about six miles away. Totternhoe Road, as it was called then, goes off to the right. It is now called Tilsworth Road and runs past that village towards the A5. Upon examination of the Stanbridge pages of the 1841 census, it is clear that anyone who does not work on the land has an occupation: Rebecca Hines is a plat (sic) Ann Emmerton is a strawplaiter, Thomas Gregory is a farmer, George Crawley is a butcher, Charles Horne is also a farmer, Charles Bridger is a tailor, John Flint is a shoemaker and Mary Mead is a bonnet sewer. All the rest of the males are ag lab, and all the rest of the women have no occupation at all. In the 1841 census, it is best to remember that adult ages were rounded down to the nearest age divisible by 5, such that someone who was actually 37 years old was recorded as 35. Children’s ages were near enough to their correct age. Abel Tearle, ag lab, then, is thirty years old, Martha is 25 with her father, Joseph Emmerton who is 65 and still an ag lab – and there are the following children:

Ann, 5yrs
Sarah, 3yrs
Amos 2yrs

We shall skip the 1851 census, partly because Abel is not there, and partly because Enoch is, and we have already looked at his page, above. Martha is described as an ag lab wife.

In the 1861 census, things have changed a lot. Abel is a platelayer on the railway. It is likely that Abel missed the 1851 census because he was in a gang laying the plates for the railway somewhere between Preston, Leighton Buzzard and London.

In the 1871 census, Abel is 61 and still a railway plate layer, while Ann (25) and Elizabeth (20) are straw plaiters. There are only two ag labs on this page. Things have certainly changed, because James Birch is a railway lab, David Giltrow is a dealer (in plait) John Ellingham is a dealer, and Elizabeth Hinde is a dressmaker. It is interesting to speculate that there might be as many men on the railways as there are left on the land. The Industrial Revolution is well under way.

In the 1881 census there is a sad story; Abel is 71 years old and is an agricultural Labourer. He could not retire, he has to keep working. He has gone back to the only other work he knows apart from the railways, and that is the land. It is unlikely he is earning very much, because his daughter Ann is at home helping Martha. Although the enumerator has not given her an occupation,  Ann’s straw plaiting would still be bringing in money that the whole house depended on. Abel died on 9 October 1882 and was buried on the 13th.

Stanbridge is an odd little church and parish, with a complicated political history. It was part of the Peculiar of Leighton Buzzard which meant it was not part of the Archdeaconry of Bedford, and its rector was a prebend of Lincoln Cathedral. In short, this meant that while baptisms and burials could be conducted in Stanbridge, marriages were performed in All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard, or in the bride’s parish, hence the records of Tearles marrying in the Tilsworth church. A trip to Leighton Buzzard just to see its parish church is well worth the effort; the tower is so tall it can be seen for miles on the approach to town. The marriage of William Tearle and Sarah Clarke is noted in the Leighton Buzzard PRs:

William Tearle and Sarah Clarke were married on 12 November 1795

Very sadly, the Leighton Buzzard Parish records also record that Sarah Tearle died and was buried in the little cemetery that surrounds Stanbridge Church, in 1811, it seems not very long after the birth of her last child, Abel 1810, who was to become Enoch’s father.

The wife of William Tearle was buried on 11 October 1811

The Stanbridge census of 1841 reveals William Tearle (aged 70, so born around 1771) in Stanbridge, but he was married to a Judith who was 65 years at the time. The Stanbridge PRs tell who she was:

William Tearle and Judith Knight (of Tilsworth) were married on 9 November 1812

It seems heartless that Sarah died in Oct 1811, and William remarried in November the following year, but both William and Judith would have benefitted a great deal from this marriage – William would have had a wife to look after the children while he worked, and Judith would have had an income and a respectable home. We cannot criticise them. A close look at the 1841 census form indicates that William was an ag lab, so that is what he would have been all his life. It is not possible to know what sort of work he did, and almost all the men on this page of the Totternhoe Rd were ag lab, but there are some occupations listed: Thomas Buckingham was on parish support and Thomas Gadsden was a plait dealer while Sarah Bunker, Mary Turney and Sarah Corkett were all straw plaiters. You can see clearly how farming life completely dominated the village of Stanbridge until the railways arrived and people began to take advantage of them from the 1850s.

It is difficult to know any more about William than this; he probably did not own his cottage, and he probably had to move several times during his working life; possibly on the basis of different farmer, different cottage, and possibly also moving to a larger cottage to cater for a larger family. There is constant movement from one little cottage to another in and around Stanbridge, thrown sharply into focus every ten years. We cannot know what William did as an ag lab and we cannot know where he worked, or even if he had work on one or many farms. William died in 1846. We know a little about his parents. Here is William’s baptism in Stanbridge Church:

Ann the daughter of John and Martha Tearle was baptised on 5 February 1769

William the son of Joseph and Phoebe Tearle was baptised on 10 December 1769

These two baptisms in 1769 are for children (Ann, and William) of two separate families – John Tearle and Martha nee Archer, and Joseph Tearle and Phoebe nee Capp. The two men are brothers, and Joseph is the eldest son of his family. By checking for other Joseph-Phoebe births, it is possible to find the entire family. There is a very short note about each family that resulted:

William’s family

Parents: Joseph Tearle and Phoebe nee Capp (married 1765, twelve children)

Joseph 1766      married Mary Pointer, one child
Mary 1768         married Joseph Wright, 6 children
William 1769               (as noted above) married Sarah Clarke, 8 children
Phebe 1771 (sic) died 1771, Thomas 1771, died 1771
Thomas 1774    died 1776
Ann 1775            married James Sharp, 6 children
Richard 1778    married Mary Pestel, 8 children
Thomas 1780   married Sarah Gregory in Chalgrave (no children) then Mary (surname, and maiden surname, unknown) who already had two children in Luton, 3 children
Pheby 1782 (sic) no record beyond this
George 1785     married Elizabeth Willison, 6 children
John 1787          married Elizabeth Flint, 3 children. Died 1818

With a family such as this and so numerous in grandchildren, it is no wonder that Joseph’s branch is very influential amongst the Tearles. You can see clearly the children who have died because there is another with the same name, later. Joseph and Phoebe were determined to have a Thomas, named after Joseph’s father, and a Phoebe to ensure her name carried forward, too. In the case of the twins Phoebe and Thomas Tearle, there is a single burial record for them in 1771 but no baptism, so I am assuming that they died very soon after birth. There was another Thomas baptised 02 January 1774, for whom there is no burial record, but since there is a later Thomas (1780) there is, completely contrived, a death date of 1776. Thomas Tearle, baptised 1780, did survive and married Sarah Gregory in the beautiful little church of Chalgrave, across the A5 to the north-east of Stanbridge, in 1802. Just before leaving Joseph’s Tree, it is well to look at the memorial under the trees in Stanbridge Church to John Tearle (of this family, immediately above) born 1787, who died in 1818. His daughter, Hannah Tearle born 1816, married Henry Fleet, a fellow Methodist in the village, and the two of them went to Sierra Leone on a great Methodist mission and adventure. The two of them fell violently ill on the ship and died within weeks of each other, shortly after arriving in Africa. Their sacrifice for their faith and their idealism is memorialised on a tablet which hung on the wall of the Methodist chapel. It was rescued when the chapel was demolished and it is secured on the wall of Stanbridge Church itself.

We have now arrived at one of the roots of the Tearle Tree. Joseph Tearle and Phoebe are William’s parents, so John Tearle 1916, Lt Commander RN, descends from Joseph Tearle of Stanbridge.

Joseph’s family

Parents: Thomas Tearle and Mary nee Sibley (married 1730, eight children)

Mary 1731, Elizabeth 1734, Joseph 1737, Thomas 1737, John 1741, Jabez 1745, William 1749, Richard 1754

Although these boys, Joseph and Thomas, were baptised at the same time, they may not have been born at the same time. However, Joseph, because he was the eldest son, inherited a farm which included a piece of Muggington Field, comprising strips of land between Stanbridge and Leighton Buzzard. Without the money to develop and expand his farm, Joseph and Phoebe were forced into ever more desperate circumstances until finally, on the 9th of July 1788, the last piece of land owned by the Tearle family in Stanbridge was sold. Joseph and Phoebe died paupers. A strip of Muggington Field that was bought from Joseph and Phoebe was purchased at the time by the family of Lawrence Cooper, the churchwarden who opened the church on the morning of TearleMeet Two in 2008. 220 years after that sale, Lawrence still owned the land.

This Thomas Tearle, the father of Joseph, was born in Stanbridge in 1709 and married Mary Sibley from Houghton Regis on 27 May 1730. They had eight children, of whom seven survived. Thomas died in Leighton Buzzard in 1755 and Mary probably lived with Joseph and Phoebe until her death in 1792. Joseph died in 1790 and Phoebe, who was undoubtedly the leading force for Methodism in the Tearles, died in 1817.

An examination of the list of John’s ancestors on page 2 will reveal that all the people on that list have had their stories told, beginning with John Tearle 1916 and Jean nee Searle, and ending with Thomas 1709 and Mary nee Sibley. It is time now to look in a little more detail at the stories of those in John’s family who accepted a role in the military.

 Military lives

From the brief view above of the story of Enoch’s military life; it would seem that much of it was spent in Ireland, although 9yrs were spent on service abroad. It has already been recounted that he joined the 2nd Battalion 4th Division, The King’s Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, and he was discharged after 21 years, still with the rank of private. His boys were to change all that; no mere private rank for them. From a glance at their birth dates, it can be seen that two, at least, were prime candidates for joining the armed forces in the First World War:

Jeffrey Jones Tearle     1871
John Herbert Tearle     1881
Samuel Hugh Tearle     1889

John Herbert Tearle, John’s father, might have been 33 in 1914, but that did not stop the armed forces from recruiting men of that age, especially if they already had military experience. Between John Herbert and Samuel Hugh was Katherine Mary, born in 1885. A long search attempting to find her in one of the many women’s auxiliary forces, or in a women’s group, was carried out, but there appears to be no documentation. Her contribution has been lost amongst the myriad grains of sand in the great hourglass of events that was the First World War (WW1). Millions of women spent huge amounts of time and energy – and their lives – helping in the war effort and there is no doubt that Katherine Mary joined in that work. Now, however, it is time to start at the top of the list of Enoch and Elizabeth’s children – with Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Jones Tearle was born in the Aldershot Camp hospital in 1871, and baptised later the same year. The camp had a hospital, and given that Jeffrey consistently gave his birth address as Aldershot, It is a reasonable assumption that he was born on site, in a vast camp that usually held in excess of 10,000 people. It is difficult to tell if there were married quarters, but Enoch was fully engaged in his army duties, and his family were born wherever he was at the time. The camp had a Methodist chapel, and a Primitive Methodist chapel, so it is very likely that Jeffrey was baptised in one of them, and it is equally likely he went to a school in the camp.

On 28 October, 1886, Jeffrey joined the army, and not just any regiment, either; the Royal Lancashire Regiment – in other words, the King’s Own. Since he is following his father in this, and he signed up in the Buttervant Barracks, North Cork, it is also likely that he took his father’s advice on the next decision; he signed up for 12 years. He was 15 years and 3 months old, and he was already an office boy, perhaps employed by one of the companies in Aldershot town, or perhaps somewhere in Ireland. He was 5ft 4in tall and weighed 100lb. He had hazel eyes, auburn hair, a mole on his left thigh and he was given the military serial number 1824. However, page three of his record, entitled his statement of services, is unhappily short. His service started on 29 Oct 1886 and ended on 28 July 1890:

Discharged, private, having been found medically unfit for further service.

His service had lasted 3 years and 243 days. On page four, there is a detailed breakdown of Jeffery’s service – he had been a drummer in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Lancashire Regiment. His next of kin was Enoch Tearle, residence 21 Victoria Park, Dover. For 216 days (9 September 1887 to 12 April 1888) Jeffrey was in India. This is the first documented sight of Enoch’s family (other than Enoch himself) being out of the country, anywhere other than in Ireland. The Actions, Movements and Quarters archive of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum in Lancaster showed where the 2nd Battalion was at any time, and where it went next:

January 1886 Quetta
March 1888 Karachi and Hyderabad

But there is more; on the sixth page of Jeffrey’s record there are two appearances before a medical board:

Quetta  18.2.88               Valvular disease. Recommended change to England. There is a stamp – Station Hospital Quetta

Curragh 9 June ’90 Valve disease of heart. For Discharge.

Also, it is clear the army approved of Jeffrey: habits regular, conduct good.

On the back of this form, there is a breakdown of where Jeffrey was, and what brought him to the medic’s attention. More importantly, it documents exactly where he was and when he was there.

Buttevant (Barracks, North Cork) 4.11.86    Ulcer     18 days in hospital
HMS Crocodile   9.9.87                  No reason given
Bombay   6.10.87                            No reason given
Narela (Delhi, India)    12.10.87       No reason given
Quetta  (India)    15.11.87              Rheumatism sub-acute      17 days in hospital
Quetta  (India)    12.2.88                Val. dis. of the heart     9 days in hospital
HMS Crocodile    17.3.88                No reason given
Netley  (Hants)    12.4.88                Disability. Climate        25 days in hospital
Dublin    9.2.89                 Itch          5 days in hospital
Dublin     7.9.89       S. C. Fever       13 days in hospital
Curragh    1.3.90      Anaemia           46 days in hospital

It transpires that the HMS Crocodile was a troopship designed to carry a full battalion of infantry, families and auxiliaries, a total of 1202. On 7 September 1887 she left Portsmouth with Jeffrey on board and on the 9th, Jeffrey was examined by the ship’s doctor. On 5 October 1887 HMS Crocodile arrived in Bombay and the 6th, Jeffrey was again examined by medical staff, this time in the Bombay military hospital. On 17 March 1888 HMS Crocodile left Bombay and on 12 April arrived in Portsmouth. Jeffrey was admitted to the Royal Victoria Military Hospital at Netley, near Southampton, where he stayed for 25 days. A man can get amazingly sick in India.

The beauty of this page is that it tells us that a 5ft 4in 18-yr old of only 100lbs is not really British Army fighting material, even if he is only a drummer. Secondly, it spells out in very clear terms where Jeffrey was and when. Thirdly it tells us that Jeffrey was there when the British Raj was at its height – Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.

The last sheet (dated 2.6.90) in Jeffrey’s army record details the process of leaving the King’s Own. He is now in the 1st Battalion (he started in the 2nd) and the first question on the form is:

What is the disability unfitting him for service?           Valve disease of the heart.

Its origin, date, progress?                                      Probably constitutional. Started with an attack of rheumatism.

Is it caused by his service as a soldier?              Has not been caused or aggravated by military service

Is the disability permanent?                                  Permanent, but he will be able to contribute a little towards ensuring a livelihood.

On 7 August 1897, still only 26yrs old, in spite of all his adventures, Jeffrey married Sarah Quarterman in St Ann’s Church, Lambeth, London. He describes himself as a clerk, and his father, Enoch Tearle, as a butler. His sister, Emily Tearle 1876 (the one born in Ireland) was a witness. The 1901 census reveals that Sarah was born in 1867 in Milton under Wychwood, a Cotswold village not far from Chipping Norton. The Gothic parish church of St Simon and St Jude dominates the countryside, which used to be mined for the yellow Milton Stone that was used for many local buildings. They are living at 47 Mayall Rd, Lambeth. It is close to the Brixton Tube station while the Railton Methodist Church is about 100 yards along and one street over. Jeffrey calls himself an O. C. shipping clerk. And they have a son, Reginald Herbert Henry Tearle, just 1yr old. The world has ticked over into the 20th Century, but the Victorians cling on; in this stretch of the road, there are many occupations: a general carman, a keeler groom, a dress wash, road labourer, railway guard, two greengrocers, railway labourer, laundry maid, bath attendant, milliner, shop attendant, and a traveling salesman. Most people here are Londoners, but only four houses are occupied by Brixton-born families. Jeffrey from Aldershot and the traveling salesman from Fyfield, Hants, are the only strangers from out of London. Little Reggie died in1904.

In 1911, Jeffrey and Sarah are living in 11 Kepler Rd, Clapham where he is a mercantile clerk for a provision merchant. Provisioning usually applies to the armed forces, in this case, probably the navy. They now have a second son, Edward Jeffrey Tearle aged 4, born in Lambeth. There is also a niece, Beatrice Soden, from Idbury in Oxfordshire. who is their housemaid along with a boarder, perhaps to augment the family income. Beatrice was born in 1882 in Chipping Norton to William Soden and Matilda nee Quarterman. They married in Chipping Norton in 1877. Matilda Quarterman 1856, of Chipping Norton, was Sarah’s sister. Their parents were Israel Quarterman 1822 of Denchworth, Berkshire (an ag lab all his life – the price you pay for living in the country) and Eliza nee Templer (probably Templar) 1822 of Curbridge, Oxfordshire.

The last document of Jeffrey’s life was the entry in the probate calendar of 1913. Jeffrey was living in 25 Kepler Road, Clapham. He died on 4 August 1913 at Guy’s Hospital, Surrey and had asked Benjamin Hewitt, a Prudential agent, to administer his estate of £249 14s 7d. Sarah died just over a year later, on 14 December 1914, asking Harriett Brewitt (the wife of Benjamin Brewitt) to administer her estate of £205 17s 4d.

There are two marriage records for an Edward J Tearle: one to Margaret Shelley in Essex 1935, and another to Leonora F Wedlake in Somerset in 1941. Until there is documentation to indicate exactly which Edward J is the son of Jeffrey and Sarah nee Quarterman, his story is suspended here.

John Herbert Tearle 1881

John Herbert Tearle, was born 1881 in Bisham, Berkshire, just too late for the census, but where, as noted earlier, his father was a butler. In 1891 he was 10yrs old, and a scholar, living with his mother, who was a dressmaker. Spittal Street in Gt Marlow had a Wesleyan chapel in 1891, and there was a Borlase school not far away, a free school for twenty-four boys. It is very likely that John H would have gone to the former, but he definitely went to the latter. The Slough, Eton and Windsor Observer of 8 January 1916 notes:

“The list of successful candidates in the qualifying examination for naval cadetships, to enter the Royal Naval College, Osborne, in January includes… Francis John Enoch Tearle (Borlase School) son of Mr J H Tearle, an old boy of Borlase, and grandson of Mr E Tearle, of New Town.”

In the not too distant future he would be an engineer and an accountant, so his education had to have been better than a plait school in Bedfordshire. There is no mention of the Wesleyan chapel being used as a school, but I am certain that you cannot rule it out.

After his very brief flirtation with army life, and some study and some experience in the intervening years, John Herbert married Mary Ward in 1900, in the Westminster district of St George Hanover Sq. in Central London. There are no further details. It is also difficult to find out very much about Mary, too, but it is likely she is the Mary 1881 who is in the 1881 Battersea, Surrey, census with her father William Ward 1835 born in Westminster, her mother Catherine, born in Buckinghamshire and three other children. Her father is a general merchant, described by the enumerator as living in a house at 12 Arthur St: “shop, dealership, rope, bottles, bones and old clothes.”

In 1901, John H and Mary Tearle are living in 107 Brook St, in the parish of St George the Martyr, Southwark. This is a darkly handsome church full of menace and foreboding, on a corner of Borough High Street. It is worth the train fare to London Bridge and a walk through Borough Market just to visit it. Mary is not given an occupation, but John H grandly calls himself accountant, and then reminds the enumerator (in brackets) that really he is only a clerk – oh, and an engineer. The enumerator dismissively encodes him as CC – commercial clerk.

Brook St, Southwark (nowadays called Brook Drive) is a very interesting, and a very mixed, street. There are new families from Germany and Ireland, and out-of-towners from Essex, Buckinghamshire, Wheathampstead, Portsmouth and Boughton. There is also a selection of Londoners from all around the city – such as Westminster, Southwark, Lambeth and Newington. The collection of accents you would have heard as you walked in old Brook Street, may have come as quite a surprise, but it does show London growing and diversifying. The occupations are mixed, too, comprised mostly of working class people wanting to move up the aspiration ladder to a better, more stable life. There is a police constable, three teachers, a stone mason, a commercial clerk, a coppersmith’s apprentice, a tailoress, a police sergeant, a home health worker, a bookbinder, a journalist, a housekeeper and a carriage maker. Only one couple is older than 41yrs in the entire street, and that is the 63-yr old bookbinder and his housekeeper wife.

As early as 1897, John H was working for the Metropolitan-Vickers Company (M-V). There is a history of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company Ltd, written by John Dummelow in 1949, and in a chapter entitled BRITISH WESTINGHOUSE from 1899, the first decade: the author describes the events of the first ten years. In 1907, John H is credited with a job of some authority, as both an accountant and an engineer. In 1917, he was assistant secretary and treasurer, and in 1920 (he was called the comptroller) he resigned, after twenty-three years with Westinghouse companies. Westinghouse is an American company, still well known, which made a large range of mostly industrial electrical items – motors for trams and generators for hydro-electric power stations, for instance. The Metropolitan-Vickers Company made products under licence from Westinghouse, firstly (ie before 1910) in Old Broad St, London City.

In the 1911 census, the last comprehensive view of John H and his family, he is in Lancaster. His address is Clifton Bank, Church Rd, Urmston. These days, it is just another suburb of Manchester, but possibly, in 1911, it did seem a bit further away than an easy commute, perhaps even a little bit countrified. However, the main reason for living there was to be reasonably close to Trafford Industrial Park, where the M-V company had built a substantial manufacturing plant. John is 30 and Mary is 31, she has been married 10yrs and has had three children, of whom three are still alive. John is an accountant for an electrical manufacturer. They are living in a nine-roomed house – and they have a 13yr-old maid, Ada Mason.

In 1916, John Tearle was born in Barton upon Irwell, Lancashire, presumably while they were still living in Urmston, but certainly still close to Trafford Park. He is the man at the centre this narrative. For John H, though, the overall picture, with nine years of his career with Metropolitan-Vickers to go, is one of comparative wealth and some seniority. In 1917, he was listed amongst the senior officials of the company.

After 1920 there are only tantalising glimpses of John H’s life. Now that he is free from the constraints of the office, he takes up a challenge in South America, mostly Argentina, for which company there are no clues, but the voyage, and the ensuing adventure, do have consequences. The following is an entry in a ship’s passenger manifest:

Name:  John Herbert Tearle
Gender:              Male
Age:      42
Birth Date:        abt 1881
Departure Date:             20 Dec 1923
Port of Departure:         Southampton, England
Destination Port:           Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Ship Name:       Zeelandia
Shipping Line: Royal Holland Lloyd
Master:               A Dyker

This is three years after he left Metropolitan-Vickers, and there is a return journey:
Name:  John Herbert Tearle
Birth Date:        abt 1881
Age:      43
Port of Departure:         New York, New York, United States
Arrival Date:     2 Jul 1924
Port of Arrival: Southampton, England
Ship Name:       Almanzora

Although this transcript says the ship was returning from New York, the manifest itself says he was returning from Rio de Janeiro. John Herbert Tearle, 1881, engineer, is not to be confused with J Tearle 1892, engineer, who also traveled, this time on many noted journeys, to and from Buenos Aires and Liverpool. He was John Lawrence Tearle, the father of John L Tearle, scientist and author. The last, short, view we have of John Herbert is a mention in the National Probate Calendar of 1966. Address, 40 Villiers Ave, Surbiton. Died 25 October 1966, probate to Francis John Enoch Tearle, retired company director. £19023. We will see Francis later – we already know he is Uncle Frank – but there is so much more. The sum John Herbert left as his estate is handsome indeed.

Samuel Hugh Tearle 1889

The last child born to Enoch and Elizabeth Tearle was Samuel Hugh Tearle, born in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 1889. When recounting the results of her researches into this family, Mavis Endall of Melbourne, the grand-daughter of Minnie Tearle 1874 (the one born in Woolwich) called him Uncle Sam. The Australians will be part of this story later. Samuel has already appeared in the 1891 census as a baby and in the 1901 census as a schoolboy, where the enumerator’s handwriting made them look like the Harle family. In the 1911 census he is in the army, he is a 21-year old lance corporal from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and he notes that his father was born in Stanbridge, Bedfordshire. He is on the island of Jersey. Samuel is in a list of soldiers on page 193 of the census, but flipping back one page reveals that he is in the Parish of St Peter’s, and for the name of the head of the family, there is: Officer Commanding 2nd The King’s Own, St Peter’s Barracks, Jersey. Samuel has joined the King’s Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, and he is in the 2nd Battalion, just like Jeffrey. His elder brother, Jeffrey joined the King’s Own in 1886 and here is Samuel, in 1911, already a lance corporal and beginning his career in an outpost. It is not particularly difficult to trace Samuel’s life and adventures in the army, particularly during the Great War.

Here, in an encapsulated form, is where the 2nd Battalion went and what they did there:

August 1914 Lebong, India
November 1914 Mobilised to be part of 83rd Infantry Brigade, 28th Division, at Winchester.
16 January 1915 Landed at Le Havre, France.
17 February 1915 Bayonet Charge at Zwartelen
21 February 1915 Repulse of Attack near Ypres
3 May 1915 Repulse of attack near Zonnebeke
8 – 13 May 1915 2nd Battle of Ypres: Battle of Frezenberg
8 May 1915 Repulse of attack at Frezenberg
25 Sept – 8 Oct 1915 The Battle of Loos
November 1915 Embarked for Egypt
January 1916 Landed in Macedonia (Salonika)
13 October 1916 Capture of Barakli Dzuma
March 1917 Battle of Doiran 1917
23 June 1917 Raid at Brest
25 February 1918 Raid on Bursuk
18 September 1918 Battle of Doiran 1918 and advance into Bulgaria.
10 November 1918 Moved to Chanak
December 1918 Turkey
13 March 1919 Reduced to Cadre
March 1919 Returned to Tidworth
July 1919 Disbanded and reformed

 

Those who have little knowledge of WW1 will still have heard of some of these battles, because they were the sites of vast bloodshed. Two in particular stand out: Ypres and Loos.

Ypres – you will have seen on television the recent excavations of battle trenches near this town in Belgium; English soldiers gave Ypres the name Wipers. Eeepr – can you imagine an Eastcheap cockney coping with that? The first battle of Wipers was a huge battle that lasted weeks, and then just died away. Hundreds of thousands of men (on both sides) were killed by machine guns and huge field guns that pounded the town and everything around it. Not a yard of ground was gained or lost. Then there was the second battle of Wipers. Same result. Then there was the third battle of Wipers, usually called Paschendale, being the name of a ridge that the armies fought over. There were half a million casualties. A huge memorial was built there, called the Menin Gate. It is the gateway into Ypres and has the names of 64,000 men whose bodies were never found. Those names filled the Gate, and the overflow of 8,373 men were written on tall tablets on the Tyne Cott memorial a few kilometres from Ypres

The battle of Loos is described in detail by the Western Front Association: www.westernfrontassociation.com  but suffice it to say that 75,000 British soldiers were involved, and that it marked the first time that the British army used poison gas. Samuel was involved in all its horrors from trenches on and near the front line. That is where the 2nd Battalion always was.

From January 1916, when Samuel landed in Macedonia, until he finally left Turkey, the 2nd Battalion King’s Own Regiment fought the battles that lead to the end of the Ottoman Empire. Chanak on 10 November 1918 refers to the surrender of Constantinople, and Turkey with it. The following day, 11 November 1918, the Germans surrendered. These days we call it Armistice Day. Samuel H and others of the 2nd Battalion, as members of the British Army, marched into Constantinople, to keep the newly-declared peace and to start the process of delivering the war-torn world back to the politicians.

It was necessary to outline these events to show that Samuel was there when WW1 started, and he was still standing when it ended. There is, in the King’s Own Regiment Museum, a photo of Lt Samuel Tearle taken with a group in Salonika. Samuel’s medal card is most interesting to study because it is, in a highly condensed form, the story of his life in WW1. Firstly, there is a big red stamp 1914-15. There is his name TEARLE, Samuel Hugh, then the Corps: Royal Lancashire Regiment. Rank – sergeant, and his regimental number – 10220. This means that in 1914, when the war started, Samuel was already a sergeant. There is no date given, but in blue there is recorded Lt and a red pen note saying comm’d, meaning commissioned. He had been made a full lieutenant, not just an acting one. The medal record goes on to say the THEATRE OF WAR was France. The official landing date of the 28th Division was 16 January 1915. Samuel was awarded the 1914-15 Star, for being in the war from that date, as well as the Victory Medal and the British Star. Interesting, also, is his address:

38 Cedar Terrace, Lancaster Gate, W.2.

Lancaster Gate is a handsome, stone-faced, multi-storey, 19th Century development in London, part of which borders Hyde Park.

It would be informative to see the Service Record for Samuel Hugh but it has never surfaced, and as a result, there is no record of how and when he left the army, but a note in the London Gazette of 10 February 1919 announces he was temporarily made a captain whilst he operated as an adjutant. That is a very good rank indeed, even more so because he rose to it from starting as a mere private.

Now, let’s go back to India. You will see in the Actions and Movements list above that Samuel was in Lebong with the 2nd Battalion in August 1914, then in London for the November merge with the 28th Division, then in France on 15 January 1915. I think it was Rosemary Tearle of Auckland who found this:

Marriage in India:
Groom’s Name: Samuel Hugh Tearle
Bride’s Name: Dorothy Kate Parkhurst
Marriage Date: 04 Dec 1913
Marriage Place: Colaba, Bombay, India
Groom’s Father’s Name: Enoch Tearle
Bride’s Father’s Name: William Parly Parkhurst
Groom’s Marital Status: Single
Bride’s Marital Status: Single

Now we know why he had a London address. Amongst the British expat community, he had found a London girl – and married her. Their first child, a son, was born in Lebong in 1914. They called him Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle. The records for Samuel and Dorothy are very scarce from this date on, and there is no indication of when, or under what conditions, Samuel left the army. In the London Electoral Roll of 1936 they are in Acton W11, number 39, 2nd Avenue. In 1939, they are in 39 Eastvale, Acton. Both addresses are Acton – North East Ward.

On 18 October, 1949, there is a passenger list for the R.M.S ORANTES of the Orient Line for Mr S H Tearle and Mrs Tearle, both 60yrs old, from 15 Vale Court, Aston Vale, London W3. They are sailing to Melbourne, where they intend to stay permanently. In the electoral roll of the State of Victoria, there is a hand-written addition to the Batman, Victoria, roll of Samuel Hugh Tearle. In the 1958 electoral roll of Footscray North, Gellibrand, Victoria, Samuel Hugh is living at 10 Macedon St, W10 where he is a clerk. There are other men, each with their wife, on this page, so I do not know where Dorothy Kate is.

The last sight we have of Mavis’ Uncle Sam is the information given to us on his death certificate of 11 May 1961. He was living at 28 Hawson Avenue, Glenhuntly, Victoria, he was 72 years old. He was married in India when he was 24 years old, to Dorothy Kate Parkhurst, and at the time of his death he was still married. He had a son, Jeffrey, who was deceased, and a daughter Geraldine, who was 42 years old. The certificate was signed by D. L. Endall of 7 Wyalong St, Sunshine, Victoria. I do not know exactly who D L Endall was, but we do know the Endalls; Samuel’s elder sister, Minnie, married Joseph Endall in Islington in 1894 and emigrated to Melbourne in 1924. We can now see that Samuel went to Melbourne to live near her. Dorothy Kate was still alive when Samuel died so I am still no wiser as to how the voting rolls have separated them while they were living at the same address, but we do know they were living together. Dorothy Kate died in Murchison, Victoria in 1984.

Since Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle 1914 is Samuel’s son, I will look at his story before moving on to the last of Enoch’s family to have a military career.

Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle

There is a scarcity of documentation for Jeffrey P that is frankly disappointing. There is a document called Army Returns, Births 1911-1915 which is only an index of the location of the birth records for the babies listed. However, it does indicate that Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle was born in Lebong in 1914.

I do not have any military records for Jeffrey P, but his death as recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is revealing:

Name: TEARLE, JEFFREY PARKHURST
Initials: J P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment/Service: King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
Date of Death: 21/11/1941
Service No: 3709500
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 12. D. 23.
Cemetery: KNIGHTSBRIDGE WAR CEMETERY, ACROMA

He, too, had followed Enoch into the 2nd Battalion, the King’s Own. He was 27yrs old and he had risen to the rank of sergeant when he died. It is likely that Jeffrey P volunteered to join the army otherwise, of all the units he could have joined, it is very unlikely he would have been conscripted into the 2nd Battalion The King’s Own. The assumption, then, is that he joined up when he turned 18 years old, and that in turn means he had been in the army since 1932.

If we have a look at the Actions and Movements section of the King’s Own, we can clearly see that for the first six years of his army life, he was in Britain. In 1938 the entire regiment was shipped to Haifa. This would appear to be in preparation for the Peel Commission plan to partition Palestine.

1920: The King’s Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster

March 1925 Rawalpindi, India
December 1929 Khartoum, Atbara and Gebeit
December 1930 Whittington Barracks, Lichfield
November 1934 Aldershot
September 1938 Haifa, Palestine

Then World War Two (WW2) broke out.

2nd Battalion King’s Own Royal Regiment, Lancaster

August 1940 Egypt
February 1941 Syria
September/October 1941 Tobruk
December 1941 Egypt
February 1943 Ceylon

Here is the story, as told by the Kings Own Museum, of what happened in Tobruk and it covers the events of 21 November 1941, the day Sgt Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle was killed. Briefly, the town of Tobruk was under siege by General Rommel’s forces.

A break-out from Tobruk was planned to coincide with an advance from Egypt by the Eighth Army.  The attack was launched on 18th November after many days of planning, mine clearance and careful preparation.

The fighting was indecisive at first and was in full swing on 20th November when 2nd King’s Own was ordered to attempt to break out.  Each section of the battalion was armed with a Bren gun and thirteen Bren magazines; each rifleman carried a hundred rounds in bandoliers and three grenades; in addition each platoon had two Thompson sub-machine guns and one anti-tank rifle.

On 21st November as tanks moved forward and broke the silence of the night, A and D Companies were in the front line when a tremendous artillery barrage opened up but most shells fell behind the battalion.  As British guns opened fire and the tanks moved forward followed by the carriers so many tanks were disabled by mines that most were knocked out before the infantry were ordered to move.  Despite this, D Company moved forward and took their position, ‘Butch’.  A Company advanced with C Company in support and found themselves held up by a strong point called ‘Jill’.

Whilst D Company was able to hold their position, A and C Companies were forced to withdraw from ‘Jill’ during the afternoon and, with the help of B Company, formed a new defensive position on ‘The Crest’.  As a result of this action the battalion took about 300 German prisoners and were able to hold ‘Butch’ until 24th November when they were relieved by 2nd Battalion Leicester Regiment. 

Francis John Enoch Tearle 1902 (Uncle Frank)

In the 1911 census, Francis was eight years old, and he had been born in the Regent’s Park district of London to John Herbert Tearle 1881 and Mary nee Ward. He was the elder brother of John 1916. This census demonstrates a growing trend in modern society; large numbers of people do not live in villages or communities any more, they live where their employment takes them, and they make what they can of the community they find themselves in when they get there. If they work for a large company, the company will send them wherever it is necessary for their workforce to be. If they do not wish to move, then their employment is terminated. It was noted earlier that Metropolitan-Vickers had an office, and probably a workshop, in Old Broad St, London, and they also had premises on the corner of Ludgate Hill and Farringdon Rd, in the very heart of London City, but since then they had built a huge manufacturing plant in the Trafford Park industrial zone, Manchester. This is where Francis first appears, living with his family in Church Rd, Urmston. Now, Urmston is only six miles from Manchester city, but Metropolitan-Vickers was still allowed to build a coal-fired manufacturing plant close by. The low-lying nature of the site meant they also had to build a water tower. Instead of it being an eye-sore, it is championed as a wonderful iron structure, of magnificent proportions. Its photograph adorns the wall of their head office. A modern, industrialised Britain cannot now blame the emerging nations for their pollution – it showed the way to modernisation, and that includes pollution on a vast scale, low working-class wages, and mass-migration. John Herbert’s life is a micro-dot of what is to come: born in Bisham, Berkshire, he takes a wife from Surrey, has two children in London and then has Kathleen May in Flixton, Manchester. He is no longer a Berkshire boy, he is an indigenous Englishman, and instead of living with the mores and customs of his boyhood locale, he has to learn what it means to be English, and to live his life within a much more open moral and social compass. In his case, he has his Methodist upbringing to guide him. Whether or not he has brought up his family as Methodists needs to be documented, but he has definitely brought them up with the highest standards of citizenship and morality. Francis John Enoch Tearle 1902 is an example of just how high an ordinary family can aspire, beginning with the illiterate but deeply moral and intensely hard-working Abel Tearle and Martha nee Emmerton.

A highly condensed biography was forwarded from Teresa of Brisbane, but the source document remains unknown:

“Tearle, Francis John Enoch, CBE (1965), s of late John Herbert Tearle; b 1902: educ RN Colls Osborne and Dartmouth and Manchester Univ; m 1926, Nettie Liddell, dau of late Matthew A McLean; served 1919-20, midshipman RN and in 1939-45 War as Lt RNVR in Middle East; chartered mechanical engr; gen man Metropolitan Vickers Electric Export Co 1949-54; man dir Associated Electrical Industries (Overseas) Ltd; dir Assocn E.L. Industries Ltd; pres Eutectric Co Ltd; master Worshipful Company of Broderers 1974-75; Travellers’ club and RAC; Shetland Park, Horsley, East Horsley, Surrey”.

Royal Navy cadets studied at the Royal Naval College Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, for two years, then went on to RN College Dartmouth. Osborne closed in 1921, but Dartmouth is still going strong. It is housed in a gloriously flamboyant Victorian building overlooking the harbour. It still trains naval officers with the aim:

To deliver courageous leaders with the spirit to fight and win.

After his two years study in Dartmouth, Francis went to sea and served a year as a midshipman, meaning an officer cadet. Osborne charged £75 a year to attend and some 30 cadets were subsidised to about £40. It is unlikely Francis was one of the latter, given the position his father had attained in Metropolitan-Vickers by 1919. Francis then went home to Manchester where he attended the College of Technology. It is now called the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, and since 1994 has been part of Manchester University. He applied to join the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on 26 April 1923, giving his address as C/- Mrs Clarke, “Hazeldene” Moss Lane, Bramhall, Stockport. He was required to seek a proposer who “from personal knowledge recommends him as a proper person to become a Graduate or Student”. His proposer was Professor Dempster Smith, MBE. A note about him from Manchester University says that during WW1

He was awarded the MBE for his work on the heat treatment of paravane blades. A paravane is made up of a strong steel cable and of two razor-edged blades. The cable is towed alongside a vessel such that the attached blades cut free the moorings of submerged mines.

An undated photograph of the mine-sweeping paravanes in production at Metropolitan-Vickers is reproduced on the same page as the photo of John Herbert, so it is possible to see how Professor Smith made Francis’ personal acquaintance, and this in turn tells us that Francis liked to explore the workshop at Trafford.

In 1926 he married Nettie Liddell McLean, but there is no trace of this marriage in England or in Scotland. In 1911, Nettie was a seven-year-old in Stretford, near Manchester. The registration district was Barton upon Irwell, the same district that would register the birth of Simon’s father in 1916. Her father, Matthew Adam McLean 1868 was a Scot from Mossend, Lanarkshire, near Motherwell. His occupation was described as Supervisor at an electrical Manufacturer, in other words, Metropolitan-Vickers. He was working at their brand-new plant in Trafford, and living not very far away from the site. At this time, a Ford Model T assembly plant was also built in the same park. Nettie’s mother was Janet Goodlet 1873 from Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, about 10 miles east of Glasgow. She and Matthew married in Glasgow in 1895. There is no indication so far as to who inspired the Liddell surname in Nettie’s name.

In 1941, Francis is aboard the CANADA, from Liverpool to Port Said. It is early in WW2 and Rommel has been very successful in battling Allied forces all over North Africa. He became very sick and flew back to Germany to be treated, and to meet with Hitler. The Allies have also found an Enigma machine, and the work in Bletchley Park is uncovering its secrets; Rommel is beginning to lose major battles. Francis says he is living at 95 Moss Lane, Sale, Cheshire, so he has not moved far from Trafford, and describes himself as a civil servant. In 1942, he is listed in the royal naval volunteer reserve as (SS) Francis John Enoch Tearle 13 Jan. It is safe to say that his voyage to Egypt in 1941 was on His Majesty’s Service, probably navy business. It can be seen from the very truncated biography above that he was a lieutenant in the RNVR in the Middle East, so it is no surprise to see him in Egypt.

There is nothing more about Francis until at the end of 1948 he was appointed managing director of the Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Export Company Ltd because he had long Russian experience. On page 239 of the M-V history book, there is a photo of Francis, along with a photo of the Johannesburg office, with which, no doubt, he was very familiar.

On 9 May 1952, Francis and Nettie are to be seen in a passenger list on the SS ARGENTINA STAR of the Blue Star Line, traveling back to London from Rio de Janeiro. They give their address as Goldrings Rd, Seven Oaks, Surrey. He is a director, Nettie is a housewife, and their country of last permanent residence was Turkey (OHMS). It looks as though Francis’ company has been asked to report on something in Turkey, it has taken more than a year, and now that the work is done, Francis and Nettie are going home.

A passenger list from the CHUSAN in 1960, shows Francis sailing from Hong Kong to Bombay. Which means he has business in India, too. That is not unexpected since he is working in an export business, but it is one more tie with India. This is reinforced with the last sight of Francis in the Tearle Tree archive; a bio written on him as a contributor to the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society Volume 52 Issue 3-4 of 1965:

  1. J. F. E. TEARLE, C.B.E., is Managing Director of Associated Electrical Industries Overseas Ltd. In 1964 he led an F.B.I. Mission to Pakistan to study and report on its economic situation, since when A.I.E. have investigated and reported upon the feasibility of manufacturing heavy electrical equipment there. In 1955 Mr Tearle negotiated the Heavy Electrical Project Agreement with Government of India under which A.E.I. Ltd. were appointed Main Consultants.

Volume 52, 1965 contained an article written by Francis called “Industrial Development in Pakistan” in which he presented views about the relative merits of encouraging development of East Pakistan at 60% of national expenditure on industrial development and 40% for West Pakistan, mostly because of the “menacing growth of population in the East”. Since then the East has become Bangladesh.

John L Tearle wrote to Mavis in Dec 2002:

“It so happens that some years ago I got in touch with Frank Tearle, onetime managing director of Metropolitan Vickers, who was one of several engineers engaged in installing generators in the USSR in the 1930s who were arrested on charges of sabotage (I have his obituary somewhere) He telephoned me on the 12th December 1980 (according to my notes) with some information about his family history; his father was John Herbert and grandfather Enoch. He didn’t know the name of his great-grandfather, but mentioned a great-uncle Zepharian, so Zep (as he was known) and Enoch were brothers.”

It is not hard to get arrested in Russia, then or now, and a book by Gordon W Morrell goes into the affair in great detail. Even the title is somewhat ominous:

Britain confronts the Stalin Revolution: Anglo-Soviet Relations and the Metro-Vickers Crisis.

In 1920, Lenin was most enthusiastic for the Soviet Union to be electrified in all its major industries. Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Engineering Company (MVEEC) was very active and very successful in helping Lenin, and then Stalin, towards that aim. That part of the book released on-line does not tell me what actually happened, but at the end of it all Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart said:

On the whole intelligent opinion here holds: (1) that the sentences are lighter than expected; (2) that there was some foundation for the Bolshevist case; and (3) that we mishandled the case from the beginning.  19 Apr 1933

Where have we heard that before?

Francis spoke at the trial, but according to Morrell, he was not arrested and he was not imprisoned. He was, however, a very calming and level-headed influence during the entire crisis; the reason the Russians accepted that he was not involved in any sabotage of electrical equipment was because he was a mechanical engineer and not an electrical engineer. The whole affair was highly politically charged and motivated. After the trial, Britain threw up a trade embargo and the two engineers who had been jailed found their sentences commuted to expulsion from the USSR. Anglo-Soviet relations cooled back to whatever was considered normal in the 1930s.

We can also note that if Francis was going to Bombay (rather than via Bombay) in 1955, then it is quite likely that the Heavy Electrical Project Agreement signed with the India government was only one of many, and probably the one that he was most satisfied winning. The initials F.B.I. refer to the Federation of British Industry, a fore-runner of today’s CBI. His military background and his engineering skills have seen Francis move in very high circles. We now know that Francis was involved at a very high level with the authorities in Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan and India. However, you can see from the tone of his article that he is a thinking man who expounds a humanist vision. He was also one of the early globe-trotters. He was awarded the CBE for services to export in the New Year’s Honours List, January 1965. He was described as Managing Director, Associated Electrical Industries (Overseas) Ltd.

In his conversation on the phone with John L Tearle, Francis made mention of a great-uncle Zepharian. Enoch’s sister, Sarah 1837, married Ephraim Gates who worked for the railways in Watford. It is most likely that this is the man whom Francis and John L were talking about, and he was actually Enoch’s brother-in-law.

In 2015, Barbara Tearle of Oxford found that Francis had an entry on the Roll of Honour at Bletchley Park:

Mr F J E Tearle
Service  FO Civilian
Summary of service:
Wavendon 1940. Probably Commercial Section.
Commemorated On The Codebreakers Wall: No

There is also his certificate of service:

Barbara thought the FO Civilian referred to the Foreign Office, and reinforces the conviction I have that FJE’s trip to Egypt in 1941 as  “public servant” was in fact part of his work for Bletchley.

Francis died in Macclesfield, Cheshire, in October 1988, so he did not move far from his boyhood haunts of Manchester, just 19 miles to the north. Nettie Liddell Tearle, with whom he seems to have shared many of his adventures, died in 1990, also in Macclesfield. We lost a highly intelligent, well-educated and influential man. In the one hundred years from 1841, when Enoch was born, to 1941, when Francis was involved in kitting out the developing world with heavy electrical equipment, and John Tearle was moving up the rankings in the navy, their family had more than kept pace with a furiously and chaotically accelerating world. The most likely person to be the impetus, and even the inspiration, for it all was Enoch, aided by a determined work ethic from Abel, Enoch’s father, early education from the Methodists, and self-discipline, courage and a circle of very good contacts, thanks to the military.

If the military men are listed, with the highest rank they achieved, who were all descendants of Abel Tearle 1810, this is what results:

Enoch 1841       (private)
Benjamin 1848               (gunner)
Jeffrey Jones Tearle 1871          (private)
John Herbert 1881        (private)
Samuel Hugh 1889       (lieutenant)
Francis John Enoch 1902 (captain)
Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle 1914 (sergeant, killed 1941)
John Tearle 1916 (lieutenant commander)

Three generations of Abel’s family are listed here, and there is at least one man in the fourth generation who served in the armed forces, probably the navy. This is a very impressive muster from just one family. They can be proud of their contribution to the history of Britain.

Now that we have completed the stories of the military lives, we can take a look at how Enoch (and John Herbert Tearle, no doubt) affected the life of Francis’ extraordinary sister, Aunt Kitty.

Kathleen M Tearle (Aunt Kitty)

Whatever the actualities of the one voyage we have for John Herbert Tearle, and his work in Argentina, it is abundantly clear that South America, and Argentina in particular, completely changed the life of Kathleen May Tearle 1910.

Here she is on a voyage to Buenos Aires in 1937:

Name:  Kathleen M Tearle
Gender:              Female
Age:      27
Birth Date:        abt 1910
Departure Date:             27 Mar 1937
Port of Departure:         London, England
Destination Port:           Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ship Name:       Afric Star
Shipping Line: Blue Star Line
Official Number:            149755
Master:               C R Cooper

At this time, Kathleen is single, a stenographer, and along with another female passenger, also a stenographer, she is clearly going to join a company to work.

She is seen again, in 1939, on the AVELONA STAR, this time first class. The passenger manifest gives the names; Charles L Whitney aged 32, Fellmonger, of the Cumberland Hotel London W1, on his way to Buenos Aires, Argentina. With him is Kathleen M Tearle De Whitney, aged 28, no occupation, of the same address, going to the same destination. Their last permanent address was in Argentina.

The Fellmongers’ Company, a London City livery company, describe themselves in the following manner:

The Fellmongers’ Company was originally made up of skinners and glovers and was for long so described, but latterly it became known by its present title. A fellmonger is a dealer in fells or sheepskins, who separates the wool from the pelts.

It becomes very clear that they married abroad, and their children were born abroad, because the next sighting of Kathleen is when she and two daughters were recorded on a ship leaving Plymouth for Buenos Aires in 1947. Her address on the ship’s manifest was The Mill House, Denham Bridge nr Yelverton, S. Devon.

Name:  Kathleen Whitney
Gender:              Female
Age:      36
Birth Date:        abt 1911
Departure Date:             Jan 1947
Port of Departure:         London, England
Destination Port:           Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ship Name:       Columbia Star
Shipping Line: Blue Star Line
Official Number:            167259
Master:               C J W Jones

The most telling evidence is the manifest of the PARAQUAY STAR, arriving at London from Buenos Aires in October 1949:
Charles L Whitney 42 address c/- W. Weddel & Co, 14 West Smithfield, London EC1, Fellmonger
Kathleen Whitney, 39 (and three daughters.)
Dau Whitney 9,
Dau Whitney 5,
Dau Whitney 2

Since these children will still be alive today, their names are not given here. Three daughters appear to be the full extent of Charles’ and Kathleen’s family.

Weddel & Co of Smithfield were meat importers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina in the pioneering days of frozen meat.

It was noted in the introduction to this book that Aunt Kitty’s husband was Uncle Bob, which does not preclude his nickname being different from his registered name. There is a birth for Charles Lawrence Whitney in Bradford in 1907 and this name and age certainly fits for the Charles L Whitney, Fellmonger, above. Who knows why and how Charles was called Bob? Perhaps it was a school nickname, perhaps he was always called Bob.

We can only conjecture how Kathleen fell for the magic of South America. John Herbert Tearle was in the Argentine in the 1920s. It is safe to say the voyage above was not his only trip to Argentina, so it is quite possible that his contacts enabled him to forward an offer of employment to Kathleen May. One possibility is that she met Charles in London or Buenos Aires, heard the stories of his adventures as a meat buyer for the Smithfield Market and couldn’t resist the romance of travel and adventure that her father John H, and even her grandfather, Enoch, had surely led her to believe. You can see above that she did not desert her family in England, and returned often to make sure her children knew their cousins, aunts and uncles, and their grandparents. The trip to and from Buenos Aires is neither hazard free nor short, so she is braving a huge ocean adventure with every voyage she undertakes.

We shall also take a quick look at Violet Elizabeth 1901 and the enigmatic “Uncle Angus”.

Violet Elizabeth Tearle (Aunt Betsy) and Uncle Angus

Violet Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of John Herbert Tearle and Mary nee Ward was born in 1901 in central London, somewhere in the Kensington area, according to the 1911 census. She remains in the shadows, even after she marries Arthur Lancelot Hunking, known universally as Angus. In the 1911 census he is 7yrs old, born in Cam, Gloucestershire, and his father, Arthur Herbert Hunking is 33. He married Eliza Emma Phillips in Dursley, Gloucestershire (Eliza’s home town) in 1901. He says he is a commercial manager, and the company he works for are agricultural implement engineers. Violet married Angus in 1947, somewhere in Paddington, London, but I can find no children for this couple. Also, I was not able to find Angus’ business in Bishop Auckland. There was an industrialist from Up North called Angus Hunking who liked to invest in bands, and once advanced £7000 to King Crimson, but I do not think that he is this Angus. Violet Elizabeth died in Kingston upon Thames in 1965 and Arthur Lancelot Hunking died in Bournemouth in 1976. So unfortunately, this thread has come to an end, but at least we have been able to find the man behind the name; Arthur Lancelot is definitely Uncle Angus.

The Tearles of India

The story of the family of Enoch Tearle 1841 and Elizabeth nee Jones is now finished. We have examined their military connections at some length, and their startling engineering ability, with its connotation of advanced mental and mathematics skills attached, have been examined, as well as their managerial skill, developing ever more with each generation, until Francis John Enoch showed us all how much can be achieved. What is now very plain is that there is no other family in the Tearle Tree with more exposure to, and more experience of India, than Enoch’s. What Enoch’s family has achieved is remarkable, in any family. Here is a synopsis:

Jeffrey Jones Tearle 1871 was there in 1886, and became very sick. This author can attest to how that feels.

Samuel Hugh Tearle 1889 was there in Lebong in 1914 and even married there. He was shipped back to England to be part of Britain’s military efforts in WW1.

Samuel Hugh’s son, Jeffrey Parkhurst Tearle was born in Lebong in 1914. He was killed in the defence of Tobruk, Egypt in 1941.

Francis John Enoch Tearle 1902 was in and about India for at least five years around 1955, working for the India government on industrial improvements.

John Tearle 1916 was an engineer in Hyderabad.

Several of John’s children were born in India, and spent much of their formative years there.

What has been outlined is a presence in India (although not continuously) of this Tearle family from 1886 until 1988, if the last of John’s children left permanently when they were, say, about 20. That is a snapshot of life to and from India for one hundred years. They have an immense and unparalleled accumulation of experience, unique in the Tearle Tree.

References

Tearle, John L Tearle A Bedfordshire Surname Lillydown House 1996 ISBN 0 9528131 0 6

The Duties of Servants: A Practical Guide to the Routine of Domestic Service Copper Beach Publishing Ltd 1993. Guide originally published 1894. No author attributed.  ISBN 0 9516295 9 X

Robson, Graham and Ware, Michael Classic British Cars Abbeyvale Press 2000

Morrell, Gordon W Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution: Anglo-Soviet Relations and the Metro-Vickers Crisis. Wilfred Laurier University Press 1995.

Website URLs in order of appearance:

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/search/                                          p1

http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Liverpool/Liverpool-Central/stpaul/       p6

http://ukga.org/england/Hampshire/towns/Aldershot.html               p12

http://www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com/moves03.htm                         p13

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8957 p13

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42531             p15

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jim.lawton1/html/frontcover.htm    p15

http://www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com/moves04.htm                         p17

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-on-land/61-battlefields/1318-the-battle-of-loos-1915.html                                                                                                   p18

http://www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com/tobruk.htm                              p20

http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tfs/index.php/Royal_Naval_College,_Osborne            p21

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Fleet/Shore-Establishments/BRNC-Dartmouth                            p21

http://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/our-research/hall-of-fame/mechanical-engineering/dempster-smith/  (Notes on Prof Dempster Smith, MBE)                                         p22

http://tractors.wikia.com/wiki/Ford_Trafford_Park_Factory             p22

http://www.fellmongers.org.uk/history_heritage.html                           p25

http://rollofhonour.bletchleypark.org.uk/

Websites consulted:

www.british-history.ac.uk

www.bedfordshire.gov.uk  – for detailed information on Stanbridge and the Methodist chapels refer to:

http://www.bedfordshire.gov.uk/CommunityAndLiving/ArchivesAndRecordOffice/CommunityArchives/Stanbridge/StanbridgeIndexOfPages.aspx

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MI-f8mrJg8AC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=Tearle+ussr&source=bl&ots=mDndmY9x_Y&sig=Hd_32RNpnymrBkezrPIiSsBAlBA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Do29UquXMMithQfLv4GABw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Tearle&f=false (Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution…. Is available as a printed book from this URL)

www.fellmongers.org.uk/history_heritage.html

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jim.lawton1/html/frontcover.htm  (History of Metropolitan-Vickers)

Tearle, J. H. 2, 16, 49, 52, 68, 88 (John Herbert)

Tearle, F. J. E. 191, 193, 239     (Francis John Enoch)

Photograph of John Herbert Tearle, and Prof Dempster’s mine-sweeping paravanes

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jim.lawton1/html/page_191.htm

Photograph of Francis John Enoch 1948

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03068376508731910?journalCode=raaf19#.Urv7EPRdV8E (Francis John Enoch Tearle, CBE, Bio for journal article dated 1965)

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw016096 (Trafford Park in 1919)

http://www.stantonyscentre.org.uk/heritage/ford-centenary-19112011.php (Ford at Trafford)

www.lan-opc.org.uk

www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com

www.mace.manchester.ac.uk

www.maps.thehunthouse.com

www.methodist.org.uk

http://www.qaranc.co.uk/netleyhospital.php

www.royalnavy.mod.uk

http://ukga.org

www.westernfrontassociation.com

03Jul/16

Francis Joseph Tearle 1918, Cardiff, UK (RAF)

 

Battle of Britain Memorial near Westminster Tube Station

Battle of Britain Memorial, Westminister Tube Station, London.

There was a Tearle in the Battle of Britain; he was one of “the few,” in those momentous days from 10 July to 31 October 1940, of whom Sir Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few.”

If you take the Circle Line on the London Tube, sooner or later you will find yourself at Westminster Station, opposite Parliament House. Just outside, on the Victoria Embankment, you will see the memorial to the Battle of Britain. The names of everyone who flew in that incredible air battle of World War 2 are listed, and amongst them is Sgt FJ Tearle, about whose personal circumstances I know very little.

Battle of Britain Memorial

I found a short bio in “Men of the Battle of Britain; A Biographical Dictionary of The Few” by Kenneth G Wynn.

His name was Francis Joseph Tearle and he joined 600 (City of London) Squadron AuxAF before the war as an Aircrafthand (800569). He remustered (re-enlisted) as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and rejoined 600 Squadron at Northolt on 1 July 1940 and served in the Battle of Britain. In 1943 he was commissioned as 123198 and flew with 89 Squadron in the Middle East, teamed up with Pilot Officer R A Miller. They both received the DFC. He was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Flight Lieutenant, worked for Pan American and TWA and took US citizenship in 1954. However he returned to Manchester to open an office for Saudi Arabian Airlines and resettled there, dying in 1990.

600 Squadron was called the City of London Squadron and flew Blenheim Mk 1Fs out of Northolt (near Ruislip) mostly at night because they were too slow to be allowed in the air during the daytime. There is a short history of 600 Squadron here. As a result of huge losses during the Battle for France, Blenheims were withdrawn to Britain and moved into the night fighter roll, hunting bombers. I have written a separate article here, examining the Blenheims and the planes they inspired.

The last flying Bristol Blenheim at home in Duxford.

The last flying Bristol Blenheim at home in Duxford.

During the Battle of Britain, Francis (Sgt Tearle, as he was known) is shown in an activities diary as being amongst the aircrew on a Blenheim flying with 600 Squadron at Northolt, The document, from The National Archives called AIR27/2059/14 shows the flight taking place from 11.25pm to 12.25am with F/O Bowring training Sgt Tearle and Sgt Moulton in AI Practice Interception, which is the local term for radar. The date is 1/2 (either side of midnight) July 1940, and it is the first day of his new job as an airman. The Battle of Britain will start on 10 July, so Sgt Francis Joseph Tearle is there on day one.

As the short history above tells us, 600 Squadron received the first of their Beaufighters in September 1940; and these were a completely different beast from the Blenheims.

Richard Tearle, leader of the research group into the Tearles, found Francis’ DFC citation in the London Gazette of 16 Feb 1943:
Pilot Officer Francis Joseph TEARLE (123198) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 89 Squadron
Pilot Officers Miller and Tearle have flown together, as pilot and observer respectively, on numerous night operations. They have destroyed 4 enemy aircraft and inflicted damage on 3 enemy E-boats. They have both displayed courage and skill of high order.

Pilot Officer Miller is Reginald Arthur Miller (123201) also of the RAF VR No 89 Squadron. This citation can be downloaded here.

I looked up 89 Squadron and I found this short note

“On 25 September 1941, 89 Squadron reformed at Colerne as a night-fighter unit, flying its Beaufighters out to the Middle East in November and beginning night patrols in December. A detachment was sent to Malta in June 1942, which also flew intruder missions over Sicily. Detachments were based along the North African coast for night defence until October 1943, when the Squadron moved to Ceylon.”

The notes on 89 Squadron in Wikipedia are very similar to those above, and it is confirmed that the Bristol Beaufighter 1F and V1F were used 1941-1945, so Tearle and Miller had to have been flying them. From the dates above, it looks as though Tearle and Miller gained their DFCs over the North African coast.

I found his death registration in Manchester:
Name: Francis Joseph Tearle
Birth Date: 16 Oct 1918
Death Registration Month/Year: Oct 1990
Age at death (estimated): 72 
Registration district: Trafford 
Inferred County: Cheshire 
Volume: 39, Page: 1924
This is consistent with his living in Manchester and it gives us a birth date. In 1978 his address in the Manchester BT phone book was 4 Plant Close, Sale. Sue Albrecht of New Zealand showed us an early post from Barbara Tearle:

Francis J Tearle registered in Dec quarter 1918 in Cardiff, mother’s maiden name being Burns.
This means he is a son of Patrick Matthew Tearle and Catherine nee Burns. And that is a whole new story.

On 1 July 2016, Chris Eley of the 255 Squadron Association contacted me.

“In the course of answering an enquiry from the relatives of a 255 Squadron casualty with the surname MILLER, I’ve happened upon an obscure reference in the wartime records of the RAF in Malta naming a Beaufighter crew member “Sgt. TEARLE”. No service number or initials. The original source reference is AIR28/807, the Operations Record Book of airfield RAF Ta’Kali, entry dated the night of 08/09 March 1942.”

0010 hrs  One Beaufighter takes off from Luqa (Sgt Miller and Sgt Tearle) and makes contact with an incoming bandit.  The Beaufighter fires a two second burst and the starboard engine of the enemy aircraft catches fire – they observe it drop into the water.  Another bandit – possibly a Heinkel 111 – is later attacked by machine gun but the cannons stopped firing after one second for some reason and the Beaufighter lands at Ta Qali at 0230 hrs.

His question: “Are you able to state whether or not the Sgt.Tearle mentioned in the Malta Diary for 1942 is the same Sgt. Tearle killed 27 April 1944 and buried at Watford?”

I noted that this Sgt Tearle was not likely to be the Sgt Tearle in Malta, simply because he was buried in Watford. However, I did know of a Sgt Tearle (with a man called Sgt Miller) who was in Malta, and I told him the story above, of Francis Joseph Tearle.

Chris immediately agreed:
“Reginald Frank Tearle’s death in 1944 was registered in the Chichester registration district. There was heavy enemy bombing of the south coast that day. Gosport airfield was hit, but other casualties there appear in GRO records with death registrations in the Gosport district.” So we turned to the question of whether or not Sgt Tearle of Malta was indeed FJ Tearle, above.

“I don’t see Francis Joseph Tearle  (known paired as aircrew with Reginald Arthur – otherwise Alfred – Miller) as a possible pointer towards “my” Miller, for the very certain reason that both FJT and 123201 Reginald A. Miller, eventually DFC and Bar, were alive in Feb 43, whereas the Miller I’m looking for definitely wasn’t. But I cannot rule out Francis Joseph Tearle being the Tearle in Malta. In March 1942, FJT was still an NCO, so the rank given in the Malta Diary potentially fits.. This looks to me to be a very much better bet in terms of identifying the aircrew who scored in March 1942, but again – if substantiated – it rules out “my” Miller. Having discovered this, I suggest a search for the Miller/Tearle trail of squadron postings as my next move. With DFCs involved, that should be relatively easy.”

Chris warmed to the task – was another Malta problem about to be solved? He returned:
“Francis Joseph Tearle (later awarded the DFC) now confirmed. A query lodged on the RAF Commands bulletin board reveals that Reginald A. “Dusty” Miller (Pilot) and Francis Joseph Tearle (Radio Observer) crewed a Beaufighter in Malta whilst posted to 1435 NFF. There’s also a hint that the operational records of 1435 NFF may be hidden away in files relating to No.89 Squadron, masquerading as ‘C’ Flight of 89, but that’s less certain.

How did they down German planes? Probably the usual Beaufighter way. COL (Chain Overseas Low) radar was keeping a 24/24 standing watch. When a ‘bogey’ (a suspicious item on the radar screen – pick your nose while you think about it!) was detected, a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) scramble was called by GCI (Ground Control Interception, interpreting the COL radar plot). GCI continued to give guidance until the AI set on the Beaufighter (probably, in early 1942, a Mk.IV AI set on a frequency of 192 MHz) picked up the target. Everybody then checked for both IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) signals and Resin Lights. If neither, the Beau closed right in to attempt visual confirmation of ID. Unless positively found to be friendly, the assumption from then on was ‘hostile’. The Beau then backed off a bit and squirted both cannon and machine guns. Two seconds later – literally –  the Hun was heading for the drink.

Night-time air defence is what it was originally designed to do. Before ever it acquired the name Beaufighter it was described by the Air Ministry as “the cannon fighter”, being the first British fighter to be equipped with cannon as well as machine guns. The suffix F (strictly, lower case f) identifies fighter versions. 1c was the original Coastal version, later refined to become the TF-X (Torpedo Fighter Mk.Ten), the variant that eventually dominated production once the Mosquito took over the primary night fighter role. For the full story see Bingham, V., Bristol Beaufighter, Shrewsbury:Airlife, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-122-2.
In early 1942 both 89 Squadron and 1435 Flight flew Mk.1f. (Evidence: ‘Aces High’ and AIR27/129.)”

He was increasingly certain we had the right man:
“Latest incoming hint is to read Dusty Miller’s DFC and Bar entry in “Aces High” (book : Shores, C, and Williams, C, Aces High,  London : Grub Street, 1994, pp.444-5). There’s a copy on the open shelves at The National Archives. It can’t be borrowed, but no Readers Ticket is needed to get at it.”

He returned with yet another gem:
“The aircraft in your photos seems to be this one, a Mk.XIc: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/beaufighter/A19-144.html

There is more of its history here: http://www.adf-serials.com.au/2a19.htm
Beware that the squadron numbers quoted are RAAF not RAF.”

My sincere thanks to Chris Eley for his unstinting assistance with this article.

11Apr/16

Arthur Tearle 1881 Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, UK

In 1904 a young man from Stanbridge disembarked from the Carpathia and presented himself at the immigration desk at Ellis Island, New York. The adventures of Arthur Tearle 1881 in America had begun.

Arthur’s descendants live in Missouri, Florida and California, Georgia, Texas, Kansas and Connecticut. It is to Bob and Sam Chancellor that we are indebted for the fascinating details of Arthur’s life.

Bob has written a most beautiful book entitled Pieces of String too Short to Save: A Memoir About Life, Journalism and Foreign Service, copyright 2011, and he has asked us to host the entire chapter he wrote about his grandfather and family.

Bob has also sent me the promo sheet for his book, and he has given me directions on how to purchase it.

In order to give us a timeline of Arthur’s life, in very sharp focus, Sam has sent us a nicely concise synopsis.

So who was he, this Arthur Tearle 1881, and how do I know he really came from Stanbridge? Let me answer the last question first. On his Missouri State Board of Health death certificate we can see he died in Cooper, Boonville, Missouri on 4 Jan 1936. The facts, supplied by his wife on this death certificate, say he was born 28 Oct 1881 in Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, England and that his parents were John Tearle and Maria. These are the exact credentials for Arthur 1881, son of John 1840 and Maria nee Bliss. Arthur is 9yrs old in the 1891 Stanbridge census and in the 1901 Northampton census he is 19yrs old and a draper’s assistant. I’ll leave the rest of his story to be told by the Chancellor brothers.

In the crucial matter of his ancestry, if you look at the Stanbridge Tearle memorials you will see the photo of the two side-by-side graves, one of John (“sixty years sexton of this parish”) and Maria and the one on the right for James and Mary. John and James are brothers and while John is the father of Arthur 1881, and the g-grandfather of Bob and Sam Chancellor, James is my gg-grandfather, the father of Levi Tearle, the blacksmith of Wing (see the Wing page) and Levi is the father of Arthur 1874, my grandfather – see the New Zealand page. Which means that Bob and Sam are not too distant from me as cousins. John and Maria had many more children than just Arthur and you can see some of their graves on the Stanbridge page. The children were: Annie 1868 who married Charles Rose, Frederick 1870 who died unmarried in 1895, the twins Kate and Eliza 1873, Sabina 1875 who looked after her father from the time Maria died in 1883, Phoebe 1877 who married George Horne, Thomas 1880 who died a baby in 1880, and finally Arthur 1881.

Arthur 1881 not very long after 1904, Photo courtesy Bob Chancellor

Arthur 1881 not very long after 1904, Photo courtesy Bob Chancellor

Our common ancestor is Thomas 1807 who married Mary Garner of Toddington. Their family was: James 1827, my gg-grandfather, who married Mary Andrews from the nearby village of Eggington, John 1829 who died in 1829, William 1832 who married Catharine Fountain, some of whose family became hub members of the Willesden cell, Sarah 1834, who died 1837, Emma 1837 who married George Pratt, John 1840 who married Maria Bliss and is the g-grandfather of the Chancellor brothers, and Anne 1842 who married Henry Walker Simmonds.

Thomas’ parents were Richard 1773 and the redoubtable Elizabeth nee Bodsworth. She was 18 years old when she married in 1795 and she had 13 children in the 27 years from William 1796 to Joseph 1823, not counting any children who died before they were baptised.

Richard’s parents were John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. They had seven children, and their children form the largest branch of the Tearle family. As you can see from photographs of the TearleMeets, held in the Stanbridge Church, the chart of this one family barely fits along the central aisle of the church, running as it does from the vestry to the altar.

John’s parents were Thomas 1709 and Mary nee Sibley. This couple had eight children and the descendants of those children account for almost all the Tearles in the world today.

Arthur Tearle b1875, Wing

Arthur Tearle b1875, Wing, Buckingham, UK

If you compare these two men, you will see a remarkable family resemblance. Then if you compare them with the photo taken of me as a teenager, the resemblance is true for more than three generations.

Pour yourself a cup of tea, relax in your most comfortable armchair and enjoy what Bob and Sam have brought us.

The story of Arthur 1881 by Bob Chancellor

Arthur Tearle – an American timeline, by Sam Chancellor

BOOK PROMO – “Pieces of String too Short to Save:  A Memoir About Life, Journalism and Foreign Service,” copyright 2011, by Bob Chancellor

Where to buy Bob’s Book

Obituary for Phoebe Ellen Tearle Kennedy Popham

Phoebe lived life to its fullest until the end on September 2, 2013, when she succumbed to bone marrow cancer at the age of 92.  She was an accomplished artist especially with water colors, an enthusiastic tennis player at the Carriage Club, a sailor on the Great Lakes and Lake Quivira, an intrepid world traveler and late in life learned to play the piano.

She was born October 15, 1920, in Sedalia, MO., to Arthur Tearle, a recent immigrant from England, and Mary Louise Nunnelly Tearle of Montgomery County, MO.  At the age of two, the family moved to Boonville, MO, where Phoebe grew up and completed high school.  Her father died in 1936, and she and her mother moved to Kansas City, where Phoebe attended the Edna Marie Dunn School of Fashion and Design, and became a fashion artist for Emory Bird Thayer Department Store.  Later she became an artist for TWA, and a reservations agent, where she worked until retirement in 1985.  She was pre-deceased by her mother in 1968 and by an older sister, Frances Marie Chancellor in 1970.

In 1946, she married a co-worker at TWA, Marshall Sanger Kennedy, and they lived at Lake Quivira; Youngstown, New York and Jacksonville, Florida, until his death in 1967.  They had two daughters, Laura Shepardson Kennedy, who died in 2002; and Kristin Kennedy Bowen of Kansas City, who survives.  Phoebe also is survived by a grandson, Andrew Kennedy Olive of San Francisco, another grandson, Marshall Thibideaux Bowen of San Antonio, and a granddaughter, Marguerite (Maggie) Louise Bowen of Houston.

After the death of Marshall Kennedy, Phoebe and the girls moved back to Kansas City, where in November, 1969, she married attorney Arthur C. Popham, Jr.  Phoebe and Art traveled extensively, around the United States, to the Middle East, Africa, and annually to England for the grouse hunting season.  She also volunteered for many years as a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Arthur Popham died in September, 2009.

A memorial service for Phoebe Kennedy Popham will be held at Prairie Village Presbyterian Church at  6641 Mission Rd., Friday, September 6 under the direction of D. W. Newcomber with a visitation for friends and relatives to follow at the Claridge Court Hall,8101 Mission Road.  In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Pkwy, 66104.

The last two Tearles in the US

(Or, at least, the last two descended from Arthur Tearle 1881 to carry the family name)

The last two Tearles in the US

The last two Tearles in the US

At left is Kristin Tearle Kennedy Bowen, daughter of Phoebe Ellen Tearle Kennedy Popham, the younger of two daughters of Arthur 1881 and Mary Louise Nunnelly, born Oct. 15, 1920, , died Sept. 3, 2013 .

At right is Robert Tearle Chancellor, eldest of three sons of Frances Marie Tearle Chancellor, born Oct. 20, 1913, and diedDec. 12, 1970, from an early and massive heart attack as had her father.

Kristin  is the mother of a son and daughter, all of whom live in Houston, Texas.

Bob is the father of two sons, two daughters, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.  There are two other Chancellor brothers, Sam with two children and Stephen, with two children and two grandchildren.

 

09Apr/16

Walter Sidney Tearle 1918, Preston, UK

Walter first turned up in the Tearle family tree as a son of Joseph Tearle 1878 and Rachel Elizabeth nee Parker, which meant he was a member of an exclusive family – the Preston Tearles. Joseph had earned a Silver War Badge in WW1 because of a debilitating illness he picked up while on active service. I was looking for the family of Tearle, whose mother was Parker and they lived in Preston, Lancashire. Rachel had nine children from 1902 all the way until 1923. And in 1918, there was Walter. The next document I found was for his marriage – Margaret E Mercer in 1941, in Preston. And that was it. In the years between 1919 and 1950, there was a paucity of documentation that made researching ordinary people in Britain very difficult. There were no Tearle children registered in Britain who had a mother whose maiden name was Mercer. Walter had disappeared. His story would have to wait until something turned up.

It has, but only in index form, and that will have to do us. Here is the first one, on a voting list in Canada, in 1957.

Name:Walter Sidney Tearle
Occupation:Production Mgr.,
First AveYear:1957
Location:Renfrew, Ontario, Canada
Electoral District:Renfrew South

There is a closely related family descended from Edward Tearle 1890 of Preston, in Calgary, Alberta, who fought with the Canadians in WW1, but Walter does not seem to have sought him out.

This index, not dated, is from U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 2 but he has certainly moved from the cold winter of Canada:

Name:Walter S Tearle
Birth Date:3 Jun 1918
Address:286 NW 92nd Ter,
Coral Springs,
FL, 33071-6919

The next record, from Volume 1, in the series above, is dated:

Name:Walter S Tearle
Birth Date:3 Jun 1918
Address:1920 SW 97th Ave,
Miami, FL, 33165-7603 (1992)

Then we have the death record from the Florida Death Index, 1877-1998:
Name:Walter Sidney Tearle
Race:White
Age at Death:74
Birth Date:3 Jun 1918
Death Date:23 Sep 1992
Death Place:Broward, Florida, United States

And the death record issued by the U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
Name:Walter S. Tearle
SSN:263-13-5802
Last Residence:33165 Miami, Miami-dade, Florida, USA
BORN:3 Jun 1918
Died:23 Sep 1992
State (Year) SSN issued:Florida (1966-1967)

It would appear that Walter moved to Florida and then received his American citizenship in 1966, so he was in Canada for less than ten years, and all we know about him was that he was good at running a factory. We do hope that he and Margaret had a pleasant life.

If I find out any more about him, I shall be certain to return to this page.

26Mar/16
From vestry to altar the branch of John 1741

The origin, spelling and meaning of the surname Tearle

The origin, spelling and meaning of the surname Tearle
By Barbara Tearle
March 2016

Tearles from Bedfordshire

Most people bearing the name Tearle in England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada today can trace their descent from a family in the village of Stanbridge near Leighton Buzzard in south Bedfordshire. Some American Tearles are also descended from Stanbridge families but there are other derivations of the name Tearle in the USA.

The evidence for the name – how it is spelt and where it originates –  comes mainly from parish registers, wills, manorial documents, court cases, deeds and census returns.

The earliest records date back to the middle of the fifteenth century, where the name was spelt Terle:

  • In 1443 Richard Terle was on a jury held at Aylesbury to enquire into the ownership of the Edlesborough lands of Alice wife of John Adam (Cal IPM 21-25 H6 1442-1447 p.41)
  • and in 1444 John Terle was on a similar jury held at Leighton Buzzard into the Bedfordshire lands of Sir Walter Lucy (Cal IPM 21-25 H6 1442-1447 p.161)

These juries were standard procedure for inquisitiones post mortem – enquiries held on the death of major landholders into their property so that the King knew what dues were owed to him.  The presence of two Terles on juries in the mid-fifteenth century shows that the family was of good status locally and that they lived in the south Bedfordshire or adjacent Buckinghamshire area.

During the remainder of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries a succession of John Terles (with the occasional Robert Terle) are recorded as holding property in Stanbridge and – in one instance – in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

The family continued in Stanbridge until the name died out there in the mid twentieth century.  In the intervening centuries, it spread to nearby parishes in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.  Eighteenth century and subsequent occurrences in north Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire are almost certainly from the same family and they continue living there to this day.

The few occurrences in London in the early and mid-eighteenth century were of the goldsmith Thomas Tearle who was from Stanbridge but who appears to have had no surviving descendants and another family whose origins have not yet been traced.

During the nineteenth century the family spread from Bedfordshire to northern England (Preston and Liverpool in particular); Willesden in London as railway workers; south London by the latter half of  century; and a few elsewhere around the country.  The spread seems to have been due to seeking work; joining the military; entering the church; becoming teachers; taking to the stage as provincial touring actor/managers.

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were also the period of emigration, with Tearle families going to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Tearles from other parts of the United Kingdom

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the name Tearle or Tarle appears in parish and other records well away from south Bedfordshire.

Tearles in Sussex and the south coast are variant spellings of Tourle, which is an established surname in that area.   Tearle in the West country may be a variant spelling of Terrell/Tyrrell, although there appears to be a family with the name, not merely random occurrences.  Tarle, Terle or Tarles in East Anglia, Staffordshire and London are a mystery.  There are no obvious family connections between any of them and the Bedfordshire Tearles, although of course there may be a medieval connection that has not yet been uncovered. These are research projects waiting to be explored for anyone conversant with medieval sources around the country.

Tearle in Ireland

A few people in nineteenth and early twentieth century English censuses recorded that they were borne in Ireland.  One or two of them were the children of the two English actor/managers (Osmond and Edmund Tearle).  Some are children of Stanbridge-descended soldiers stationed in Ireland.  Not all the Irish Tearles have yet been accounted for.

Jewish Tearle

There is a Jewish family called Tearle which has no connection with the Stanbridge-descended family.  The Jewish family originated in two brothers, Isaac and Lewis, who came to England from Lithuania around 1900 and settled in the Jewish community in Liverpool, then Manchester.  It needs an expert in Jewish naming to know if that was the name they used in Lithuania or if it was adopted on arrival in England (though why would anyone in their right minds want to saddle themselves with a name that no-one can spell or pronounce?).  According to genealogical sources (FamilySearch, censuses, etc) there were Jewish migrants to USA about the same time called Terle.

Spelling

The form Terle was the normal spelling until the middle of the sixteenth century when Tearle emerged.  For many decades the two forms, Terle and Tearle, were used interchangeably until Tearle gained the ascendancy during the seventeenth century.  While it is inappropriate to be too fussy about spelling (our ancestors weren’t), in this instance the older spelling and the change to the current one are worth noting. The best explanation may lie in other spelling changes of the sixteenth century. For example, during the same period the spelling yere was giving way to yeare and erth to earth.  What more natural for scribes to apply this model and write Tearle for Terle?

At the same time as this standard change was taking place, there were many other ways of spelling the name, probably explained by local pronunciation and phonetic spelling.  Those variations for the Stanbridge-descended Tearles in the Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire area include:

Common variants, in alphabetical order:
Tail
Tale
Tarl
Tarle
Tearl  (mainly in Northamptonshire)
Terl (early nineteenth century instances)
Terle  (throughout the sixteenth century in Stanbridge)

Occasional variants occurring a few times only:
Tayle
Teale
Teall
Tealler
Tearel
Teirle
Terill
Terrle
Terull
Tiarl
Tiarle
Tirle
Turl
Tyrell (early eighteenth century north Buckinghamshire)

Derivation and meaning

Surnames were adopted over a period of several centuries during the middle ages, stabilising into hereditary names sometime later.  In order to have a chance of determining the probable derivation and meaning of a surname, its earliest occurrence must be sought because it will be nearest to the original use and reason for adoption.

Few surname dictionaries include Tearle.  Henry Harrison in his Surnames of the United Kingdom gives a derivation from old English þearl meaning strict or severe.  This may be based on the similarity in spelling.  Barber’s more recent British Family names – their origin and meaning explains it as being from the Dutch personal name Terlet.  Given the late emergence of the spelling Tearle and the earlier spelling as Terle, the þearl explanation does not hold up to scrutiny.  Its origin should be sought in an earlier period.

What did Terle mean?  Where did it come from?

I can offer no explanation.  However a project which is examining the surnames of the United Kingdom may add something to this account and enable a stab to be made at its meaning.  The project is called FaNUK – Family names of the United Kingdom. It is based at the University of the West of England and the results of its work are scheduled for publication in 2017.  They will be published as an online database and as a new surname dictionary by Oxford University Press, Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland.  I look forward to seeing it and finding out whether it can shed light on Tearle and similar sounding names – Dearle, Hearle, Learle and Thearle.

© Barbara Tearle
March 2016

20Feb/16

The Empire Hotel, a Railway Story in Frankton, NZ

The Empire Hotel – A Railway Story

By Ewart Tearle Nov 2009

I lived for 6 weeks during the Christmas Holidays in the now-burned down Empire Hotel in Frankton, near Hamilton, New Zealand. I can’t remember how much it cost, but at the time, I was earning £5.0.0 a week working as a yardman for Caltex, the oil company, that had three tall storage tanks alongside the railway line. I have a vague idea that the hotel charged £1 a week and I kept my costs down by having only fruit for lunch, at about 1/-, and fish-and-chips at about 2/- for dinner, giving me a profit for the week of about £3. This was the most money I earned until I was a second-year teacher some five years later.

In the Caltex yard, there was one tank for diesel, one tank for regular petrol and one tank for super petrol. My job was to dip the tanks every two hours and let the office know the level. Every few days a tanker or two would be dropped off by the shunters on the siding adjacent to these storage tanks, their appearance triggered by the dips I had recorded. It is a peculiarity of railway stock that they look unhappy and bedraggled if they are sitting waiting, so while they were there, I would dip the tanks again and again until I knew that there was room in one of the tanks for the entire quantity of the fuel in at least one of the tankers waiting to be unloaded. Dipping was easy – I climbed the ladder attached to the outside of the 50-foot tank and looked at a small wooden stick poking above the curve of the tank top. There was enough room in the tank for the contents of at least three tankers, so it was hardly a difficult task. If the top of the rod was six inches or more higher than the hole into which it was fitted, then I could see the collar that stopped the rod from disappearing into the tank, so there was more fuel to be used before it was safe to add an entire tanker. If the collar was nestling into its socket, I would draw the eight-foot rod out of the tank and ensure the last bit of the bottom of the rod was dry. Now I could re-fill the tank. Each of the huge storage tanks had a long metal-reinforced hose attached to the bottom of the tank and the other end I unwound and attached to the tanker, turning on the tap at the same time to allow the fuel to flow. Between the hose and the tank inlet there was a tap that, when turned, automatically started an electric motor that forced the fuel from the tanker into the bottom of the tank. When it sucked air, it turned off. If the yardman got the dip wrong and started the upload, there was no way to stop it. Once the tank filled up, the rest of the fuel overflowed. Each tank sat in a high-walled hollow big enough to take its entire contents, to cope with just such an occurrence. I heard that one yardman had emptied the contents of the diesel tanker into the super petrol storage tank – and to compound things, it overflowed by several hundred gallons. That’s why I was the new yardman.

The hotel served only one meal, breakfast. It was interesting…. The cook was a great guy – huge, bald, loud, dressed in a white singlet, canvas trousers and black boots, sweating all the time. He had one of those distinctively rugged New Zealand names that I wished so badly my mother had called me – something like Bruce, or Jim, or Jack. Of course, the inmates of the hotel had lots of adjectives they went through before they got to his actual name, but they certainly seemed to like him. He cooked a wadge of bacon, and a bucket of sausages, in a yard-wide cast iron frying pan over a red-hot coal range, and threw sliced onions into a smaller frying pan alongside. The eggs he cooked by breaking them directly onto the fiercely hot range-top. The under-cook passed him tin plates hot from the oven and he slapped some bacon, a couple of sausages, onions and an egg on each plate and then whacked it down on the counter, swinging it along the shiny surface until the man at the head of the breakfast queue swept it up before it hit the floor. You could hear each man take the plate and swear at how hot it was as he carried it back to his table. They seemed to know a lot about the ancestry of the cook.

We all sat down within half an hour of 6am, or else we got no breakfast, sitting on assorted wooden chairs around equally mismatched round, square and oblong, bare wooden tables. A wooden floor of 12” oak planks spoke of the former grandeur of the hotel, but grimy windows and dark stains in the wood told even more about its fallen present. I suppose there were thirty of us. Wizened little men from the First World War dressed in cloth caps and harassed tweed jackets with woollen singlets exposed under threadbare blue-grey shirts sat in silence and shovelled the bacon and eggs from their tin plates into their thin, sometimes twisted mouths. They were tiny, like my grandmother, who fitted under my arm when I held it out horizontally. How on earth had they won a war? They looked straight ahead; old, tired and sick, their eyes full of nightmares. Railwaymen in dark overalls ate ravenously and drank their hot, sweet tea from squat china mugs they would thump onto the table between mouthfuls of bacon and sausages while they laughed, gossiped about each other and told filthy jokes. They were taller men, bigger, some with paunches that forced their belts to cut into their middle. They had one of the most dangerous jobs in New Zealand, because at shunting time, it was they who ran between moving railway rolling stock, coupling or decoupling on the run, jumping off and onto a step welded near the rear and front of all the wagons. They would stand beside the wagon to be attached and would wave the shunter forward until it clacked against the coupling unit. If the lock didn’t come down, these men would jump into the gap between the wagons and drop the lock, skipping backwards to clear the still-moving stock and jumping onto the step. The shunter was in a hurry – the engineer had to fend for himself. I saw the force that the shunter sometimes used when coupling, and it had torn the heavy cast iron fist of the coupling unit on the wagon into a grisly twisted hook. When a wagon was decoupled, the shunter gave it a thundering whack and the wagon, with all the other rolling stock in front of it, clattered coupling irons together and charged forward. The engineer on the ground raced along the track to push a lever so that the cortege of rolling stock was diverted to its resting place for the day. If he failed to reach the lever in time, the first wagon passed onto a portion of the track that was not intended for it, and the engineer could only stand in frustrated impotence while he waited for the stock to stop rolling, or crash into a terminal barrier, and the shunter driver yelled curses at him that would have split the heavens. That short train of stock moved very quickly and in total silence. In the fog that often afflicted Hamilton, and in the rush to get all the wagons in the right places for the day, a man could easily be in front of the onrushing freight and die without ever knowing what hit him. The men at breakfast were loud and violent-tongued in an effort to remove the thought that today’s fog might be the last thing they ever saw.

One or two men worked in local car garages and one I knew of worked in a metal scrap-yard, but most of these men were working on the railways.

My bedroom was on the second floor and overlooked the railway shunting yards at the back of the hotel. An iron-framed cot with a wire base slung like a hammock supported a kapok mattress, and a smelly, stained pillow which rested in the right-hand corner under the only window. A small, pale green four-drawer dresser left a narrow path to the bedside table with my shiny, chrome-plated alarm clock the only ornamentation. A rimu wardrobe filled the last cavity in the floor space on the left-hand side of the door and a 40-watt light bulb hung crookedly from the ceiling on fraying wires. I could see faint colours and shapes in the aged wallpaper that might have been tales of far-away lands, in ancient times, but nothing I could turn into any sort of sense. The “ablutions room” was at the end of the corridor when I turned left from my door, while the kitchen was to the right, and down two sets of creaking wooden stairs. There was no key for my bedroom, and I never had enough money to replace the awful pillow. I used my eiderdown on the wire base to put some body into the mattress.

Across the tracks, there were wooden cottages built for the working class, originally painted white, but when I was there they were down-at-heel with rusting corrugated iron roofs, unkempt lawns, cracked windows and un-sealed roads. In the summer they summoned dust devils and in the winter, they were awash with mud. This was the Frankton slum and it nursed a generation of screaming, much-abused, much-maligned young mothers with grubby, shabby kids. Work for post-war men was not always close to Frankton and these young women could find themselves without their men for long stretches, and most likely penniless until the men arrived back with whatever was left of their pay. The howling kids and their screaming mothers – even late into the night – was what I heard most from the other side of the tracks, through the window of my bedroom on the second floor of the Empire Hotel.

On the railway, the drivers and engineers yelled orders and banged trains together all night long, but no more energetically than at eight o’clock in the morning when everyone in Frankton had to cross the railway line to go to work in Hamilton. At that hour of the day there was always a train (or two – it was a dual line between the station and the shunting yards) across the only level crossing on the only road to Hamilton. Even in the sixties, the days of steam were behind us, and these trains in Frankton were all diesels. I stood once by the tracks in Rotorua watching the billowing white smoke and listened to the chuffing and animal breathing of the one steam loco I ever saw pulling a train from Rotorua over the Mamaku Ranges to Hamilton. When I was in high school, Aunty Grace had sent me back to Rotorua from the mining village of Pukemiro deep in the Mamakus on a steam train consisting of a couple of carriages immediately behind the engine and nearly a mile of freight and empty wagons behind. Fire and sparks leapt from the funnel and fell on the dry grass alongside the railway track, setting fires every few hundred yards. White smoke tinged with black shadows writhed from the engine, through the carriage and down the length of the train. The huge black engine in front of me seemed to be straining every muscle, breathing deeply and sighing heavily like the draft horses that pulled pine stumps from hedges on the farm my father worked when I was a pre-schooler. The smell of coal smoke, leather and old timber in the carriage was deeply impressionable. The sense of going on an adventure with a rumbling giant was palpable. There is no romance like that, in diesel.

“Dirty bloody things,” my mother said with considerable feeling. “You’d put a full wash of clean clothes on the line, and some smelly damned train would crawl past and leave clinkers all over the washing. At least diesels are clean.”

The hotel – more a boarding house, in the way it was run – was an elegant, three-storey wooden structure clad in weatherboard. It was quite a handsome, turn of the century building painted green and white with a large gold sign, outside staircases, steep roofs and an imposing turret. But it had seen its best days. The green was faded, the white was dirty and the sign was cracked and had bits missing. The stairs creaked, the roof leaked and the manager put his head to every door in the hotel to assure himself there were no girls in the hotel after nine PM. In fact, women were not allowed in the hotel in the day-time let alone stay overnight. Frankton was a down-at-heel railway town and the hotel had A Reputation; the manager was determined to stamp it out.

I suspect (as did the local press) that a disaffected Lothario burnt the hotel down when his girlfriend was discovered under his bed. The tragedy was that he killed six in the attempt to exact his revenge, and he will be in prison for some time.

07Feb/16
Rosemary Tearle and Nightingale - August 2009, Kaeo, Northland, NZ

Goodbye Rosemary Tearle, Auckland, NZ

Rosemary Tearle and Nightingale - August 2009, Kaeo, Northland, NZ

Rosemary Tearle and Nightingale – August 2009, Kaeo, Northland, NZ

31/05/2011

Hello Ewart, it is with great sadness that I write on behalf of Michael to let you know that Rosemary died very suddenly on Sunday morning. She died in her sleep and it has been very shocking for Michael and her family. Her funeral will be this Friday. Jacqui and John are coming to Kaeo to be with their father.

Michael would be grateful if you could please let the Tearle group know of our sad loss.

Kind regards, Barbara (Rosemary’s sister).

Dear Richard

It is with the greatest sadness that I have to inform you of the death of our beloved Rosemary on Sunday morning, 29 May 2011. Her sister Barbara tells me that she died suddenly in her sleep at her home in Kaeo, Northland, New Zealand and she asked me to convey this news to you and the Tearle group.

We will all miss Rosemary’s unbounded enthusiasm for our work, her razor-sharp intellect and her incredible persistence to find the stories of members of the Tearle family. For me, her most memorable accomplishment was to find the details of the life and times of Rowland Grigg Tearle, his mother Elizabeth and the follow-up story of their lives in India. Through her efforts and determination, Rowland has been given a lasting memorial. Rosemary was also the one who figured out the relationship between the George Tearle and the Elizabeth Tearle who had married in Michael’s tree, and as a result of her work, we were able to place Elizabeth within her family, as one of George’s cousins. She also researched and wrote up the lovely story of Lionel Victor and the Lowestoft Tearles and their remarkable meeting with Arnold, the Liverpool Tearle.

Elaine and I first met Rosemary in the early nineties when researching a Tearle family in Auckland, to find that Rosemary’s Michael Tearle of Avondale was not the Mike Tearle of Avondale whom we had gone to see. She was a lady of wit and charm and we instantly liked her and her family. We also found we had similar experiences in NZ. Rosemary and Michael had been herd testing (testing cows for pregnancy after AI) in the Otorohanga area and had even got married in the Otorohanga Church. Elaine and I had lived and worked in the Waitomo/King Country since 1977 and we were very familiar with all the places that Michael and Rosemary had been. As rural folk ourselves, we knew exactly how they had lived and we had lots of laughs over stories of farming life and farming families. We were looking forward to seeing her on our trip to NZ in August.

She was an endlessly kind lady, a generous, wholehearted person, and a devoted wife and mother. She has been our friend and our compatriot for the past 15 years. Elaine and I will miss her very much and we extend to Michael, Matthew and Jaqui our very deepest sympathies in their hour of sorrow.

Ewart and Elaine Tearle

From Teresa, Brisbane:

Ewart, thank you for passing on this most sad news. My sincere condolences to her loved ones, she will certainly be missed.
Regards
Teresa

From Pat Field:

This is indeed a great sadness and shock.

I personally will miss Rosemary and her amazing knowledge of Family history in particular our Tearle family. She has become a friend over the past few years and it was lovely meeting Michael’s two sisters at our last Meet. Our big tree would be much smaller and less interesting without her huge influence.

My love and sincere condolences go to Michael and the family at this time of great sorrow.

Pat Field

From Richard Tearle, leader of the Tearle Yahoo Group

Ewart – this is just so devastating and I am shocked and stunned. Rosemary was one of our first members, as I recall, and through the time she has provided us with not only information, but theories, useful contacts and tremendous results from her own endeavours. She was ever helpful to our members, new or old, and would willingly take on a project that was to the common cause rather than her own, personal interest in the Tearle family.

Our group will be a sadder place without her, but for those who have met her or, like myself, have corresponded with her over the years then our whole world will be very much emptier.

I heartily applaud – and thank you for it – your decision to devote a page on your site to her memory: hopefully future members and visitors will be able to recognise the enormous contribution Rosemary made to our researches as well as our lives.

From Wendy and Tony Skelley

Richard

I would also like to acknowledge Rosemary and her dedication to this family research. We had many email conversations, and I was looking forward to meeting her one day here in New Zealand.

Rosemary was very inspiring and her memory will live on.

Regards to everyone that knew her.

Wendy & Tony Skelley in NZ

From Ewart and Elaine:

Richard

We have spent the afternoon with Ray and Denice Reese and we drove to see Tebworth, the home village of Denice’s grandfather, James Henry Tearle 1884, and to call in his at home parish church, All Saints Chalgrave. While we were there, we took the opportunity to ask Ray, who is a Salvation Army chaplain, to say a few words for Rosemary.

It was a lovely little ceremony, and would have touched the deeply Christian side of Rosemary’s character.

God speed, Rosemary; we will miss you.

Ewart and Elaine

From Pam:

Dear Ewart

Words cannot express how shocked and saddened I am by this news. I had an e-mail from Rosemary just three weeks ago saying that they were OK and still self sufficient on the farm.

I was fortunate to meet Rosemary in the days when she came to Auckland regularly to see her mother. She would pop in to see me and we had lunch together on several occasions.

A lovely lady who will be sorely missed by her family and all those who knew her.

God speed Rosemary, I will definitely miss you greatly.

kind regards to all

Pam.

Auckland NZ.

From Wendy Skelley:

Two weeks ago I sent to Rosemary my first draft of Aubrey’s Boys, and she was very excited about it, she even mentioned she got goosebumps when reading some parts. Her enthusiasm was amazing and I am so glad that she got to read it, we had often talked about the coincidences and I will miss her interest.

Ewart – when you come to New Zealand we shall certainly celebrate her remembrance.

Wendy

From Sue Albrecht:

A very sad day for the NZ nest of Tearles and indeed for the worldwide Tearle group. Odd how people one has never met, one has no physical mental picture, and who are not part of your day to day existence can become significant in one’s life. I have always thought of Rosemary as someone I met through a genealogy group but who became more than that – she led such a multifaceted life that it was not hard to find common ground with her in other areas as well. I saw a picture of her today for the first time ever on Ewart’s site, and it was a strange feeling, cos I’d only ever known the “essence” of Rosemary, not her physical being, and had warmed to it immensely. I just thought I would write my immediate thoughts down, because the same thoughts apply to you, Barbara and Ewart. I guess many others in the group would feel the same way. Sue Albrecht.

From Tracy Stanton:

Ewart,

I would like to pass on my condolences to Michael and the family. Rosemary liked to follow things through so thoroughly and her work helped fill gaps for many of the wider group. This work will carry on her memory and be a lasting legacy for Tearles still to come.

My thoughts are with you all.

Tracy Stanton

From Barbara Tearle

This must be a devastating time for Rosemary’s family and I join with everyone in the group in thinking of them and sending condolences.

It is also a sad loss to the Tearle group. Rosemary’s enthusiasm, persistence, research skills and lateral thinking contributed so much to unravelling the human stories behind the bare records of our Tearle family. As we got to know her, the world became smaller and we all became much closer. I loved hearing the odd snippets about the farm and could visualise her caring for the animals then turning to her computer for a change of scene.

She will be missed by so many people.

Barbara Tearle

Message from the group to Rosemary’s family:

Thu 2 Jun 2011

Dear Michael, John, Matt, Jacqui and Robyn,

First of all, may I offer condolences and sympathies from the entire Tearle Family Group following the passing of our dear friend Rosemary.

The sad news came as a complete shock to us all and our thoughts are first and foremost with you, the family, and I hope that knowing that Rosemary was much loved and respected will help give you strength through this tragically difficult time.

Many of our members have asked if they could pay their respects and it was decided that it might be better for me to write to you on behalf of everyone. Some personal tributes are already visible on Ewart’s Family site.

Rosemary was an inspiration to all of us in the field of family research and her tenacity and perseverence solved many a problem for us. But more than that, Rosemary’s commentaries on ‘life on the farm’ were joyful to read and her warmth and vivacity as a person shone through.

Be assured that our thoughts will be very much with you on Friday: Rosemary will be sorely missed by all of us.

Richard Tearle, Barbara Tearle, Ewart and Elaine Tearle, Pat Field, Pam Whiting, Susan Albrecht, Wendy Skelley, Tracy

Hello Ewart and members of the Tearle group,

This is Robyn, Rosemary’s eldest daughter and 2nd in line of 4 siblings. I am writing on behalf of Michael, her husband, my siblings, Rosemary’s 3 sisters, her mum, and 4 grandchildren.

I’m writing on behalf of the family to express our heartfelt thanks to the folks in your group who have written such loving comments about our mum. It has touched us deeply, and reinforces to us how loved our mum was. She threw herself into things boots and all with her enthusiasm and drive, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to get things done and discovered. She loved a challenge, whether it be the family history or building up her farm from a scrubby gorse ridden paddock. We are heartened that she had so many interests that really excited her – the Tearle Family Tree, being a huge one. Mum loved people and the interaction with people, and she loved the process of finding out about people and their history and how their lives connected and crossed paths. Being part of the Tearle Group was a huge source of enjoyment and provided huge satisfaction for mum on many levels. So thankyou all for being colleagues and friends to our mum. It has warmed us all to know she had so many friends.

Matthew the youngest sibling wrote this eulogy below for mum’s funeral, which was Friday (NZ time), and is happy for it to be included in this email of thanks. It sums up how we feel about mum.

Thanks again for being wonderful friends and colleagues to our mum.

With much love from the Tearle’s and extended family.

Rosemary’s eulogy – written and presented by Matthew Tearle

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

“Who can find a virtuous woman?” the Book of Proverbs asks. Well, we did.

Mum, I feel that I should be able to say that when I heard the news, I collapsed in tears. But… I didn’t. Not because of lack of sorrow; not because of inner strength; just because it didn’t make sense. It was like being told that gravity didn’t work anymore or the sky was now orange. It’s incomprehensible. It’s not how the universe works. It’s not in the script.

So I didn’t really know what to do. At the time, I was building a chicken coop. So, not knowing what else to do, I kept building… which, I guess, is appropriate for a child of the virtuous women who eateth not the bread of idleness.

I think you’d like the chicken coop, mum. First, of course, it will house chickens. Second, I’m doing it myself, even though I really have no idea what I’m doing. And third, it’s going to be ridiculously overbuilt. That’s something I know I got from you. We all did – none of us can do anything in half measures. You never did. But I’m glad that at least now you can rest. I think you’ve earned it.

And I’m glad that, if it had to happen, at least you didn’t know it was coming – it might have caused you consternation. Not that you’d have feared death; you would have accepted it, clothed with strength and honour. But you would have worried about everyone else; you would have felt it was your responsibility to plan the funeral, stock the freezer, make arrangements for the livestock, pay the bills,… In other words, to looketh well to the ways of your household. To take care of everyone else before yourself. Well, not any more. Now you can rest and be at peace, and your children call you blessed.

14Apr/15

A Visit to Gallipoli; April, 2015

By Ewart Tearle
8 April 2015

The dual carriageway from Istanbul to Eceabat is long and winding and takes the best part of five hours driving. The countryside is green and pleasant with a patchwork of fenced fields on a wide and gently rolling landscape, sometimes resembling the Waikato, with its grassy green paddocks, and sometimes looking like Hertfordshire where knots of tight forest capped low rises. Small villages of unkempt cottages with broken tiles on the roofs told of rural poverty, little mosques with one dome and a single minaret lent romance to the valleys.

A little village mosque.

A little village mosque.

“We are travelling the coastal highway of the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Province of Canakkale,” said Kubra, our beautiful guide on the minibus to Eceabat, a slim young Turk in a wide-skirted brown trenchcoat that swept to her knees, her hair covered with a silk scarf that framed a face of peaches and cream with dark eyebrows over brown-green eyes. “All of the peninsula falls within the province.”

She looked through the bus window towards the sea thirty or forty metres below. “The houses between us and the sea are holiday homes, that’s why there is no-one in them.” For many miles the two-storied houses, with their tightly shut windows and locked doors, their sun-powered water heaters sticking out of their roofs, stalked up and down the slope to the sea, a few hundred metres away, waiting for the holidays. The rural cottages had no such sophistication. We saw very few people, even in the villages – and no stock of any sort.

In Eceabat, we found TJ’s Tours; it was they whom we had asked to take us to the ANZAC battlefields of the Great War. Genevieve had recommended them.
“Why are you going there?” our English friends had asked us.
“Because we are Kiwis,” we’d say.

When I was a Boy Scout, from about the age of fourteen, every ANZAC Day, on the 25th of April, I had been a member of the guard of honour around the Cenotaph in Rotorua, head bowed in the dark, foggy cold of a 6am start while small, old men honoured their lost friends with wreaths and tears. It was called Dawn Parade. There were soldiers from the Boer War, from the First World War accompanied by a small contingent of nurses who had served on the battlefields with them, and a larger section of men and women in uniforms of soldiers, sailors, air crew and nurses who had served in the Second World War. The deeply sad wail of a single bugle sounding The Last Post hung in the eerie silence while the grief-stricken sobs of women my mother’s age were muffled in the coats of their friends. New Zealand had paid a terrible price to help the British Empire in its hour of need, and the first realisation of how high that price might be was told early in the First World War, in a place called Gallipoli.

I had known the name all my life, but I couldn’t have told you where it was. I knew we’d fought the Turks, but very little else, in the way I knew we’d fought the Boers, and we had died in our hundreds in the trenches of Flanders, but apart from graphic monochrome photographs I had no conception of what and where those things had happened.

Gallipoli is a place apart; it is a finger of land pointing south-west from that small part of Turkey which is in Europe, parallel with the mass of Turkey that is Asian. The deep trench of water between Gallipoli and Anatolia is called the Turkish Straits. It leads from the Aegean Sea, and it is divided into three parts. The first part is called the Dardanelles, that flows into the Marmara Sea, which narrows at Istanbul and becomes the Bosphorus Strait and that in turn widens into the Black Sea. There is a surface current that takes water from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea, and a deep, cold counter-current that takes water from the Black Sea back to the Aegean.

Gallipoli is a very small piece of land, yet 250,000 Allied forces fought there, along with 280,000 Turkish during a campaign that lasted barely 250 days. The figures are notoriously unreliable, but the maths would indicate that around 2000 men per day were killed or wounded, along a three-part front line that stretched for less than fifteen miles. At times the Turkish front line was only eight metres from the Allies.
We New Zealanders were the British, too, in those days. When I was at school, we learnt English history and British geography. We could see on wall maps of the world the scale of the empire of which we were a part. All that area coloured in red was British and that included us; our grandparents had come from Britain, and the New Zealand and Australian soldiers who signed up in WW1 and WW2 did so for the honour of defending our Homeland. When Britain joined the EU, they cut themselves off from us and put up trade barriers. We had to find our own markets, make our own way in the world and decide who we were, and what was most important to us. The Australians and the British troops, in two World Wars, had called us Kiwis, because of the Kiwi boot polish all New Zealand soldiers were issued. It was a term of friendship, of comradery, and gradually we adopted it over perhaps other choices. It helped that our national bird is also a kiwi.

Our Tour of the ANZAC Sites.
There are five cemeteries of particular interest to the New Zealand visitor to Gallipoli; Chunuk Bair, Ari Burnu, Lone Pine, Hill 60 and Twelve Tree Copse, of which Chunuk Bair is the most important, and there are other places where New Zealanders are buried or memorialised. But before you can go to Chunuk Bair you must pass through ANZAC Cove, as more than 8500 New Zealand troops had to do before you. To start with, the beach is tiny, much smaller than the beach you see in the photos of the 3,100 New Zealanders who landed there on the first day, because the current is removing the beach, pebble by pebble.

ANZAC Cove and North Beach.

ANZAC Cove and North Beach.

There is a little promontory, called Ari Burnu, a short curve of beach, then a short straight before the view widens out onto North Beach and you can see up to The Sphinx, a tall overhang of sandstone that towers above the beach. If you were an ANZAC soldier, at this moment you would be exposed to the full force of Turkish fire over a wide hillside that towered above you. The ANZACs hid behind a low sandstone cliff on a narrow, pebbly beach wondering what on earth had hit them.

The Sphinx from North Beach.

The Sphinx from North Beach.

The objective of the first day of the Gallipoli landings was Chunuk Bair. The ANZACs finally captured it in the last few weeks of the campaign, and held it for just three days. It was the only objective of the entire campaign that was attained. When Mustafa Kemal took it back with a huge force, that was the end of the Gallipoli Campaign. The entire force of Allied soldiers had moved barely six kilometres inland.

Elaine and I walked the short distance along ANZAC Cove, the sea licking at our feet. We each picked up a pebble, a little limestone memento before the sea swept it away, and headed back to the assembly point for the ANZAC Day commemoration, a grassy area surrounded by red tiered seating that looked out over the Dardanelles from whence had come the British sea-borne landing for Turkey, one hundred years ago.

“In a few days time, on the morning of the 25th of April,” said Aykut, our Gallipoli guide, “10,500 people will be here to commemorate the ANZAC landing.” He was a stocky Turkish man with intense black eyes, a ready smile, impeccable English and an encyclopedic knowledge of the Gallipoli Campaign. He stood before us in a red jacket, blue jeans and a brown leather hat with a wide brim. He waved his arms over the sea of red seats and the grass at our feet. “You will not find a square foot to stand on if you do not have a ticket. Don’t worry about the seats, this grass beneath our feet will be fully occupied, too. Then, when the first ceremony is over, everyone will join with the Australians at the Lone Pine Cemetery, and when that is over, everyone goes on to join the Kiwis at Chunuk Bair.”

ANZAC Cove is now its official name.

ANZAC Cove is now its official name.

He looked at a new stone structure barely high enough to serve as a seat, with the word ANZAC written in bold bronze capitals. “In 1985, the Turkish government renamed this beach to its wartime name of ANZAC Cove because the Australian and New Zealand governments asked us, and because there is now an Ataturk Park in Melbourne, a plaque in Albany, a plaque in Canberra and the Ataturk Memorial in Wellington. We, too, call this day ANZAC Day. Gallipoli was as nation-building for us as it was for you.”

We visited the Ari Burnu Cemetery, just a few metres away. I looked closely at the British-designed sandstone monument beyond the lines of headstones for the first time. It had a wide base and a tall centre decorated with a cross. In the lowest portion of the monument were carved the words “THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOR EVER MORE”.

Ari Burnu Cemetery

Ari Burnu Cemetery

Many of the headstones here recorded the deaths of these young men on the first two days of the landing. There were men from the Wellington Regiment, the Otago Regiment, the NZ Mounted Rifles and the NZ Medical Corps. The Australians mostly came from the 2nd and 8th Australian Light Horse. The plaque explaining the cemetery noted that the lines drawn up on the first day of the landings were largely unchanged until the end of the campaign, and that 2000 men died on the first day. The Waikato Times of 22 April 2015 noted that of that number, 200 were from the Waikato, Waitomo and King Country.

Close to ANZAC Cove was a sandstone monument with raised lettering containing some thoughts written in 1934 from the victorious general, who had become president of Turkey. His name was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk; he was called “the father of Turkey,” hence his name, Ataturk.

He began:
“THOSE HEROES THAT SHED THEIR BLOOD AND LOST THEIR LIVES….
YOU ARE NOW LYING IN THE SOIL OF A FRIENDLY COUNTRY.”
These extraordinary words took my breath away. Whoever heard such sentiments from the leader of a country towards those who had attacked him?

Ataturk's message at ANZAC Cove.

Ataturk’s message at ANZAC Cove.

I wanted to find out if Turks really did feel friendly towards New Zealanders. I had my South African stockman’s hat on and it looked remarkably like a New Zealand soldier’s hat from WW1. The Australian hat was turned up on the left side, so they were easy to distinguish from the Kiwis. If the Turks were actually hostile towards the Kiwis, rather than friendly as Ataturk had declared, then I would soon know, and I would have to stop wearing my hat.

TJ’s bus took us to Lone Pine Cemetery. The shocking thing about the Gallipoli Campaign was how few soldiers were found in order to bury them. Only a hundred or so have marked graves at Lone Pine Cemetery, and a few have “Believed to be buried here” headstones. The rest of their names, 4,222 Australians and 709 New Zealanders, are on wall plaques, some cut stone, and some engraved brass. Plaque after plaque of closely-packed names, usually organised by regiment, battalion and rank. A lone pine does exist; a plaque reminded us the existing pine was grown from a seed of the original. The monument has a remembrance book which we signed “To our Australian cousins, because we promised never to forget.”

Lone Pine Cemetery.

Lone Pine Cemetery.

The next stop was Chunuk Bair. Only a few bodies were found, and we counted just ten headstones, all New Zealanders.

The ten NZ graves on Chanuk Bair.

The ten NZ graves on Chunuk Bair.

There were again the serried ranks of names on plaques, of men who served in the Auckland Regiment and the Wellington, Christchurch and Otago Regiments, as well as some who served with the NZ Navy and the Medical Corps and the Wellington Mounted Rifles.

Wellington Mounted Rifles names on Chunuk Bair

Wellington Mounted Rifles names on Chunuk Bair.

This photograph came from Elaine’s collection of photographs and includes the name Lance Corporal L M Natzke.

A huge bronze of Ataturk with a tall flagpole towered over the NZ memorial, one arm across his chest holding his binoculars, and the other holding a swagger stick behind his back, as befits the victor.

Ataturk guards Chanuk Bair.

Ataturk guards Chunuk Bair.

Recently recut trenches traced the lines down which Turkish forces and their supplies moved.

The trenches on Chanuk Bair.

The trenches on Chunuk Bair.

In a large clearing on the hilltop, four huge curved stones told the story of the Turks of Chunuk Bair on significant days in their desperate struggle to keep their country.

The ANZAC assault of 6 August is repulsed.

The ANZAC assault of 6 August is repulsed.

The plaque with the translation of 6 Aug 1915 assault.

The plaque with the translation of the 6 Aug 1915 assault.

One look over the brow of the hill to the land below was enough to show even the casual onlooker of the huge advantage the occupation of the top of the hill had for those who could keep it. Stripped of its vegetation, the view down the hill to those trying to climb it was panoramic and clear. No-one could move without the lookout seeing it, and the field of fire was almost total. For that reason, many of the most important troop movements in the campaign had to be completed during the night, with understandable confusion over battle orders, due to units becoming lost in the darkness.

The view from Chunuk Bair.

The view from Chunuk Bair.

Hill 60 Monument.

Hill 60 Monument.

We moved on to the Hill 60 Cemetery. The bus pulled over on a straight stretch of road and the driver pointed to a dirt track just wide enough for an SUV, but not for a bus. The sign on the side of the road pointed the way to Hill 60, almost directly in line with Chunuk Bair high on the horizon. To its left as we viewed it, and 20m higher, was the rounded dome of Hill 971.
The cemetery marked the last major assault of the Gallipoli Campaign. In eight days 788 Allied soldiers were killed, for no real gain. Of those soldiers, 182 New Zealanders have no known grave.

We walked up the track. Hidden behind the bushes that overhung the track was the now familiar form of a British memorial, enclosed in a field barely a third of an acre in size. We were looking specifically for a Richard Roland Jones, whom Dos Mark of Otorohanga had asked us to find. Elaine had found him listed  with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and finally here we were. None of the surprisingly few headstones mentioned him. Elaine said that Dos’ grandmother’s brother was never found; he probably did not have a headstone. She found his name on the memorial itself in the Auckland Mounted Rifles: Trooper Jones R. R.

Jones RR, the last name on the Auckland Mounted Rifles Hill 60 Memorial.

Jones R. R. the last name on the Auckland Mounted Rifles Hill 60 Memorial.

Jones R. R. closeup.

Our last visit to the ANZAC sites was to Twelve Tree Copse, where 179 New Zealanders are recorded. They were killed in the Second Battle of Krithia and on the Helles front during May and July 1915 and “whose graves are known only to God.” No-one else was visiting the site, and Elaine and I photographed some New Zealand and Australian headstones. The writing on the now familiarly shaped memorial was fiendishly difficult to read in the available light.

The memorial at Twelve Tree Copse.

The memorial at Twelve Tree Copse.

John Henry Tearle – The Hertfordshire Soldier

“Do you know anyone who was killed at Gallipoli?” our friends would also ask. Indeed I did, and he was the main reason I wanted to go to Gallipoli. His name was John Henry Tearle, from Hertford, a lance sergeant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. His name was on the Helles Memorial because he was fighting in a British Regiment. It may seem odd these days, but before 1922, all service in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland was called Home service and did not count for service medals or pension. John Henry was not fighting for or even with the Irish; he was fighting with the British. The Inniskilling Fusiliers were recruiting in Hertfordshire, so he joined them. The irony was that because he did not join the Hertfordshire Regiment, his name is not remembered anywhere in Hertfordshire as a Great War soldier and casualty.

Port Hill Bengeo - last terrace on right, now part of number 69.

Port Hill Bengeo – last terrace on right, now part of number 69.

Elaine and I had visited John Henry’s home in Bengeo, a short climb up a steep hill that looks down on the A414 as the highway snakes its way through the heart of Hertford. The house was an end terrace with a door and an upstairs window. It probably had no toilet and no running water. John Henry, his sisters Florence and Jane, and his grandmother Harriet Tearle from Soulbury, in Buckinghamshire, were so poor, they had spent time in the Hatfield Union Workhouse, as late as 1896. I think he thought that working in the army would at least give him a paying job. He was reasonably successful, too; lance sergeant was a good few steps up the ranks. Notice of his death on Gallipoli at only twenty-eight years old, was given to his mother, still resident in the terrace house pictured above. Large numbers of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers had died with him.

The Helles Memorial.

The Helles Memorial.

We arrived at the Helles Memorial, which was a beautifully built sandstone obelisk towering over the landscape and giving a view over the Dardanelles. On the map we had, it was called the Ingiliz Helles Aniti. A sign said that this memorial has the names of 25,000 servicemen who died in the Gallipoli Campaign. We three were the only people visiting it. After the busy scenes at the other memorials, it was a shock to realise that no-one seemed to know that so many young British soldiers had given their lives, and they had been forgotten. We were pleased we had come.

I gave Aykut the envelope containing everything I knew about John Henry – the photos of his house, his short military record, the file from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the plan drawing of the memorial – and he studied them all closely. He went off towards the near wall of the monument and stopped at the far end. He looked towards me and said nothing. He had found John Henry. He moved off when I arrived and I stood, head bowed for a short while, and paid my respects.
“He died on 29 June 1915,” said Aykut, when I joined him. “He would have been fighting in the Battle of Gully Ravine. It was very hot. It always is in June. The battle was on 24-28 June, so he would have died of his wounds.”

John Henry Tearle on Helles Memorial.

John Henry Tearle on Helles Memorial.

“If he died of his wounds,” I queried, “wouldn’t he have been buried? He is on this monument because he could not be found and buried.”

“He only had to be in a field hospital a few hundred metres from the front and if there was a delay of just a day or so to get his body to a more rearward position, then he would have been left behind, and he would never have been found and identified.” He paused. “So his name is on the memorial. Most of the men killed on Gallipoli, Allied and Turk, are still lying in this earth, unknown and unidentifiable.”

The Turkish Heroes
In order to inspire their troops, a nation needs heroes; ordinary men who did an extraordinary thing. There are two who stand out above all else. One is recounted by General Casey, who became Lord Casey, Governor General of Australia. An English officer lay wounded in the no-man’s land between the Turkish and British front lines. The fighting was fierce, and no-one dared to leave their trench to rescue the officer. From the trench in front of them, someone waved a white flag and after a moment, a Turkish soldier stood up, climbed out of his trench and walked towards the English officer. He calmly picked him up, and to the astonishment of all, he carried him to the British trench and handed him down to the waiting men. The soldier walked back to his own trench and jumped in. There is a huge statue near ANZAC Cove of a Turkish soldier carrying an English officer. The soldier’s name was Mahmetcige Saygi. For such gallantry on the battlefield, may his name live forever.

Mahmetcige Saygi and the English officer

Mahmetcige Saygi and the English officer

The second ordinary man was a gunner in one of the 12 forts the Turks built to guard the Dardanelles. His huge nine-inch gun had been firing at British warships all morning, and it was struck by a shell from the naval bombardment, destroying the crane that carried live shells up to the gun’s breach. Corporal Seyit Onbasi carried three 275kg shells up the ladder to the gun. “One of those shells hit the rudder of the battleship OCEAN,” said Aykut, “and she drifted onto the mines guarding the shore, destroying her.”
“Two hundred and seventy-five kilograms!” I exclaimed. “That’s an enormous weight.”
“All done on pure adrenalin,” said Aykut calmly.

Cpl Seyit Onbasi carries the shell to his gun.

Cpl Seyit Onbasi carries the shell to his gun.

The Turkish Memorials.
A three-times lifesize bronze of a Turkish soldier with a bayonet attached to his rifle guards the carpark and market of the cemetery for the 57th Infantry Regiment.

A soldier of the 57th Infantry.

A soldier of the 57th Infantry.

It is famed nationally for two reasons; this was Ataturk’s regiment, and it won the Gallipoli Campaign, having fought on the peninsular for the full length of the war.

The plaque detailing the acts of the 57th Infantry.

The plaque detailing the acts of the 57th Infantry.

The headstones lie in ordered ranks along the hillside, but Aykut warned me that they marked no grave.

A headstone for a soldier of the 57th Infantry.

A headstone for a soldier of the 57th Infantry.

“All those who were recovered are buried in a mass grave to the right of the memorial,” he told me.

“A mass grave,” I repeated slowly. “The dead soldiers were each rolled into a shroud and lowered into a pit, side by side.”
Aykut nodded.

“And then earth was spread on them and another layer was added?”
He turned sadly away. “The names of those in the mass grave are written on stainless steel pillars lying on the ground at the bottom of those steps.”
He indicated a set of honey-toned sandstone steps behind me. I turned and followed them, busy with visitors, down to see the names. I stood shocked at the scale of the disaster.

Turkish names at the Memorial of the 57th Infantry.

Turkish names at the Memorial of the 57th Infantry.

On the way back I met an old man working his way slowly down the steps and I wordlessly took his elbow to ensure he didn’t fall. He stood and looked at the silent memory of so much death and breathed a deep sigh. As I helped him back up the steps he said, “Where do you come from?”

I said “New Zealand,” but it meant nothing to him. “Kiwi,” I tried.

He broke into a smile, “Ah! Thank you! Thank you!” He shook my hand, and a younger man took over and led him gently towards the steps leading to the memorial, where hundreds of people were viewing the magnificent spectacle and quietly checking the names on the headstones.

DSC_3598 Gateway to Kesikdere Sehitligi

Gateway to Kesikdere Sehitligi – the memorial to the 57th Infantry Regiment.

I was browsing the market in the car park when a young woman in a formal black suit stopped beside me and asked me where I came from. She said she was from Turkish Television, and at the foot of the Turkish soldier, she and her cameraman interviewed me on why I was in Canakkale. I don’t know if it was ever aired.

The second great memorial is in Helles, not far from and in plain view of the English memorial where we had found John Henry’s name. It is more than 41m tall and it is called the Canakkale Sehitler Abidesi. It is the national symbol for the Gallipoli Campaign, in the same way that Chunuk Bair is for us. From the bus park we walked past a plaque with Ataturk’s 1934 message to all those who had died, slightly different in wording from that at ANZAC Cove, but obviously a translation of the same document. For the next hundred metres of the walk through tall pine trees, there were row upon row of glass pillars with perhaps a hundred names engraved on each of them. “64,000 Turkish soldiers are listed here,” said Aykut.

64,000 names of the Turkish National Monument to the Canakkale Campaign.

64,000 names of the Turkish National Monument to the Canakkale Campaign.

We walked towards the impressive monument, and noting that no-one was walking on the grass towards it, we followed the track beside the trees that showed the way.

 

Turkish National Monument to the Battle of Canakkale.

Turkish National Monument to the Battle of Canakkale.

As I arrived close to the monument, at the top of a few stairs were four men who looked long and hard at me. I stopped and lowered my camera, in case they thought I was photographing them.

“Where are you from?” asked a man wearing a cloth cap, who stood in the middle of the group. All of them were much shorter than me, and had thick, heavy overcoats and grey moustaches. “New Zealand,” I offered tentatively.

“New Zealand!” shouted one of the group. He turned excitedly to the others, who had gathered around him. “Kiwi!,” he shouted. They all turned round, ran the few paces to me and surrounded me. The short man pushed his camera into my hand. “Photo,” he said. I sat my camera down on the grass nearby, took the man’s camera and photographed the men standing proudly in front of their national monument. The short man came back to me, “Photo,” he cried. They stood either side of me and put their arms over my shoulders. The fourth man took a photo. They changed places and took another photo, then another, and another, to ensure each man was in a photograph with the Kiwi. It was a wonderful experience. I picked up my camera and shook hands with each man in turn, grateful to be accepted, as Ataturk had intended that I should be. I had learnt a great deal about the Turks.

I continued towards the monument, trying to fit its massive size into a single picture. I saw a bas-relief of Corporal Seyit Onbasi again, photographed it and then walked up a few steps into the bulk of the building. Three young Turkish lads crowded around me.

“Where are you from?” The tallest of the three, perhaps as young as 17 years, with a sallow complexion and close-cropped hair, looked at me intently.
“Kiwi,” I said, missing out the formality of country.
“Kiwi!” They yelled in unison. They sat on the steps in front of me. “My name is Kagan,” said the tall one, solemnly. I wrote the word in my diary. “Nice name,” I said. “I’d like a name like that; it has a ring about it.”
“This is Emir,” he said with a smile, waving his hand to his left where sat a younger boy with long dark hair. “And this is Utku,” he said motioning to the young Turk in a brown sweatshirt on his right. I checked the spellings with each of them, wondering why they wanted to introduce themselves. The crowd of visitors swirled around us noisily. “Why are you here?” he asked.
I pointed in the direction of the Helles Memorial for the English, “I have visited a member of my family whose name is on that memorial.” I paused. “Why are you here?”
“Because it will be the 25th of April.”
“And you call it ANZAC Day. So do we.” If he was worried about the differences between us, they vanished.
“Selfie, selfie,” said Kagan, standing tall and beaming broadly. He produced his smartphone and took a quick snap of himself with me. “Me too, me too,” cried the others and they crowded even closer.
“Can I use your hat?” Kagan asked. I gave it to him and he gleefully pressed it down onto his head. I thought, what have I done? Is that the last I have seen of my hat? He lifted the smartphone again and dropped his arm around my right shoulder. I could hardly move. He was pressed against the stone pillar and I was pressed against him by Utku; his arm was draped over my left shoulder.
“Me too, me too!” Emir’s long black hair pushed under my arm, between my chest and Kagan, his dark brown eyes shining with excitement as he looked up to make sure he was in the shot.
“And me, and me!” A pretty blonde girl whom I had not noticed at all, with a swirl of green something – a jersey or a blouse or a skirt – flung herself onto the step in front of me and knelt down to see herself in the smartphone. Kagan took the selfie two, perhaps three times, to the delight and high amusement of everyone in the vicinity. They all stood up. Kagan took off my hat and gave it to me. I dropped it on my head. He was laughing and crying and showing the picture he had taken to anyone who wanted to see it. He turned back to me, stopped smiling, and held out his hand. “Thank you, thank you,” he said solemnly. He shook my hand with both of his and then each member of the group did the same, including the girl in green. I was very, very impressed with the Turks.

Some Explanations
The Turks do not refer to Gallipoli, the word is an anglicisation of Gelibolu, the Turkish name for this peninsula, so the word means nothing to them; they refer to this battle as the Canakkale Campaign, or the Battle of Canakkale. The word is pronounced Chen-ark-alay, with the stress on the middle syllable. The name is everywhere, and Aykut pointed out that Chunuk Bair (bair is a hill) is actually a corruption of Canakkale, and should say Canakkale Bair; the hill from which you can see Canakkale. The town itself is on the other side of the Dardanelles, directly opposite Eceabat.

Lifesize tableau of life in the trenches - found in Eceabat.

Lifesize tableau of life in the trenches – found in Eceabat.

While we were in Eceabat, and again while staying in Istanbul, we saw an incredible number of ships passing by or at anchor, and being joined by more with every passing hour. Many of these ships would put WW1 battleships into frigate size in comparison, but every now and again we would see a ship so large it dwarfed everything in sight. Even then, this gargantuan vessel was still travelling in excess of twenty knots.  When you see this volume and majesty of shipping in the Dardanelles, and in the Marmara Sea, waiting their turn to proceed, then you appreciate what the Turks were fighting for.

When we visited Chunuk Bair, I was late for the bus and Cemal came looking for me. She was perhaps twenty-five years old, quite tall, with long dark hair framing a serenely beautiful face highlighted by deep, dark eyes in a honey complexion. She had a red leather jacket over a blue jersey and shiny new Spanish ankle-boots. She had joined us from Eceabat and she had told us on the bus that she was attending two universities, one to study public relations and the other to study Turkish. She wanted money to pay for her tuition, and she wanted to improve her English, so now she was also a trainee guide, learning her country’s history at the same time. It was clear to her I was not heading for the bus.

“Where are you going?” She asked. I pointed through the trees to the huge Turkish stones with the stories on them and we threaded our way through and over the trenches that had been cut into this hilltop by an earlier generation of young men of about Cemal’s age.

“There is a big worry in our country that the government is removing all the changes that Ataturk made for us,” she said. “This is a country where everyone is a citizen and there is no special treatment for any religion.” I recognized the definition of secular. “But the government is passing laws to change that. Ataturk would not have liked it.” She paused as we were about to jump a trench. “I have a tattoo.”
I stopped my headlong flight to the stones. “A what?”

Elif's tatoo

Cemal’s tatoo

She rolled up the sleeve on her right arm. “It is Ataturk’s signing. He is my hero.” On the clear white skin of her forearm was indeed Ataturk’s signature. “Everyone who wants Turkey to be governed as a modern state has a copy of this somewhere so people can see.”
“A tattoo?”

“No, the writing might be on their car, or on their house. We love our country; many, many young men died for it and they died for Ataturk. We want our country to go forward as Ataturk wanted it to.”

Her earnest vision was clear and beautifully expressed. Elaine and I had received nothing but good will from all the Turks we had met. I hope that in a troubled world, she, and her country, manage to negotiate the churning seas that lap at its shores.

Update

The New Zealand Herald of 14 April 2015 reported that Wellington and Canakkale had signed a sister city relationship. The Turkish ambassador to New Zealand, Mr Damla Yesim Say noted:
“All the fallen in Gallipoli are our grandfathers, and we are proof for posterity that people who once fought as enemies can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder today in remembrance of their grandfathers’ sacrifice, and in celebration of their friendship.”

Some figures

Elaine and I are from the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty respectively. From the towns and villages with which we are most familiar, here are some figures of the fatalities of World War 1, printed in the Waikato Times of 22 April 2015:

Hamilton 222
Morrinsville 10
Otorohanga 58
Paeroa 3
Piopio 19
Te Kuiti 30
Waitomo 1

“A few over 100,000 New Zealanders sailed to join the First World War. Of those 18,000 were killed and 40,000 were wounded.”

In 1914, the total population of New Zealand was 1.1 million.

Post Script

Elaine and I stayed in Istanbul for more than a week and visited the ANZAC sites of Gallipoli during April 2015, the centenary of the ANZAC landings, to discover the relationship we had with the momentous events of the Gallipoli Campaign. We found family members who had died there, and we found men from other families whom we hadn’t expected to come across.

What we never anticipated was the unabashed friendship that was extended to us when ordinary Turkish people met us and realised we were Kiwis. I told three stories above that illustrate this, but there were many, many others.

Our stay in Turkey was a revelation, and my one of my objectives in publishing this story is to express our deep gratitude to TJ’s Tours of Eceabat and his staff who worked tirelessly to ensure we were given every opportunity to explore Gallipoli to the fullest extent possible in the time we had.

21Mar/15

Pieces of String Too Short to Save – The Tearles

Chapter 6, the Tearles

By Bob Chancellor

Frances Marie Tearle was born October 20, 1913, in Carthage, Missouri, but her family moved away from Carthage when she was a baby, going to Chicago. Thirty years later, she would return to the vicinity of Carthage for the first time when our family moved to Webb City, just ten miles away. Frances always talked fondly of her early childhood in Chicago – particularly the beaches along Lake Michigan. Her father was head of the copy writing department for the Dry Goods Economist. The family then moved to Boonville which she really considered her home town.

Frances Tearle

Frances Tearle

Mother went through elementary and high school in Boonville, and for two years, attended Christian College, an all girls junior college, in Columbia. I know that at Christian, she was interested in mod-ern dance, because one time Life Magazine did a photo feature about those dancers and she was among them. After college, for a time, she worked at the Boonville Daily News as a secretary and typist. She told me one of her main jobs was to take dictation daily from the Associated Press, which would call with a summary of the state and national news. Apparently the Daily News did not have a teletype machine. She was a pretty girl and a pretty woman. Everyone who knew Frances was struck by how sweet and gentle she was.
Her father was Arthur Tearle, a dry goods merchant, was born in Stanbridge, Bedforshire, England in October, 1881. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 22, arriving at Ellis Island, aboard the ship Carpathia, on June 10, 1904. (The steamship Carpathia would later gain fame when it rescued 705 survivors of the Titanic in April, 1912, and later again when it was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in 1918).

Steam Ship Carpathia

Steam Ship Carpathia


He listed his occupation as a draper. I remember my mother saying that for a time he worked at a hospital, where he saw and cared for drunks, reinforcing his aversion to alcohol. Phoebe, her younger sister, is not aware of this story. Anyway, so far as is known, he never drank liquor and both he and his wife were strongly opposed to it. He listed his destination as Kansas.
After finishing public schools, he had become an apprentice in the dry good business in England, holding posts in London, Northampton and Reading. He decided to come to the U.S. while doing social settlement work in Northampton, when he met a couple, whose wife had lived in the U.S. He worked at a dry goods store in Fairfield, Iowa, and then attended Koster Window Trimming and Advertis-ing School in Chicago.

Arthur Tearle

Arthur Tearle

He became window trimmer and publicity man for the Rush Store in Cherryvale, Kansas, where he met Louise Nunnelly.

passenger list

A Cherryvale newspaper article in 1910 states: Arthur Tearle made a little trip to Independence (Kansas) this morning, returning with two very important documents. One was his marriage license and the other was the proof that he is now a full fledged citizen of the United States. Mr. Tearle came to the United States six years ago. This morning he foreswore allegiance to the new King George by taking out naturalization papers. Not quite true that he became “a full fledged citizen,” this was his original naturalization application, and precedes his Certificate of Naturalization by the required five years.
They were married May 18, 1910. Another article in the Cherryvale Daily Journal, notes Miss Nunnelly had had a short residence in Cherryvale, coming after the Christmas holidays as a special supervisor of music in the public schools
“Mr. Tearle,” the newspaper said, “is also an im-portant factor in musical circles, possessing a cultivated tenor voice. He has made himself very popular in Cherryvale as well as proved himself a successful young business man.”
He became a naturalized American citizen on June 14, 1915. The naturalization certificate by the U.S. District Court at Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, shows he was married at the time to Mary Louise Tearle, whose address was 1136 Maple Street, Carthage, Missouri; and had a minor child, Frances Marie Tearle, of the home. Judging from this time table, he was still a British citizen at the time of my mother’s birth.

Arthur Tearle and baby Frances in Carthage

Arthur Tearle and baby Frances in Carthage

From Chicago, the family had moved to Missouri, where he was in charge of advertising for the Chasnoff stores of Sedalia, Warrensburg and Boonville. In 1922, he became manager of Chasnoff’s Boonville store and became its owner in 1927, doing business as the Tearle Dry Goods Store on Main Street.

From the History of Cooper County, by E.J. Mel-ton, 1937: “From early boyhood he sang in choirs, first of the State church in England, and then in his adopted country. He was director of the Presbyterian choir in Boonville, a deacon in the church and active in the Knights of Pythias lodge. (According to Phoebe, her mother also was a member of the choir and they often sang duets. He also had been the choir director of the Broad-way Presbyterian Church in Sedalia.)

At the time of his death (of a heart attack, at age 55) in January, 1936, he was a member of the Boonville Chamber of Commerce and was hon-ored by a resolution of that organization. He died fourteen days before my birth –that fact led to my fascination in researching his history, thus the length of this chapter. And you will notice, I carry his surname as my middle name. “Tearle” is a very unusual name both in this country and in England – his obituary said he was survived by four sisters in England and was the youngest of a large family. I have seen reference to three brothers, who are not mentioned in any of his family history. If they existed (and his daughter Phoebe has no knowledge of them) then they must have pre-deceased him. With no (surviving) brothers or uncles, there was no one to carry the name forward, except me.
In an article in the History of Cooper County, written some time after his death, Arthur Tearle was described as quiet and self-effacing, “but his idealism, steadfast character and thorough capaci-ties put him in a position of leadership.”
In an interview with the writer of the Cooper County History article, in December, 1934, Arthur Tearle reminisced about Christmas in England and said he would enjoy a visit. “However, I know I would find things different over there. Time and change bring disillusionment when one returns to old haunts. A short stay, I am sure, would forever cure recurring homesickness for scenes of my boy-hood. There is greater opportunity here than in England and I love the country of my adoption.” He never returned to England.

I knew my maternal grandmother, Mary Louise Nunnelly Tearle better than any of my other grandparents. In fact, I lived with her for part of ayear, in 1955. Her full name was Mary Louise, but she apparently always just went by Louise. She was born September 27, 1883 at Danville, in Montgomery County, Missouri. Her parents were John Theophilus Nunnelly, born in 1837, and Mary Frances Bush, born in 1842. Louise was the youngest of seven children, and I remember her talking about her sisters, Eva, Ora and Gertrude, and brother, Guy. There was another brother, Lu-ther, and a sister, Birdella, who died at the age of three.
Mr. Nunnelly was a mill operator and implement dealer in Montgomery City, where Grandmother Tearle went to school, but she never talked about her life as a girl. She next appears in my records in Cherryvale, Kansas, as a music teacher and fiancée of Arthur Tearle. She, of course, moved with her husband to Carthage, Chicago, Sedalia and to Boonville, where she raised her family. The Tearles lived in a two story brick house high atop a hill at the south end of Main Street. The house is still there – my mother told of the car run-ning out of gas and being able to coast all the way down the Main Street hill to a service station to refill the tank.

John and Mary Nunnelly

John and Mary Nunnelly

My aunt Phoebe was born October 15, 1920 in Sedalia and was in high school in Boonville when her father died. Louise had worked in the store alongside her husband on occasion, but neither Frances nor Phoebe ever worked there. Upon Arthur Tearle’s death, Mr. Malone, a rival merchant who apparently had some investment in the Tearle store, took over the store and closed it. Phoebe remembers “it was not a pleasant situation and it upset mother greatly.” Another competitor, Mr. Koppel, was described by Phoebe as being a lot of help after Arthur died, and offered Louise the job of running his store, the Sunny Day, a dress shop. Being the widow of a successful Boonville merchant apparently had not left Louise and Phoebe too well off.
About four years later, in 1940, Louise and Phoebe moved to Kansas City where grandmother went to work at Emory Bird Thayer, in the linen department, and Phoebe says she enjoyed that job very much. She worked there nearly 20 years. Phoebe recalls they moved to Kansas City because Phoebe wanted to attend the Edna Marie Dunn School of Fashion Illustration and De-sign. “Mother didn’t want me to go to K.C. by myself and she had no reason to stay in Boonville, so we moved. I’ve always felt bad about that because she had such nice friends in Boonville. I think her life would have been much more pleasant there than in Kansas City.”

The Tearle family visits Frances at Christian College, Columbia

The Tearle family visits Frances at Christian College, Columbia

In Kansas City, Grandmother Tearle can best be described as “indomitable and energetic.” She was short, buxom and had white hair, which had turned at an early age. She never had a car, but walked long distances – often the 30 or so blocks to work – and rode public transit to work and to shop, always wearing a hat and little red gloves. She always lived in apartments, first near the Country Club Plaza and later on Armour Blvd. To my knowledge, she never had a boyfriend, nor any interest in re-marriage although she did tell me she had had opportunities. When she retired from the store, she stayed on in her apartment until dementia forced Mother and Phoebe to place her in a nursing home. She died in July, 1968, at the age of 85. At the time we were living in Thailand and unable to attend her funeral.

Phoebe and me (Bob). While in high school, she used me as a home economics project

Phoebe and me (Bob). While in high school, she used me as a home economics project

Phoebe, who was an accomplished artist, also worked at Emory Bird Thayer in the advertising department after finishing the Dunn school. Then she got a job at Trans World Air-lines in the advertising department but was put in the reservations de-partment “to get a feel for the airline.” She liked that so much that she just stayed in reservations from 1943 to 1946. While working there, she met Marshal S. Ken-nedy, a college roommate of her boss. They were married in September, 1946, in Buffalo, New York, and live two years in Youngstown, New York, on the banks of the Niagara River where it flows into Lake Ontario. There they spent a lot of time sailing on his parent’s 28 foot boat.
Marsh Kennedy worked for a time with TWA, and then with Bell Aircraft Company. I remem-ber when I first met him, he gave me some Bell Co. pictures of the XS-1 experimental rocket-powered airplane, which was a Bell project. To me, he was an exciting creature, who drove an MG sports car. Their first daughter, Laura, was born in Youngstown, May 3, 1948. Then they moved back to Kansas City, where Marsh worked for the Bendix Aviation Corporation. The com-pany was a prime contractor to the Atomic Energy Commission, and while Marsh could not talk much about his job, he did travel frequently to New Mexico to observe nuclear bomb tests.

Marsh Kennedy, preparing to attack the snow in Buffalo, NY

Marsh Kennedy, preparing to attack the snow in Buffalo, NY

They lived at Lake Quivira, west of Kansas City, from 1951 to 1965, and their second daughter, Kristin, was born August 23, 1951. In 1965, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Marsh worked for Mason, Hanger, Silas, Mason engineering company until his death July 11, 1967. Phoebe and the girls moved back to Kansas City in 1968, and not too long afterward, Phoebe married Arthur C. Popham, a successful lawyer and member of a prestigious Kansas City family.
Art, like Marsh, was a flamboyant character – he had done a lot of big game hunting and had a house full of African trophies, as well as several dioramas of his animals at the Kansas City Museum. He, too, was a car aficionado, having been the owner of a Cord in his younger days. He died September 23, 2009 at the age of 94.
Phoebe’s eldest daughter, Laura, married and since divorced a journalist, Richard Olive, in 1977, and they had one son, Andrew Kennedy Olive, born November 17, 1980. Laura died in San Francisco on September 16, 2002.
Kristin married Larry Bowen in Houston on June 30, 1984, and they had two children, Marshall Thibideaux Bowen, born September 28; 1985 in Kansas City, and Marguerite (Maggie) Louise Bo-wen, born October 11, 1988. She was named after Louise Tearle. Larry, a master professional chef, died June 24, 2009.

Boonville was revisited in 1990 by my aunt Phoebe, (second from left) when she took my brother Steve, his wife Kay (at left) and her daughters Kristin (in front) and Laura (at right) on a tour of her old home town.

Boonville was revisited in 1990 by my aunt Phoebe, (second from left) when she took my brother Steve, his wife Kay (at left) and her daughters Kristin (in front) and Laura (at right) on a tour of her old home town.

To read the rest of “Pieces of String to short to Save” by Bob  Chancellor, you can buy the book here

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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.