Category Archives: London, UK

Tearle Family history in London.

17Sep/17

Jabez Tearle 1841, Hockliffe and the Bexleyheath Tearles

The Tearles of Bexleyheath

by Hazel King

Back row Flossie (Tot) Frank, John, Grace. Front row: George, Elizabeth and Alice.

“Our” branch of the Tearle family tree descends from John Tearle, who was baptised on 23rd August 1741 in Stanbridge, Bedfordshire.  On 30th October 1760, aged 19, he married Martha Archer and they had seven children between the years 1761 and 1773.

One of these children was John, who was baptised on 29th July 1770 in Stanbridge. He married Mary Janes on 14th January 1792 in Tilsworth, Bedfordshire, and in 1841 John is listed as being 70 years old and a carpenter, with his wife Mary, 65.  They were living on Leighton Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.  John died in the last quarter of 1849.

John and Mary had nine children between the years 1792 and 1817.  The eldest son, Thomas, was born about 1792 in Ivinghoe Aston, Buckinghamshire and on the 6th January 1823 he married Jemima Cleaver in the church of St Mary in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Thomas and Jemima had 10 children.  By the time of the 1841 Census they were living in Hockliffe, Bedfordshire with their growing family.  Thomas was an agricultural labourer.  By 1851 Jemima had died and Thomas was 59 and working on the land.  He was left with 4 daughters still at home and his son, Jabez who was 9 and at school.  The four daughters were straw plaiters, Susan (26), Ann (24), Sarah (12) and Elizabeth (6).  Bedfordshire was one of the main centres for straw plaiting in England at this time.  More about that later.

Thomas was still working on the land at the time of the 1861 Census.  Jabez (19) was still at home and was a “farm servant” and Elizabeth was still a straw plaiter, aged 16.  Thomas died in 1866 aged 75.

His son, Jabez, had been born in 1842, and on the 10th October 1862 he had married Mary Clarke, at Battlesden, Bedfordshire.   Jabez was then 21.  By 1871, Jabez and Mary were living on Watling Street in Hockliffe.  They had three children by then, George (7), Louisa (5) and Alice (3).

By 1881, George was no longer living at home and Alice, then 13 was a straw plaiter.  .James had been born by then and he was 8 and still at school.  Jabez was employed for many years at “The Grounds”, a farm in Hockliffe.

Bedfordshire Archives and Record Service hold details about The Grounds, dated 1903 (ref AD 1147/98) and describe the property as “Being a farmhouse, buildings, 2 cottages, 29ac 3r.8p and a farmhouse and buildings in Hockliffe with 77ac 3r.8p plan”  According to Historic England Archive, The Grounds was part of the Hockliffe Grange Estate.

As we look through the census records of 1891, 1901 and 1911, Jabez and Mary were living on their own, on Woburn Road and Jabez was still working at the age of 69.

On 3rd June 1912 Jabez died from “Cerebral Paralysis”, aged 70.  His daughter, Alice (by then Alice Tucker) was the informant of the death.  He is buried in the church yard in Hockliffe.

His wife Mary, was to live until she was 92.  She went to live with her daughter Louisa (by then Louisa Hogkins) and died at “Fairholme”, Brackendale Avenue, Pitsea, Essex, on 3rd November 1932.  She was buried at Hockliffe, presumably with Jabez on 8th November 1932.  Her son George had been the informant of her death.  The causes of death given were 1a Heart failure, b Bronchitis,  2 Senility. The death certificate records that there was no post mortem.

George, the eldest child of Jabez and Mary had moved from Hockliffe to Bexleyheath in Kent and by 1881 aged 18 was living on “Main Road, Southside Cottage” as a ”servant” and “gardener’s labourer” at the home of a Sarah Markham , a gardener.  Actually, George and Sarah were related.  Sarah had been born in 1815 to Elizabeth Ashpole and Thomas Markham.  She had moved to Bexleyheath sometime before the Census was taken in 1851 with her parents.  Sarah was related to George on his mother’s side of the family.

George met an Elizabeth Clark and on 29th May 1887 they married at Christ Church, Bexleyheath.  The Vicar was Rev. G. Graham and Thomas Grandy and Ann Clark (Elizabeth’s mother?) were the witnesses.  His occupation is listed as “Porter”.  Elizabeth’s parents, Edward and Ann Clark lived a few doors away from George, at “The House Decorator’s Shop” with their family, so presumably that is how they met.  No doubt the flowers for the wedding came from the nursery!

In 1891, George was 26 and an Auctioneer’s Messenger.  He and Elizabeth had a daughter Grace, then aged 1.  She had been born on 5th September 1889.  This was my grandmother.  In Kelly’s Directory of 1899, George is listed at The Nursery 115 The Broadway and by the time of the 1901 Census, Grace, then aged 11 had been joined by Flossie (9), Frank (7) and John (2).  George was a florist and gardener.  They were still there in 1911 and the family was complete with the arrival of Alice, who had been born in 1904.  George was later to comment that Alice wasn’t planned but had come in mighty useful!  (Presumably in the Nursery).  Grace had left by this time and was working as a Nanny in Beckenham, Kent.  George was helped in the business by Elizabeth, Flossie (19) was a housemaid and John (12), was still at school.

In 1912, George’s father Jabez died in Hockliffe, Bedfordshire.

George at the grave of his father, Jabez (1842-1912) Hockliffe Bedfordshire

The Nursery at 115 The Broadway had been rented and when the site was to be redeveloped and Woolworth’s built in 1929 George was paid the sum of £800 to vacate the premises.  (Just over £35,532 in today’s money).  The family moved to Albion Road.

George and Elizabeth moved to “Hockliffe”, 95 Woolwich Road around 1930, a house that John built, to live with John and his business partner, Arthur BarwellElizabeth died here on February 18 1932 and was buried in Bexleyheath Cemetery on 24th February 1932.  She had breast cancer .  Her death certificate records there was no post mortem.

When John built “The Grange” Broomfield Road, Bexleyheath in the mid 1930’s, George moved there with him and Arthur and continued to live there after John and Gladys were married.  He died there on 27th February 1951, aged 87.  His death certificate indicates pancreatic cancer and myocardial degeneration.  He was buried in Bexleyheath Cemetery with Elizabeth on 5th March 1951.  His grave is No. 1951.  I presume the ashes of Flossie and Alice were later buried here too as  their names have been added to the headstone.

Grace Tearle 1889-1968

Grace nee Tearle and Richard Withall; probably a wedding photo.

Grace was born on the 5th September 1889 at 115, The Broadway, Bexleyheath.  On leaving school she became a nanny and by 1911 she was working for a family in Beckenham, Kent.  She was 21 and was working at the home of a Sydney Frederick Wright and his wife Maude.  They had 3 children, Kenneth (8), Hayden (6) and Dennis (2).  The family also employed a cook, Lee and a housemaid, Caroline CookSydney was a Draper and they lived at 6 Hayes Way, Park Langley, Beckenham.  During WW1, Grace worked in the Army Pay Corps.

Grace Tearle married Richard Withall (Dick) at Bexleyheath Congregational Church in 1918.  So the Tearle name has gone from our branch of the family.  Dick had lost both legs at Mons in WW1.  He had already served 7 years in the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in India, before returning home and being sent to France as one of the “Old Contemptibles”.  How they met, I am not sure, as Dick was born in Tilford, Surrey, so how he came to be in Bexleyheath after the war I do not know.

They lived in Ethronvi Road, Bexleyheath and later moved to “Hockliffe”, Woolwich Road when John moved to “The Grange”.  Grace and Dick had two daughters, Marjorie Frances, born 7th September 1920 and Iris Joyce (always known as Joyce), born 15th September 1921.  Dick was unable to work but had been trained to do basket making and as he had worked as a Nurseryman before joining up, he worked in the garden and had several greenhouses where he grew all sorts of fruit and vegetables.  He and Grace were actively involved in the British Legion and Margaret believes they held garden parties to raise funds.

Marjorie and Joyce were both in the WAAF in WW2.  Marjorie was a plotter and Joyce worked on Barage Balloons.  Marjorie met Charles William Eyles, a Bomb Aimer with PFF during the war and they married on 28th June 1945 at Bexleyheath Congregational Church.  The reception was held at Woolwich Road, Marjorie’s house.

Joyce and Marjorie both worked at Hides in Bexleyheath before the war and for John in the office of T & B Supplies Ltd after the War.  Sadly Joyce died at Ramsgate, at John’s cottage from an asthma attack, on 28th March 1957.  She was only 35.  She had gone there for a holiday with a lady I knew as “Aunt Lil”.  She had a long-term fiancé called Ron (no surname known).  Marjorie and Bill had 2 daughters, Hazel Ann, born on 23rd January 1947 and Susan Janet, born 23rd July 1950.

Grace and Dick continued to live at “Hockliffe”, Woolwich Road until 1959 when Grace suffered a severe stroke.  By this time we had moved to Ipswich, Suffolk, as Dad had got a job with the AWRE at Orfordness.  Grace spent some time in hospital and when she was well enough to leave hospital, she and Dick came to live with us at 232 Brunswick Road, Ipswich.  They lived in our front room – Grace in a single divan and Dick had a Z bed which we pulled out every night.  There wasn’t room for 2 beds in the daytime.  They were only able to bring a few small pieces of their furniture with them.  By today’s health and safety standards, it wouldn’t be allowed, but we managed for many years while I was a teenager.  Dick loved to be working in the garden and we had a greenhouse for him.  At some point it became too much for Mum to manage and Grace and Dick moved into a home in Felixstowe and eventually Grace was admitted to Bythborough Hospital where she died.  Her funeral was held back at the Congregational Church at Bexleyheath.  She was buried in Bexleyheath Cemetery with JoyceDick went to live in a British Legion Home – Halsey House in Cromer, Norfolk, where he used to help out in the gardens there when he could.  He died in May 1971 and was also taken back Bexleyheath for his funeral and buried along with Joyce and Grace.

Flossie (1891 – 1971)

Flossie Tearle standing

Flossie (also known as Tot) was born on the 10th July 1891.  When she left school she worked as a Parlour maid and on 4th November 1917 she married Edward West, a railway guard.  They had one son, Douglas, born in June 1921.  They lived at “Dougville”, 2a Abbey Road, in a house believed to be owned by her brother JohnDouglas was in the RAF in WW2 and he married Joan D Tarrant in September 1948

On 23rd June 1950 they emigrated to Australia on the “Strathmore” destined initially for Adelaide.

Their UK address is given as 9 Poole Valley, Brighton; Douglas is listed as a shopkeeper and Joan as a housewife.  We never saw them again. Marjorie kept in touch with him over the years and sent him Flossie’s rings when she died.  Flossie died on 3rd February 1971 and was cremated.  Presumably her ashes were put in her parents’ grave and her name added to the headstone.   So this branch of the Tearle family has died out.

Frank (1893 – 1975)

Frank Tearle

Frank Tearle was born in Bexleyheath on 10 August 1893.  After leaving school he went to work at Hides Department Store in the Outfitting Department.  At the outbreak of WW1 he joined the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner.  His regimental number was 618.  He went to France on 21st December 1914 and survived the War.  Margaret thinks he may have gone to Malta at some point, but so far I have no evidence for this.

After the war, Frank returned to Hides and eventually became a Director there.  On 20th August 1919, he married Rosa Ellen McGill, presumably at the Congregational Church, Bexleyheath.  Frank and Rosa lived at 100 Latham Road, Bexleyheath, their phone number was Bexleyheath 7158!

They had 3 children, Alan, Eric and Margaret.   Alan was born on 1st April 1922 and died aged 3 on 17th July 1925.  Eric was born on 10th May 1927.  Margaret was born on 21st February 1935.  Frank was very involved in charity work, particularly through the Rotary Club and was a founding member of the Veterans Club in Bexleyheath.

As said previously,  Frank worked at Hides all his working life and eventually became a Director there.  I remember Eric bringing Frank and Rosa to Ipswich to see Grace and Dick when they lived with us. Frank died on 8th February 1975, and his wife Rosa died about 10 months later.

Alice (1894 – 1985)

Alice Tearle

Alice was born on 10th November 1904 and as I said before she was a mistake!  A very precious mistake though.  My mother Marjorie was very close to Alice and I loved going to stay with her when I was young.  I remember going round Bexleyheath with Auntie Alice collecting rent from some of John’s tenants .  Alice carried an old music case to put the money in!  Not much thought about Health and Safety in those days.

She was obviously very useful in the Nursery when she was growing up.  During WW1 John used to send her little notes and drawings while he was away.  At the time of writing I do not know what Alice did when she left school she may have worked in the Nursery.

Alice married Fred Cracknell in A/M/J 1930.  When I was a child, they lived at 210, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath.  Unfortunately they didn’t have any children, so again this branch of the Tearle tree has also died out.  They did adopt a daughter, Sheila, who married and had 3 children.  Fred worked at AWRE Aldermaston in the latter years of his working life and they moved to Wolverton near Basingstoke, where Fred eventually died after suffering from MS for a number of years.  He died in 1968 (A/M/J).

Alice moved back to Bexleyheath and by July 1969 she lived at 55 Woolwich Road, a house owned by her brother John.  She eventually ended up in Bexley Hospital and died, aged 80 on 2nd January 1985.  Her funeral was on 10th January 1985.  She was cremated and presumably her ashes were put in the grave of her parents.  Her name has been added to the headstone.

Herbert John Tearle (1896 – 1960)

Herbert John Tearle

Herbert John Tearle (always known as John) was born at 115 The Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent, on 16th July 1898.  At the time of the 1901 Census, he was just 2yrs old.

By 1911, George and Elizabeth were both in the business.  Grace had left home by then and was working as a Nanny in Beckenham, Kent.  She was working for a Sydney Frederick Wright and his wife looking after their 3 children Kenneth 8, Hayden 6 and Dennis 2.  Sydney was a Draper.  They also employed cook and a housemaid.  Flossie was 19 and working as a Housemaid, but living at home.  Frank 17, was working at Hides, a departmental shop in Bexleyheath in the outfitters department.  He was later to become a director of that company.

John, then aged 12 was at Upland Council School and by 1916, his headmaster was able to give him a very good reference.  He left school at 14 and went to work at Hides too.  In school holidays, he sometimes went to stay with relatives at The Nutley Inn in Maresfield, Sussex.  There is a picture of him plucking a goose there! The Inn was run by Lewis Waters.

In the wider world, things were not good and when Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip on 24th June 1914, it triggered events leading to WW1.

There is a complementary story of his war years elsewhere on this site.

On 22nd September 1914, John enlisted as a Private in the 3rd Battalion Fusiliers (London Regiment).  His number was 4201.  Officially he was too young and the recruiting officer told him to “go through that door and when you come back in you will be 18”.  His Short Service Card says he was 19 and he was a Draper.

Herbert John Tearle WW1

He left for France on 12/13th May 1915 and went to Ypres with the British Expeditionary Force.  How frightening to have been so young.  He took Rowney Sketch Books with him and diaries and recorded what he saw.  In the back of one were photos of Grace (his sister) and Rosa (later to marry his brother Frank).  On 25th May he was wounded, “Gunshot wound to buttocks”, (actually left thigh).  He was taken to No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station and then to No. 8 Ambulance Train and returned to England.  He arrived in England on 26th May 1915 after only 2 weeks at the front.  He was taken to Shorncliffe Military Hospital (3 miles west of Folkestone).

Later he convalesced in Deal at Sholden Lodge.  He was there by 21st June as there is a picture of a cat drawn on that day!  On 13th July he drew Sholden Lodge showing wounded soldiers in the grounds.  John drew little sketches for Alice, then about 10, including one on the 17th December entitled “Any port in a storm” showing a soldier sitting in the open door of a grandfather clock, presumably in the Hall of Sholden Lodge and one of 115 The Broadway which also shows a gun with a cockerel perched on top (a symbol of France?).

Once recovered, John went back to France on 6th April 1916 with the B.E.F—this time with 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, (by then the 3rd Battalion had gone to Egypt) and his sketches in his books show something of the awful things the soldiers saw.  One incident in particular stands out—the death of Private Green, Killed in K1 trench at Kemmel, Flanders on 26th April 1916 by a trench mortar.  John had drawn the trench before and after the attack.  By this time, he was Lance Corporal and Private Green may have been one of “his” men.

Under the sketch of the trench before the attack John has written “In memory of Pte. Green who was killed by a Trench Mortar”.  Another sketch, done at home and dated 20th September 1917, shows the aftermath of war and three wooden crosses.  Underneath John has written “Greater love hath no man—that he lays down his life for his friends.—From one who went in Kitchener’s first hundred thousand.  Your’s etc. John Tearle late Royal Fusiliers”.

I have found out a little about Private Green.  His name was Frederick Thomas Green.  He was born in about 1892 in Battersea, London.  He was the son of Fred and Annie H Green of 2 Balvernie Grove, Southfields, London.  Fred was an engineer/fitter.  Frederick had a brother, Leonard—born about 1894 and two sisters, Mavis (1896) and Helen D (1900).  He was in 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and his regimental number was SR1525.  He was killed in action on 26th April 1916.  He is buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, West-Vlaandern, Belgium.  There are 1,135 Commonwealth burials there from WW1.  The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. In the UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects Frederick had £5.11.6 and a war gratuity of £7.10.0 was due.  Presumably this was given to his parents.

In one of John’s sketch books, he has drawn a picture of a concert party for the troops at Rouen.  The banner at the top declares “Boys Brigade Hut of the YMCA” with the motto “Sure and Steady”.  These concerts were very popular for keeping up the morale of the men.

By 18th May 1916, John was suffering from shell shock and was in Etaples Hospital.  “Today to my surprise I found myself in Etaples Hospital having had a relapse.  Torn wire on windows”.  On 25th May his diary tells us that the Dr. had marked him as “Blighty” and the Colonel had signed his papers to go home on Sunday 28th May.  He arrived back in England on Monday 29th at Dover.  His war record says “Napsbury Hospital” which is in Middlesex but John  writes that he went from Dover to Eastbourne by train to the Red Cross Hospital at Upperton Road, Eastbourne.  He records that on the Wednesday the “German Fleet was thrashed at the Battle of Jutland Bank.  A great victory for us at a cost”.  From his bed he could see “a wee bit of the Sussex Downs and very nice they look too”.

He seems to have done quite a bit of painting—he was in Edith Cavell ward by Thursday 8th June and he mentions a painting of a yellow boy.  He mentions receiving letters from Rosa, Tot (Flossie) and Grace.  He was writing back too.  On Wednesday 14th June, Mr Bold (?) gave him a blanket bath and he had plenty of flowers.  On 15th June the Dr told him he was sending him to “a quiet place”.  He also reports on 16th that “Sister Coates stuck pin in my head”.  He went to Mayfield, to Clayton VAD Hospital, Sussex on 17th June 1916.  Later that week he says “Mrs (Miss) J Luckenback, the commandant is so very nice and a German lady”.  He wasn’t so complimentary about the sister however—”The Sister is a cow bugger her”!  Many days he was unable to write anything in his diary, but on 13th July he wrote “Speech very bad as well as my bally head” and on the next day “Am feeling absolutely fed (up).  When shall I get up”.

At the time of writing I am unable to ascertain if he was ever at Napsbury.  He might have been too sick to remember that he was there.

Eventually John was considered “unfit” for Military Service and was discharged from the Army on 1st June 1917.  He was given a Silver War Badge (No. 192145).  There is a photograph of him taken in Hastings on 8th August,  wearing civilian clothes and wearing his badge.  He was only 19 years and one month.

At the beginning of 1917, John had enquired about going to Art college and I think he was offered a place at the Slade.  There is also a letter from the Director of The Press Art School, Percy V. Bradshaw responding to a request to “think it over”.  He writes “I specially want you to join because I honestly believe that, in a short time, you will be able to do work which will be a never-ending source of pleasure to yourself and friends”.  He also suggests that John could pay the fee by 10 monthly installments of 10/6d instead of five amounts of a guinea.

His sister Flossie was married on 4th November 1917 to Edward West, so it is likely that John attended this wedding.

In January 1918 John was sufficiently recovered to go to Malta as a civilian with the YMCA to work with the troops there.  He traveled via Rome and Syracuse, Sicily.  In an article entitled “Convalescent Camps in Malta (1915 –1919)” we read:-

“The British Red Cross Society, The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the Church Army and private individuals all co-operated to create an ambiance where the troops could relax, read newspapers, write their letters and recover their strength”.

“A series of first class concert parties brought out from England by the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A did much to cheer the sick and convalescents throughout the island.  The Y.M.C.A. had its familiar and popular tents in many of the convalescent camps and hospitals and was able to increase them as required.”

Herbert John Tearle in hospital blues

Malta had become “the nurse of the Mediterranean”.  It received the sick and wounded from the Dardanelles (25 April 1915—8 Jan 1916) and from the Campaign in Salonica (5 October 1915—30 September 1918).  Because of the mildness of the climate in Malta, many soldiers could be treated in the open air.  Balconies and verandahs became extensions to the main wards.

I am unsure at this time of how long John spent in Malta, his sister Grace (my grandmother) married Richard Withall on 23rd April 1918 so he may not have been at their wedding, but he was back home by 20th August 1919 when he was best man at his brother Frank’s wedding to Rosa McGill (The same Rosa whose picture John had taken to the front and who had written to him).  Frank had already written to Rosa “I have decided for the present that I do want you “.  (1913) on a card that John had drawn.  The card seems to have been sent with some long expected gloves.

After the war, John opened a florist shop at Market Place, Bexley Heath with the phone number Bexleyheath 109.  He would go up to Covent Garden to get flowers and vegetables.  He ran this shop until about 1932 when his mother died and he presumably rented it out to someone else to run.  In “The Record” dated March 1931 his name is still on the shop and M&TJ Watney,  The Woodlands, Poultry Farm were supplying him with eggs.

In 1929, the Nursery at 115 The Broadway, Market Place, Bexley Heath was sold to make way for the new Woolworth’s Store.  George Tearle and those before him had only rented the premises.  The lessor was a James Thomson and George had rented the Nursery from him from 14th August 1919.  George was to be paid £800 to vacate the premises (just over £35,532 in today’s money).  He had to dismantle all “his buildings, pipes, plant erections and premises on the land” within 21 days.  The family moved to Albion Road.

At the beginning of the 1930’s, John and his friend, Arthur Barwell, bought a piece of land on the corner of Woolwich Road and Pelham Road in Bexleyheath.  They traded under “John Tearle, Woolwich Road” and sold “Turves, Manure (stable or hop), Ballast, Sand, Gravel, Cement, Loam, Rockery, Burrs, Crazy Paving and Stone”.  Kent was well known as a hop growing region, so there would have been plenty of waste to use as manure.  John was “the office” and Arthur drove the lorry, initially.  The local area was quickly becoming urbanised with the 1930’s housing boom and John and Arthur rode the crest of the wave.

On 18th February 1932, Elizabeth died.  She was 66 and had cancer and a collapsed lung.  His mother’s death had a profound affect on John and I’m sure on the rest of the family too.  He wrote a poem “The day my mother died” which tells of the details of that day, who was there and how he felt.  In 1934 he added another verse, saying he did not go to the funeral.  In the obituary from the local paper there is a John Tearle but it might be someone else.  Her funeral was held at Christ Church Bexleyheath and she was buried in Bexleyheath Cemetery.  The vicar at the time was the Rev. J N Mallinson.

Later that year, on 3rd November, John’s grandmother, Mary Tearle, died at her daughter’s home in Pitsea, Essex, aged 92.  She was the widow of Jabez Tearle and was buried in Hockliffe Bedfordshire on 8th November.  The obituary doesn’t say whether John was there, but his sister, Grace, was.  After Elizabeth died, as said previously John let someone else run the florist shop.

By 1934, John and Arthur had set up “Garden Supplies” from the site on Woolwich Road/Pelham Road.  This was to be the forerunner of T & B Supplies.  They later built two pairs of semi-detached houses on this site.  John also built a house at 95 Woolwich Road.  He named the house “Hockliffe” after the village in Bedfordshire where George had been born.  He moved in here with his parents George and Elizabeth and Arthur BarwellElizabeth died there.

In 1938 John built “The Grange”, 4 Broomfield Road, Bexleyheath.  According to the 1939 Register, he was living there with his father, George, Arthur Barwell and Mrs Watkins who was their housekeeper.  There was also another person living there, whose record is still closed.  Eric Tearle thinks that this was a Tony Chapple, Arthur Barwell’s nephew who was about the same age as Eric and was at Graham Road school with him.  Eric believes his parents went and Arthur took him under his wing.

After John moved in to “The Grange”, my grandparents Richard (Dick) and Grace Withall, moved into Hockliffe with my mother, Marjorie and Joyce.  When I was a child a Mr and Mrs Wykes lived with my grandparents there.

On 7th August 1940, John married Gladys Winifred Saunders at Christ Church Bexleyheath.  It was a Wednesday and a half day closing!  Marjorie and Joyce were the chief bridesmaids and Margaret one of the little ones.  The newspaper report said it was “a wedding that attracted a great deal of attention” and that John was a “popular member of one of the old Bexleyheath Families”.  John’s brother, Frank was best man.  The wedding reception was held at the home of Gladys’ parents, who lived at Milton Villa, Church Road, Bexleyheath.  The Rev. W H Bass M.A.B.D officiated at the marriage.

Alison Gunary says that one of her first memories was of going to John’s wedding.  Her parents, Alick and Edith Beaumont were guests and Alison’s Aunt took Alison and her eldest sister to see the “Happy Couple” leaving the church.

Following the wedding, John and Gladys spent their honeymoon at the Langton Hotel Cheltenham (still there today).  This was at a time when the Battle of Britain was going on.  On returning from honeymoon, they lived at the Grange, with Mrs Watkins as housekeeper.  In the first week back, tiles and windows at the front of the house were blown out and the second week the same at the back.  A large part of the wooden fence on the Gravel Hill boundary was blown down and John had it replaced with a brick wall—bricks were then cheaper than wood!  He never wanted to spend money unnecessarily!

John continued in his partnership with Arthur Barwell, forming T & B Supplies and later forming a limited company, becoming T & B Supplies Ltd.  Later they added “Builders Merchants”.  Eventually they owned 4 shops selling everything for the building trade except wood.  They had two shops in Bexleyheath, one in Welling and one in Dartford.  They also had a yard in which to store building materials.

T&B Supplies Ltd, Bexleyheath

As a child, I grew up at 150, Upper Wickham Lane and John owned the whole row of cottages, I think.  In later years, Alice lived at 55, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath and that was one of John’s houses too.  He always looked after his family.

John’s business was his passion—he had a desire for independence at work and to strengthen the family for the future.  In one of his business books he wrote “To strengthen the family name”.  Although he was a well known local businessman, it seems he did not socialise much in Bexleyheath.  In this respect he differed from his brother, Frank who was very much involved with Rotary and who helped to set up the Veterans Club in Dawson Road, Bexleyheath.  However he did look after his family and provided them with homes, as he did for some of his work force as time went on.  He employed various family members at T & B’s including my mother and Joyce, both in the office.  As a child I remember making rubbings from the wallpaper sample books and being allowed to play with the old invoices!

At some point during WW1, a Monsieur Lambert, known as Pappy, stayed at 115 The Broadway with the Tearle family.  He was from Belgium.  This started a connection with the Belgians and years later, presumably after the second World War, a Willie Doumoulin from Liege stayed with the family in Bexleyheath.  He made a plaster bust of George Tearle and also of John.

Bust of George Tearle with the artist

What happened to this bust I do not know, but from the picture, he created a very good likeness of George.  We seem to remember that there was a shed at the bottom of the garden at “Hockliffe”, Woolwich Road where he made the models.

By 1956, John had purchased a cottage at 45 Hereson Road, Ramsgate in Kent.  He had loved going to Ramsgate with the family in boarding houses and bought the cottage for family holidays.  He liked to take Gladys and the children, in the school holidays at weekends, and leave them there, go back to work and then go back to Ramsgate to collect them again.  His best friend, Harry Stewart, had married a girl from Ramsgate and this was probably how the connection was made.  Unfortunately Harry’s wife Babs, was killed in WW2 by a bomb.  Harry never had any children, but he was godfather to one of the boys.  Harry said he regarded his friendship with John as one of the most important events of his life.  Gladys described Harry as John’s truest friend.

Among our memories of childhood was one with John queuing in London to file past the coffin of George V1 in 1952 and going to Museums and Art Galleries in London.  John and the boys also “discovered” All-in Wrestling by watching bouts in the Coronation Ballroom on the sea front at Ramsgate.  For a couple of years after this discovery, John and one of the boys used to go to Barnhurst with a builder friend, Tony Mortimer and his son, to watch the wrestling.

David’s love of History came from his visits to Museums with John and also from a set of cigarette cards that his father had of all the Kings and Queens of England.  John was a heavy smoker and presumably collected these cards from this addiction.  In later years, when he was ill, he said he had been a “fool” to smoke.

Having grown up in a Nursery, John loved plants.  He always wore a flower in his buttonhole and especially loved roses, growing many in the garden at “The Grange”  Harry Stewart remembers going to a dance at Crayford Town Hall with John when they were young (he loved to dance) and John walked swiftly back to 115 The Broadway to cover the plants because a frost was expected.  He often picked flowers from his garden and took them when he went to visit family or friends.  David was told that John used to take flowers to his local pub “The Royal Albert” and the publican would say “the first one’s on me John”  He usually only had that one drink!  Always frugal.

John was interested in many things – We remember he liked to watch a programme called “Free Speech” which was on in the mid 1950’s when a second channel was launched and he helped out with an essay on “World Government” when one of the boys was at Bexley Grammar School.  He liked antiques and had a collection of a variety of things in the room that was once George Tearle’s bedroom.

As a young man, he would occasionally drop into the Law Courts in London to see what was going on.  He was a member of the British Legion for many years – probably joining after his time in WW1.  He was friendly with a Mrs Baker-Beall who lived on Gravel Hill close to the Grange. She was probably head of the local British Legion and was sure he would have been a donor to the branch.

There are family memories of being on the beach at Ramsgate one night in November 1957 with John to see the much advertised emergence in the night sky of Sputnik 2, with the dog Laika on board.  I remember being invited to The Grange in June 1953, with quite a number of family members to watch the Coronation of Elizabeth 2nd—we didn’t have a television at that time and we all peered at quite a small screen and watched—in black and white of course!

John was not a sportsman, but he was a good swimmer. There was an occasion at Ramsgate where he seemed to swim out much too far, but he was a strong swimmer and all was well.

When the annual Oxford v Cambridge boat race took place, John and Frances supported Cambridge and Gladys and David supported Oxford!  The same thing happened in our house with Dad and I supporting Oxford and Mum and Susan supporting Cambridge!

John had two novels by his bed—one by Zane Grey (cowboy stories) and another by Edgar Wallace (a murder/mystery).  He also had a New Testament and a bible belonging to George Tearle in his bedside table.  John doesn’t seem to have discussed any faith that he may or may not have had but he was keen for his children to go to the Sunday School at the Congregational Church in Bexleyheath.

He had a love of Scottish Terriers—one even appears on one of his wedding photos!  By the 1950’s he had a Scottie called Tessa, she was devoted to John and he often took her to the various T & B shops with him.  In about 1959, Tessa had a litter of puppies and we had one of them who we called “Whisky”.  John always liked to stop and chat to people and no doubt many opportunities came to John’s attention through these wide ranging conversations—for example, possible property purchases which would add to his already expanding investment portfolio.  He never liked to miss a bargain!

Alison Gunary, a family friend remembers John very well, she says “he was generally regarded by my parents as almost eccentric”.  I wonder what had given them that impression?  She goes on to say that “John seemed to know everyone in Bexleyheath and was often seen talking on the Broadway.  My mother and he would engage in friendly banter about how Mother went up in the world by marrying into the Clarke family.  He didn’t get away with that!”  Alison also remembers him jumping on and off buses before he had learnt to drive.  Alison’s father used to say that “T&B Supplies were the only firm he dealt with who watched their half pennies on their accounts”.  It seems to be a case of “look after the pennies (or half pennies in their case) and the pounds will look after themselves”.

John had wanted security for his family and his astute business acumen enabled him to provide just that after his death on 14th May 1960 at Charing Cross Hospital (now Coutt’s Bank).  Family were very important to John—he had been very close to his sisters Grace, Flossie and Alice and over the years provided them all with homes.  Grace and Dick lived at Hockliffe, Woolwich Road for many years until Grace had a stroke and they moved to Ipswich to live with us.  Flossie and Ted lived at 2a Abbey Road and Alice in later years moved to 55 Woolwich Road—another of John’s properties.

As children, we lived at 150 Upper Wickham Lane, Welling—one of John’s houses.  He would provide the materials from T & B’s and Dad would do the decorating.  When he came to visit us he would park his car away from our house because if the tenants in the other houses in the row knew he was there, they would push notes under the door!  When I passed the 11+ and was given a place at Dartford Grammar School it was John who paid for my uniform because presumably Mum and Dad couldn’t afford to do so, something I was unaware of at the time.

After John’s death, the family found it too difficult to work with Arthur Barwell, but in a letter written to his relative, Ted Waters, who had emigrated to Australia early in the 20th century John wrote of his “wonderful partnership” with Arthur.

In a letter to Ted in Australia, Alice wrote “Certainly still seems unbelievable that John is gone. We all miss him, everyone liked him.  Like you we will all miss his letters very much, he always wrote each week, more if any special news to report.  The only comfort I feel is that he was not in pain, also he would have hated to have been an invalid.”

He called Gladys his “rock” and they were married for just under 20 years. Gladys understood business and was proud to say that her husband was the “T” in T and B Supplies.

Straw plaiting

Bedfordshire was one of the main areas for straw plaiting in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.  At that time, hats were formed from lengths of straw plait and so the two industries co-existed and dominated home life for a large proportion of the inhabitants of Bedfordshire, especially women and children.

At the start of the 19th Century, many plaiting schools were established.  Children were taught the basics of plaiting at home before being sent to a plait school between the ages of 3 and 4.  Even younger children were capable of chipping the loose ends of straws.  At least 10,000 children attended such schools in Bedfordshire during the first half of the 19th Century and as many as 13,000 during the peak of the industry in the 1890s.

The schools charged weekly fees of 2 or 3 pence and children would be expected to earn between 9 pence a week aged 8, to as much as 3 shillings a week by the age of 14.  They would work at the plaits while walking around—they worked at them almost constantly.

Plaiters would often be paid more than farm labourers and domestic servants, so sometimes an employer had to pay more in order to find workers.  It was said that the extra money the women earned could make the men lazy!

In our family tree, the four daughters of Jemima Cleaver and Thomas Tearle were all straw plaiters.

Richard Tearle (1794 -1887), uncle to Susan, Ann, Sarah and Elizabeth was a Straw Plait dealer and his step-daughters Lucy Sanders (14), Ruth Sanders (11), and Suzannah Sanders (8) were all straw plaiters in 1851.  By 1861, Lucy (23) and Suzannah (18) had become straw hat makers.  (A note here, the 1851 census lists Lucy, Ruth and Suzannah as daughters-in-law but Richard’s second wife was Ruth Sanders, so I think these were, what we would call today, his step-daughters).

One of Richard Tearle’s sons, David also became a plait dealer.  By 1861 he was a straw plait dealer/grocer and by 1871 he was a grocer, and had a post office, with his father, Richard, living with him as a widower.  He gradually changed his occupation with the decline of the straw plaiting industry.

Herbert John Tearle – war artist

115 Broadway, Bexleyheath

A sketch of John’s home in Bexleyheath. The date tells the story.

In memory of PK Green who was killed by a trench mortar

Tragedy strikes. John’s grief gives way to an iconic scene of life in the trenches, and how chance can deal the cruelest blows. The detail in this picture is remarkable.

Pvt Green killed here today

Herbert John Tearle “The Cathedral of St Martins, Ypres.”

This last drawing is of a concert party for the troops in Rouen.

Inside the Boys Brigade hut

02May/16

Sidney Thomas Tearle 1893, Willesden, UK (RASC)

Sidney Thomas Tearle was born to Zephaniah Tearle and Annie nee Buckingham on 7 March 1893 in Stonebridge, Willesden, London, and he was baptised a few weeks later. Because infant mortality rates were very high, particularly in London, parents wasted no time in getting their babies baptised. Helpfully for us, the minister has written Sidney’s birth date in the margin.

Sidney Thomas baptism in St Michael and All Angels, Stonebridge 1893

Sidney Thomas baptism in St Michael and All Angels, Stonebridge 1893

The genealogical details you need to know are that Zephaniah 1869 of Stanbridge was the son of single mother Jane Tearle 1844, of Stanbridge. She had three children: Minnie 1865 who died just a year later, Zephaniah, and Tryphena 1872, who tragically died in 1892, just 20 years old. Jane’s parents were John Tearle 1823 of Stanbridge and Eliza nee Irons. John was himself the only son of a single mother, Mary 1803 of Stanbridge, and she was a daughter of John Tearle 1770 of Stanbridge, and Mary nee Janes. And John 1770 was, of course, a son of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer.

The address, 23 Melville Rd, is the same for the 1901 census. Here, we find out that Zephaniah is a plate-layer on the railway and that both he and Annie had come directly from Stanbridge, in Bedfordshire. We will have a look much more closely at Zephaniah and Annie in another article, about them and their lives, and the other Tearle families who lived in Willesden. I thought I would show this page to help understand the neighbourhood that Zephaniah had moved to. He is working on or near the giant tangle of lines and trains that was Willesden Junction in the late Victorian and early 20th Century years. The people who live around him are decidedly working class; the one exception being the “Gentleman” Mr William Carpenter Hall, from 14 Park Rd.

In the 1911 census, Zephaniah and Annie have been married for 21 years, and have had five children, none of whom have died. Sidney is working for a butcher, as is Albert, his younger brother.

1911 Zephanaiah 1869 Annie 43 Bertram 20 Sidney 18 Albert 15 Lily 13 Stanley 11 in Harlesden

1911 census: Zephaniah 1869 and Annie, with Bertram 20 Sidney 18 Albert 15 Lily 13 Stanley 11 in Harlesden.

Since Sidney was 18 in 1911, then he was the perfect age (21yrs) to be dragged into WW1. Here is his entry in National Roll of the Great War:

Tearle Sidney Thomas National Roll

The note is both interesting, and chilling. The date, November 1917 is interesting, because he married in 1917:

Sidney Thomas 1893 marriage Florence May Fuller Emmanuel Paddington Westminster 1917

Sidney Thomas Tearle 1893, marriage to Florence May Fuller, Paddington, Westminster, 1917.

But look at the date! 26 December. Since he joined in November, and was on the Western Front in the same year, then there was not much time in which to have a wedding. You can see on the form that he was already a soldier (ASC) but that the army had signed him up and was about to use his butchering skills. I gather they were not expecting him to be engaged in too much fighting, because even basic training takes six weeks to two months.

The chilling part is that he was never out of range of the artillery, because he was delivering food and ammunition to the trenches – and then there is a list of some of the vast and most violent battles of the Great War. Arras, Vimy Ridge, Cambrai “and other sectors” says National Roll airily. Sidney was not in the Great War for as long as some of the other Tearles whose stories are told in National Roll, but he was in the thick of it.

There are just two items left in my catalogue of Sidney’s life: his medals card and his address once he returned to civilian life. Firstly, his medals card. However truncated the message is, it tells us most of what we need to know. This is another card that does not record a soldier’s entry into the Theatre of War, and as a result we have only the note from National Roll to tell us where he was, when, and what he did. In about 1922, he would have received by post his Victory Medal and his British Medal.

The last tiny dot of evidence I have for the life of Sidney Thomas is his address in 1932, from the Willesden Electoral Roll; Minet Gardens, NW10. We can see from the address that Sidney has not moved far from where his parents lived at 17 Minet Avenue, where they were in 1911. And Lilian Tryphena Noyce, living at number 11, is Sidney’s sister.

You take your culture with you; Zephaniah and Annie have brought the habits of the village with them, and living closely together is part of that culture.

 

http://www.tearle.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sidney-T-Tearle-M-380389-WW1-army-medals-record.jpg

Sidney’s medals card from the RASC.

 

Sidney Thomas Tearle, Minet Gardens, NW10.

Sidney Thomas Tearle, Minet Gardens, NW10.

28Mar/16

Bertie Tearle 1900, St Albans

I know frustratingly little about Bertie, but this is what I do know: he was awarded the Silver War Badge. Here is the documentation, from which we can deduce a few things:

Bertie Tearle Silver War Badge documentation

Bertie Tearle Silver War Badge documentation

Firstly, you can see that he joined the war late, but then he would, because he was only 14 when the war started. The Cause of Discharge column indicating a Paragraph 392 reason simply means that he was so wounded, he was not fit enough to be a soldier. He joined the war on 4 Feb 1918 and he is wounded beyond repair by 31 Dec 1918. He was just 19yrs.

No records from Chelsea Hospital survive for Bertie, so we cannot know the state of his injuries, nor even when he received them, but he has been in two different regiments; the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) 4th battalion and 2nd battalion. This is also the regiment that Arthur Walter Tearle joined, as well as Herbert John Tearle.

The war ended on 11 November 1918 and the 2/2 London Division was in Palestine for much of 1918, so we can assume Bertie was injured, or caught some awful desert disease, in Palestine.

We can now turn to two more sources of documentation, both reserved for Bertie’s service medals.

Bertie Tearle 60996, GS92961, GS92961 WW1 army medal rolls

Bertie Tearle 60996, GS92961, GS92961 WW1 army medal rolls

There is firstly a list of the fighting units he belonged to, and it’s worth remembering that the GS/ notation refers to a General Service soldier, and that in turn simply means Territorial and that means volunteer. He is awarded the Victory medal and the British War Medal.

Bertie Tearle Silver medal

Bertie Tearle service medal allocation documentation.

You can see that the medal card refers to this document; in the top right-hand corner is the number 4484, which is the “Page” number on the medals card. It is the Royal Fusiliers which sets out the medals to be awarded, and this was the last regiment to which young Bertie belonged.

The only other documentation I have (except for turn-of-the-century censuses) is Bertie’s entry in the National Probate Calendar of 1961.

Bertie Tearle probate

Bertie Tearle probate notice, 1961.

He still lives in St Albans, he has married, but he has no children, and he owns very little. The “effects” of £592 shown here is probably the value of his house. We do not know if he worked anywhere, and we do not know if he even walked. He has lived to 61yrs old, but that is not a great age; his sacrifice in going to war has been ongoing for the rest of his life.

Now, who was Bertie? His parents were Edward Joseph Tearle 1869 and Emma Elizabeth nee Warner. Edward grew up in the Symonside Cottages, just off Coopers Green Lane, between St Albans and Stanborough. His parents were John Tearle 1830 of Soulbury and Harriett nee Figg. Both of these parents spent time in the Hertford Workhouse, incarcerated because of debt and grinding poverty. John’s parents were Richard Tearle 1805 of Stanbridge and Martha nee Walker, the founders of the Soulbury Tearles. Richard was a grandson of John 1741 and Martha nee Archer.

Edward was a younger brother of William Francis Tearle  1857 and the uncle to John Henry Tearle  who was killed in 1915, so Bertie was a cousin of John Henry’s, and was himself the uncle to Edward Kefford William Tearle, who was killed at De Panne in WW2.

If anyone thought that moving from Soulbury to Hertfordshire would give them a better life, I do not think it really panned out that way.

13Mar/16
West Wing, Napsbury Hospital, St Albans

Herbert John Tearle 1898, Bexleyheath

Herbert was born in Bexleyheath in 1898, a near-perfect date for him to be drawn into WW1. His parents were George 1863 of Hockliffe and Elizabeth nee Clark. I do not yet have a reason for George’s move to London, but he married Elizabeth in Dartford in 1887 and in the 1911 census George and Elizabeth were living at 115 Broadway, Bexley Heath, Kent, where he said his occupation was a florist. It is likely, then that the location was a flat above a shop. When he died at 87 years old, it was in a place called The Grange, in Bloomsfield Rd, Bexley Heath, Kent. His will named his executors as Frank Tearle, Company Director, and Herbert John Tearle, Builders Merchant, so his family has followed their father’s interest in small business. His parents were Jabez 1841 of Hockliffe and Mary nee Clarke. Jabez traces his ancestry back to John 1741.

In the same 1911 census, Herbert was at school, 12yrs old.

On 22 Sep 1914, at the Hounslow recruiting office, Herbert joined the Royal Fusiliers on a Short Service attestation as “Three Years with the Colours,” unless the war lasted longer than that, in which case “you will be retained until the War is over.” This is the same London regiment that Arthur Walter Tearle joined, except that Arthur was a Territorial in the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment, and Herbert has joined the Royal Fusiliers as a regular, but none-the-less a member of a London Royal Fusiliers regiment. He said – and they believed him – that he was 19yrs old! He was 5ft 11″ (very tall for the times) with a scar on his left knee, fresh complexion, 132lbs in weight, blue eyes and black hair. He gave his religious denomination as “Congregational” but he must have picked that up in London, because his father was baptised on the Dunstable Methodist Circuit. He was given the Regimental number 4021 and he was initially inducted into the 6th Battalion.

On 5 May 1915, the eve of going into battle with the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) somewhere in Europe, Herbert was instructed to write his will. It is painfully short:

“In the event of my death I give £6-6-0 (six guineas) to my mother Elizabeth Tearle and I give my remaining property to my father George Tearle.
Herbert John Tearle
No. 4021
2 Company, 3rd Battlion, Royal Fusilliers
Dover.
5-5-1915”

His service record has a number of interesting highlights, but the page below tells most of the story. You can see when he became a lance corporal, lost it, then regained it, as well as his very short stint (only 14 days) on the Western Front.

Herbert John Tearle 4021 WW1 military record p9

Herbert John Tearle 4021 WW1 military record p9

Why he was returned to Home (which could have been anywhere in England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland) I cannot fathom. The Royal Fusiliers went to Egypt in October 1915 and then Salonica in December. Herbert joined them on 6 Apr 1916. He was wounded on 27 May 1917 and returned Home. You can see that he spent some time in Napsbury Hospital, near St Albans.

West Wing, Napsbury Hospital, St Albans

West Wing, Napsbury Hospital, St Albans.

I must remind you that this Napsbury is now a village of flats, but it was originally a mental asylum, sometimes housing those who were genuinely mentally afflicted, but very often a permanent prison in which families hid away their errant daughters who had children out of wedlock. In WW1 and WW2 it was a major hospital for treating wounded soldiers, and Herbert was invalided with them. Many ANZAC soldiers owed their lives to its dedicated care; those who did not survive are buried in the Hatfield Rd Cemetery, St Albans. Herbert’s wounds were so severe that on discharge from Napsbury Hospital he was declared “No longer fit for War Service” under paragraph 392, on 1 July 1917. Herbert’s part as a soldier in WW1 was over. He was awarded the Silver War Badge:

Herbert John Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge

Herbert John Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge.

In the 1920s he was sent the 1915 Star, the British Medal, and the Victory Medal. If you review the story of Arthur Walter Tearle, you will see Herbert’s Royal Fusiliers and the 2nd, 3rd and 6th battalions written on the Cornhill War Memorial.

Now, there is an odd codicil to this story. Wounded as he was, and invalided from the army, Herbert joined the YMCA and sailed for Malta, arriving there on 10 Jan 1918, still in the heat of WW1. The hospitals of Malta tended to the wounded of two major campaigns, the Dardenelles (Gallipoli) from 25 Apr 1915 to 8 Jan 1916, and then the Salonica Campaign, when the Allies gave support to Serbia in its war with Bulgaria, from 5 Oct 1915 to 30 Sep 1918.

As far as the YMCA in Malta is concerned, it is difficult to find any documentation of their activities. However, as early as 1916, a YMCA marquee was erected for the treatment of malaria and dysentery in patients from the Salonica Campaign, in the grounds of St Pauls Camp, Hutment Hospital.

The local branch of the YMCA was not started until 1974, but it has this to say about the history of the YMCA in Malta:
Although it is known that the YMCA in Malta existed during the time that Malta was a British colony, this YMCA activity stopped when Malta became independent in 1964. It is assumed that this YMCA activity was an extension of the British YMCA specifically geared to serve the military forces then stationed in Malta.

So perhaps Herbert served at St Pauls, helping wounded servicemen and even sick medical personnel to recover, since there seems to be no other documentation on the role of the YMCA in Malta during WW1. What we do know is that Mr Herbert J Tearle, of the YMCA, received the British Medal for his work. He now has two British Medals: one for Pte Herbert J Tearle, and one for Mr Herbert J Tearle, and here is the documentation for the second medal:

Herbert J Tearle YMCA WW1, British Medal, Malta, 1918.

Herbert J Tearle YMCA WW1, British Medal, Malta, 1918.

Note:

At the time of writing the above article, I had no further information on Herbert John, but recently (2017) Hazel King has sent me the text of a family history for this branch of the Tearles, beginning with Jabez Tearle 1841, of Hockliffe, Bedfordshire. Hazel’s story is here:

20Mar/15

Helen Hinkley, 1865, London

6 July 2001

Mr Jim Spence

Christchurch

NEW ZEALAND

Dear Jim

I have brought to England all the material about the Orange family that you sent me. A few weeks ago, I was browsing through it all and I realised that I had heard of Southwark and couldn’t think why.  They ordained the latest Bishop of St Albans in Southwark Cathedral and while I was looking through your material I saw Helen Hinkley, 53 Union St, Southwark.  Within weeks, I was called to a job interview at Sainsbury’s 169 Union St, Southwark and I spent the day, either side of that interview, wandering around the area that Helen would have known so well.  In a week or so, I was appointed to a job with Sainsbury’s in Rennie St, just around the corner from Union St.  I sent the following to Mum:

I have landed a very nice job as a Technical Support Analyst on the Help Desk for Sainsbury’s head office in Rennie House, Rennie St, Southwark.  Pronounced SUTHic.  The place is often confused with Suffolk because lots of Brits can’t say the th in Suthic, so it comes out suffok anyway and people say to me, “Oh, you’re working in Suffolk – that’s a long way from St Albans ….”

Now, Mum.  Your grandmother, Elsie’s mum, Helen Orange, nee Hinkley (I’ll call her Helen Hinkley for the moment) was born in 1865 and lived at 53 Union St, Southwark.  When she left for NZ in 1883, she left from a very good place to leave. It’s easy to picture the Dickensian pea-soup smogs and imagine peering through slit eyes as you pick your way to work through the grubby brick buildings, skipping past horse droppings, breathing the foul and putrid air and listening for the trains hissing  and rattling noisily overhead, as they make their way to London Bridge or Blackfriars.

She was a nurse in London, did you know? I’d love to know if you ever met her – she died in 1928, and you would have been 7 at the time, and she divorced your grandfather in 1924, so it’s quite possible you never meet her.  However – back to Southwark.  I’ve taken to walking all around the Bankside area that Helen would have been familiar with and I have been looking for anything older than 1883, so that what I am looking at, she would have seen.  

Well, there is a lot.  Firstly, her house is still standing.  

53 Union St Middle house was Helen Hinkleys.

53 Union St – middle house was Helen Hinkley’s.

It’s just the shell and is being refurbished for business premises, but many of the houses around it are still in 1883 condition and you can easily get a sense of the dust, grime and poverty of the area.  It was primarily a warehouse district and many of the Victorian era buildings still standing, although converted to modern use mostly as offices, have retained the lifting gear attached to the outside walls.  

She would have been familiar with the Southwark Cathedral, which was called the Church of St Mary Overie when she lived there – it became a cathedral in 1910.  It’s only a few streets away, adjacent to London Bridge.

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

She would have been familiar with the stories of The Clink – the prison that gave all others the name.  It’s just a few streets away, even though it wasn’t an active prison when she lived there, the rubble from a huge fire in the area in 1814 was still there in 1883 and its underground vaults still exist, too. It was the prison for the Duke of Winchester in Winchester Palace and it started life in the 1300’s.  A really horrible place.  

Entrance to the Clink.

Entrance to the Clink.

Southwark has been home to prostitution and crime since Saxon times.  The Duke of Winchester “regulated” the brothels and owned a large section of Bankside since King Steven gave it all to him in the 1130’s. The Clink was his private prison and he held life and death over its inmates until the prison was destroyed in 1780.

Prisoner in the overhead cage outside the Clink.

Prisoner in overhead cage outside the Clink.

There is a little bit of Winchester Palace still standing – a wall and a large rose window – and under that is the Clink. In Clink St, of course.  The palace itself, in its heyday, was inside a fully-walled area of about 200 acres; all that’s left today is that bit of wall with the window, and the remnant of the Clink.

Winchester Palace, the last fragment.

Winchester Palace, the last fragment.

She would also have been familiar with St Paul’s Cathedral towering over the Thames on the other side of the river, and all the other works of Sir Christopher Wren in the area built in the late 1600’s, early 1700’s.  

St Pauls Cathedral.

St Pauls Cathedral

His chief mason, by the way, was a man called Edward Strong who was a citizen of St Albans and is buried here in St Peters Church. The Blackfriars bridge Helen crossed to get to The City from Bankside is the same one I cross to get to work, because it was built in the 1760’s; by an engineer called Rennie, incidentally.  She would have been familiar with the Blackfriars rail bridge, too, that crosses the Thames and swings through Southwark on a big brick viaduct.  I suspect that then the arches would have been open, but today they are bricked up for lockups – and there is a very large amount of space to be let under the arches of a rail bridge.

Ivor Adams, my cousin on my grandmother Sadie Tearle’s side, who has worked in The City most of his life, said that Bankside was the haunt of the Teddy Boys in the 1920’s and 1930’s and even today, in spite of all the upgrading that has been done there, areas just to the south, like Peckham, and Elephant & Castle, are still poverty-stricken and crime-ridden.  If you stay close to the river, you’re ok. It’s very nice.  I walked 7 minutes from work down The Thames Walk to the Tate Modern, a coal-fired electricity station that has been converted into the largest indoor space I have ever seen.

Tate Modern.

Tate Modern.

And they use all this space for an art museum. Free admission, too.  I could only spend 10 minutes there but the building outside is massive in brick, dominated by a tall red-brick chimney that has been a feature of the Bankside skyline for nearly a century.  Inside, it is light and airy and there are overhead cranes quietly tucked away waiting to move large and heavy exhibits.

I have attached photos of the landmarks in the Bankside area that Helen would have seen.  

I have also found Glen Parva, Blaby, Leicester, where Albert Edward Orange (1865-1942) came from.  It was a Roman settlement and nestles in a crook of the A426 and the Leicester Ring-road. There is a Great Glen in the area as well as Peating Parva, Ashby Parva and Wigston Parva.  Elaine’s cousin, Jack Dalgleish, lives in Leicester and we have been to see his family several times.  Would you like some photos of 1870’s Glen Parva? Next time we go to Leicester we’ll stop and have a look to see what is left.  Do you have a street name?  That would be a real help.

Kindest regards

Ewart Tearle

18Mar/15

Otho George Tearle 1892, Willesden, UK (RAMC)

National Roll of the Great War” has this entry:

Tearle, G (RAMC)

Tearle George RAMC National Roll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otho George lists his family on entry to the army.

Otho George lists his family on entry to the army.

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

From Pat Field:

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

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

18Mar/15

Charles Walter Yule Tearle, 1919, Harlesden, UK

Brian Tearle has asked me to see if I can find his Willesden ancestors. This is what I have found:

Brian’s father is Charles Walter Yule Tearle, b1919 in Harlesden, Willesden, Mdx.

In the years since I took up the quest to find out who this man and his family was, I had a good deal of help from, especially, Pat Field of Bedfordshire and Sue Albrecht of Auckland.

Brian sent me his father’s birth certificate, and that said his father was George Tearle and his mother was “Ellen Tearle formerly Rodgers”. Importantly, it also noted the address: 77 Carlysle Avenue, Harlesden and that he was “Private, Royal Army Medical Corps (General Carman).” That hit a note; G Tearle, the soldier in the National Roll, was also from the same address and had the same job in the army; they would be the same man.

Brian then sent me his father’s marriage certificate and it showed they were married in the Petersfield Registry Office in Nov 1940. Charles was a sapper in the Royal Engineers, as well as being a railway porter in civilian life. His father was George Tearle. The marriage certificate did not help me a lot, because the name George Tearle doesn’t tell us much.

I came across the medical records of all the Tearle men who had been injured, or at least came to the attention of an army hospital. The medical records were kept at Chelsea Hospital, and a George Tearle was amongst them. The Attestation page was crystal clear – George Tearle, 77 Carlysle Ave, Willesden. He was 34yrs in Dec 1915, (born 1881) and he was a labourer. The army gave him the number 331034, and put him in the Middlesex Regiment, and from there he was transferred to the 19th Coy, RAMC in Sep 1916. His infringements were relatively minor – 7 days confined to barracks for a guard duty error, and 14 days imprisonment for being 36hr late from leave.

And then I came across the page about his family:

Address 77 Carlysle Ave, Willesden

His “Platonic Wife” Ellen Yule and children:

Ellen Dorothy 1903

George 1912

Alan John 1913

Athol James 1914 and

Charles Walter Yule 1919.

Now I knew all this about him, and he definitely was Charles’ father, but I still didn’t know exactly who he was. And a platonic wife, with children, seemed an odd expression.

It was Pat who solved the problem when she found George’s marriage certificate of 1948; it was a revelation. His name was Otho George, he was 65, a bachelor and he was marrying Ellen Yule, aged 69, a widow. George’s father’s name was Jonathon Tearle and Ellen’s father was Alfred Rogers. We also found George’s baptism in St Michael and All Angels, Paddington, in Oct 1884, his name certainly was Otho George and his parents were Jonathon and Alice Tearle. Sue had also found a previous marriage for Ellen Rogers to William James Alfred Yule in 1897. She was finally allowed to marry George when William Yule died.

Otho George 1882, born in Willesden, was a son of Jonathon Tearle 1862 of Stanbridge and Alice nee Kearns, who were married in 1882. They had two boys in WW1, and one of them, James Harry Tearle 1891 of Willesden, was killed in the Somme in 1917. Jonathon was a son of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain, and traces his lineage back to John 1741. His father became my step-gg-grandfather when he married my gg-grandmother, Mary nee Andrews in Watford in 1893.

18Mar/15

John Tearle, 1856, Stanbridge, UK

I saw John first in the 1901 London census, where he was a Foreman Platelayer on the railway. His eldest son, John 22, is a Stoker. Another son, George is said to have been born in Stonebridge, Mdx. Here is a transcript of the census return:

1901 John 1856 Stbg Elizabeth 45 John 22 Louisa 18 George 12 Horace 5 Freda 4 Herbert C 1 in Willesden Mdx.

I dug back into John’s past.

In 1891, John and Elizabeth are living in 5 Melville Rd, Willesden and he calls himself a General Labourer.

1891 John 1856 Stbg Elizabeth 35 John 12 Laura 8 Arthur 4 George 2 Ethel 4m in Willisden Mdx

Now, this is the interesting bit:

In 1881, John and his new wife are in Northall, but they have with them their new son, John 1879, who was born in Middlesex. I found their marriage:

Name: John Tearle

Year of Registration: 1877  

Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec  

District: Leighton Buzzard  

County: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire  

Volume: 3b  

Page: 895

and she is Elizabeth Tompkins of Eaton Bray. The certificate says John’s residence at the time of marriage was Northall and his father was John Tearle, Labourer. Also interestingly, they are living in a house immediately next door to John and Charlotte Irons.

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1881 John 1857 Stbg Elizabeth 24 Northall John 2 Mdx in Northall

In 1871, John is 15ys and living with John and Charlotte Irons – he is John’s nephew.

1871 John 1856 Stbg neph John Irons 56 Charlotte 53 in Northall

In 1861, John is 5yrs old, living in the household of his uncle John and Charlotte Irons. He is their nephew.

1861 John 1856 Stbg nephew of John Irons 41 Charlotte 1818 Edels in Northall

I could not find the link that made John Tearle 1856 a nephew of John Irons, so I concentrated on his parents; who were they? One of them was John, not surprisingly, a labourer and in the village was a John Tearle who in 1840 had married a Northall girl called Eliza Irons. I sent off for their marriage certificate, too.

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Eliza Iron’s father was Edward Irons and a search though the IGI gave me the marriage of Edward Irons and Hannah Tarman in Northchurch, Herts, on 12 Aug 1803. They had 10 children, and two of them were Eliza, born 1818, and John Irons, born 1814, one of Eliza’s elder brothers. Another brother was Thomas Irons born 1812, and Ann Irons, born 1821, they were here making their marks as witnesses to this wedding. There was no question I had the right family. As we can see from the marriage certificate, John was born to an unmarried Mary Tearle, almost certainly of Stanbridge. I went looking for her. In the 1841 census, a John Tearle aged 20 with a wife Eliza 20, a daughter Sarah aged 2 and a daughter Mary aged 4m, are living in Stanbridge only a few houses from Abel Tearle and Martha nee Emerton. Abel has his children living with him as well as his 65yr old father-in-law, Joseph Emerton. In villages, families combine and re-combine to give support to each other. And to a certain extent, in a village as small as Stanbridge, everyone is also a neighbour. If our John is 20, then he was born about 1820. Barbara reminded us that there was a Mary Tearle who baptised a  “John son of Mary Tearle a bastard” in 1823. Mary was the daughter of John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. The Stanbridge PRs record her baptism in 1803.

We have to be careful not to get too tied up over accurate dates, here, because John is a bit woolly either on his maths or his birth date, or both, because in 1841 he is 20, in 1851 he is 32, in 1861 he is 40 and in 1871 he is 54. He died on 1 Oct 1877.

There is the fascinating picture of John in the 1871 Stanbridge census with an unmarried daughter Mary Ann (29) and her daughter Annie, as well as another unmarried daughter, Jane (26) with her son Zephaniah.

So the last son of John and Eliza, John 1856, did not live with his family, although admittedly not very far away from them, but lived with his uncle and aunt, John and Charlotte Irons. Why? I think the answer lies in the fact that his mother Eliza died in Dec 1856, probably of childbirth or one of its many complications. Unusually, John did not remarry, probably because he had daughters who were old enough to look after him so he didn’t need to marry again quickly, as many of the village men had to do. John 1856, therefore, was given to his childless uncle and no doubt into a very grateful and caring little family, no matter how poor they were.

So why did he go to Willesden?

Richard Tearle has pointed out the following:

“As I’m sure you’re aware, Willesden, Harlesden and Stonebridge are very close together in London and, all of these places tie in with Watford and Leighton Buzzard as being important places on the (then) fairly new LNWR line from Euston to Scotland (via Preston!!)”

There was work – and there was family.

We know John and Elizabeth were in London between 1881 and 1891, because in the 1891 census, John is recorded as having been born in 1879 in Alperton, then Louisa was born in Willesden in 1882.  In 1881, Jonathon 1862 (son of William 1832 and Catharine nee Fountain) was in Willesden, George 1844 of Stanbridge and Lavinia nee George were in Kentish Town, George 1855 of Slapton and Elizabeth were in Mile End, Old Town (a railway town) John 1831 from Toddington and William were in Acton, Joseph 1834 of Dagnall and Elizabeth nee Naylor were in Hammersmith, William North Tearle and Emily were in Camberwell. It’s noo far a stretch to point out that there are family ties throughout all of this, but the strongest ones are to George 1844 and William North and Emily. George is a Stanbridge man, so ties to the village are very strong, and a railway voyage was an adventure. William North T and Emily must have gone back to Leighton Buzzard to have their last child, because Monta Monica 1876 died in Leighton Buzzard in 1877.

So we have now uncovered the story of John 1823 and his son John 1856. Interestingly, we have also visited the stories of John’s mother, Mary 1803, and even of his grandparents, John 1770 and Mary nee Janes. In two sons, we have traversed from 1770 to 1901.

18Mar/15

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

Here is his service record from the CWGC

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

National Roll of the Great War says:

Tearle, J H, Rifleman,

Tearle James Harry National Roll

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

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

James Harry Tearle UK Army Effects

James Harry Tearle UK Army Effects.

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

The gate Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

The gate, Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

Massed graves Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery

Massed graves – Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

J H Tearle in Book of Remebrance Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

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

James Harry Tearle Sailly Saillisel British Cemetery

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

18Mar/15

Sydney Thomas Tearle, 1895, Hammersmith, UK (Royal Scotts)

Here is his service record from the CWGC:

Name: TEARLE, SYDNEY THOMAS Initials: S T
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Serjeant Regiment/Service: Royal Scots
Unit Text: 1st/9th Bn.
Age: 21 Date of Death: 09/04/1917
Service No: 350354
Additional information: Son of Thomas and Pamela Tearle, of 47 Goodhall St., Willesden, London.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: V. A. 6.
Cemetery: NINE ELMS MILITARY CEMETERY, THELUS.

Almost all the British casualties in this cemetery died in April 1917, says the CWGC. Given the date and the place, it is likely that Sydney was fighting for Bapaume with the ANZACs and the Canadians, not far from Calais, in Flanders. He was in the Lothian Regiment (!) says SDGW (Soldiers Died in the Great War) because he was working in Glasgow at the time he signed up. He was a railway employee, and he had done well to be promoted to Lance Sergeant in such a short time.

Given the family’s address – Willesden – I have discovered and written up the story of the relationship of Sydney’s parents with Elizabeth, the mother of Rowland Grigg Tearle, who was also a WW1 casualty and close in age to Sydney. Sydney’s parents were Thomas 1859 of Stanbridge and Pamela. nee Andrews 1860 Eggington. His grandparents were William 1832 of Stanbridge and Catherine nee Fountain. The parents of William 1832 were Thomas 1805 and Mary nee Garner, so you can see William is the brother of James (my gg-grandfather) and John the sexton, of the side-by-side headstones in Stanbridge.

John 1840 and James 1827 headstones in Stanbridge

John 1840 and James 1827 headstones in Stanbridge

Thomas’ parents were Richard 1772 and Elizabeth nee Bodsworth and Richard’s parents were John 1741 and Martha nee Archer. Thus Sydney is of the branch John 1741. Here are the census summaries for Thomas. You can see that in 1871, at 13yrs he is a servant for John Olney, a farmer on the Tilsworth road very close to the intersection with the Eggington Rd, almost opposite the church, so he is not living on the farm itself, I shouldn’t think.

1871 = Thomas 1858 Stbg servant in Stbg

In 1881 we find out that the newly-married Thomas is a Railway Labourer and living in Linslade. This probably means he was working on the Leighton Buzzard railway, which goes to Euston Station in London. We see that Pamela is from Eggington; we can assume that he has met her while he worked for John Olney, living so close to Eggington.

1881 = Thomas 1859 Stbg Pamela 21 in Linslade

In 1891 Thomas and Pamela are in Letchfold Gardens, Hammersmith, London. They have had two children in Leighton Buzzard (Linslade is 200m from Market Sq, LB) and two children in Hammersmith. They are living next door to John Backhouse from Leighton Buzzard and they may have followed him down to London, because their youngest children are close in age, and all born in Hammersmith. Unfortunately, they are listed only as Labourers, so there is no telling if he is still working on the railways.

1891 Thomas 1859 Stbg Pamela 31 Maud 7 Dora 5 Emily 8m in Hammersmith LON

In 1901 we can see young Sydney. Thomas and Pamela are living in the Railway Cottages, Hammersmith, not far from Hythe Rd. Thomas is definitely working on the railways – he is a Railway Engine Driver.

1901 = Thomas 1860 Stbg Pamela 40 Maude 17 Dora 12 Emily 10 Horace 8 Sidney 5 Mabel 4 Harold 5m in Hammersmith.

This looks like his birth certificate:

Name: Sidney Thomas Tearle Year of Registration: 1895 Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec District: Fulham County: Greater London, London, Middlesex Volume: 1a Page: 191

There is a memorial to Sydney  on the World War 1 memorial to Caledonian Railway Employees at the Glasgow Central Station. Richard says the line ran from Glasgow to Carlisle.

And, of course, there is his memorial in the Nine Elms Cemetery.

The gate - Nine Elms Military Cemetery

The gate – Nine Elms Military Cemetery.

Towards the Gt Cross Nine Elms Cemetery

Towards the Great Cross, Nine Elms Cemetery.

Lance Sergeant Sydney Thomas Tearle in the Book of Remembrance Nine Elms Cemetery

Lance Sergeant Sydney Thomas Tearle in the Book of Remembrance Nine Elms Cemetery

Lance Sergeant S J Tearle Nine Elms Cemetery

Lance Sergeant S J Tearle headstone in the Nine Elms Cemetery.

The inscription at the base of the headstone would have been written as his epitaph, by his parents:

Inscription at base of headstone for LSgt Sydney Thomas Tearle Nine Elms Cemetery

Inscription at base of headstone for LSgt Sydney Thomas Tearle at Nine Elms Cemetery.

We organised a trip to Glasgow Central Railway Station to find the plaque of the names of those who had been killed in the Great War. It is a large plaque, just inside the Gordon St entrance of the ornate Victorian station.

The impressive Victorial interior of Glasgow Central Station

There are 712 names on this most impressive monument.

Great War memorial Glasgow Central Station

Great War memorial Glasgow Central Station

The stone inscription to those who were killed in WW2 was added recently, but no names are listed. The header section of the monument is ornately carved stone.

Great War memorial Glasgow Central Station headpiece
We soon found the name of Sydney Thomas Tearle, in the middle of the last column.

Sydney T Tearle on Glasgow Central Station Great War memorial

Sydney T Tearle on Glasgow Central Station Great War memorial