Tag Archives: Edward


Edward Tearle, 1868, Preston, UK

As so often seems to happen, we simply “fall over” a Tearle incident and then we spend many hours in research and discussion trying to find out the story behind the incident. Edward’s story begins with a bottle and Richard tells it thus:

“Two or three years ago, I saw an old ginger beer stoneware bottle advertised on e-bay, which indicated that it ‘belonged’ to Edward Tearle of Oldham. I had never heard of him (we had not got the information about the Preston Tearles from CemSearch at that time). Nor was I entirely sure if ET was the maker of the bottle or the provider of the contents! Some token investigations revealed nothing and the matter became a ‘pot boiler’. Other – glass – bottles came up on offer, but still research fell on stony ground. Finally, about two months ago (Sept 07) one came up that I could afford but I was outbid. Every time one came up for auction, I would mail the seller and ask if they had any information about Edward – none of them knew anything. Many bottle experts and collectors were mailed, but I still no progress.

Vintage bottle

Vintage bottle

Out of the blue, a seller of a previous example offered to send me, free gratis, another bottle he had. I accepted gratefully and it duly arrived. At last I could see exactly what was on the bottle. The seller had dated the ir as 18th century, but this was clearly incorrect: the figures 1707 appeared on the base of the bottle and it would be easy to assume that this constituted a date. As it turned out, it was a maker’s mark. The maker’s name was ‘N & Co’ which I was able to establish as Nuttall & Co of St Helens. They were active in the mid 19th century until 1913 or so when they were absorbed by the United Glass Co.

The markings on the bottle were decisive: ‘Edward Tearle’ and ‘Oldham’ were prominent as was the trade mark – an 8 pointed star with ‘E.T’ and an embossed circle inside. Either side of the star were the words Trade and Mark – this helped establish that 1707 wasn’t a date as trade marks were not noted until the mid 19th century.

There was some speculation in the group as to whether this might have been, in fact, Ebenezer Tearle, who was a known brewer in the London area, and whether the trade mark had any connection with Thomas Tearle’s Star Brewery, also in London.

But a second bottle turned up in quick succession which was exactly the same except for the bottle makers – CS & Co – who were also based in St Helens.

For me, it was impossible to get away from the Lancashire connection and much renewed research began – but with little to add except to confirm the few things we already knew:

CS & Co seemed to have been active mostly between 1872 and 1916: United Glass Co was formed in 1913 by 4 companies, two of which were CS & Co and Nuttall and Co. CS & Co were also based in St Helens and one thing which comes up a lot is descriptions of bottles whereby the brewers (or whatever) have their marks and location on the side of the bottle, with the maker’s details on the base. The point of this is that it would now be fairly certain that Edward Tearle was active in Oldham as both bottles have that place on the side.”

We knew we needed local knowledge, but with none available, we could not conduct the enquiry any further.

We were contacted by Hazel Anderson of Preston, great-grand-daughter of Mary Ann in the photo above.  She volunteered some local research, a quite extraordinary note from Susan Smith of the Oldham Local Studies and Archives:

“Edward Tearle only appears in the Worrall’s 1895 Trade Directory of Oldham along with a Henry Tinsley trading as Tinsley and Tearle, Herb Beer Brewers. Edward’s home address was 14 Minton Street, Oldham and Henry Tinsley’s home address was 9 Firth Street, Oldham. Their business was located on Rink Road, off Union Street, Oldham. This may have been a short lived business as they do not appear in any other trade directory either as partners or as individuals brewing herb beer. In the 1891 census, there were many drapers living in Minton Street, but not Edward, so maybe the Edward Tearle living in Preston

is the man who brewed herb beer in Oldham, but whose later occupation was as a draper.

I have tracked his partner, Henry Tinsley in the Electoral Rolls and he was listed at 9 Firth Street in 1894 and his previous address was 15 Cromwell Street where he was living at the time of the 1891 census. Cromwell Street is very near to Rink Road. Henry’s occupation then was given as a carter. See attached census extract.

I could not find Edward Tearle in any Electoral Register.”

We had hardly drawn breath from this revelation when Hazel wrote again:

“I have been to Preston reference library today to find out where Sophia and Joseph’s grocers shop was. It seems they had two. One at 34 Maitland Street and one at 139 Ribbleton Lane. It looks like a lot of the Tearles owned businesses in Preston.

There was mention of Edward Tearle a draper at 91 Ribbleton Avenue, Preston”

As usual in these circumstances, Barbara Tearle of Oxford came up with the key:

“I’ve just consulted one of my favourite sources, the London Gazette, and come up with the following:

The Gazettes of 1892 and 1893 contain details of Joseph Tearle of Preston and Oldham going bankrupt.

Joseph Tearle, of 100, Wilbraham Street, Preston, trading at 139, Ribbleton-lane, Preston, also at Rimes-road, Union-street, Oldham as a Provision Dealer [at the first address] and as a Herb Beer Manufacturer [at the second address].

The words in brackets are my additions based on the layout of the page in the Gazette.

The Official Receiver at Preston dealt with this and Joseph managed to repay 1s 11d halfpenny in the pound of his debts.

Is Joseph, Edward’s father?”


“it identifies our man quite a bit and may well point to your Edward being a one-time herb beer manufacturer, possibly before he became a draper….”


“Edward Tearle is the son of Joseph and Sophia Tearle and therefore my great grandmother Mary Ann Tearle’s brother. The information you have found in the Gazette seems to prove that Edward Tearle of Oldham and Edward Tearle of Preston are one and the same person.”


“Mystery solved. Although a small thing in Family History investigation, I feel that persistence, collaboration, lateral thinking and perhaps a little bit of luck have contributed to this story having a successful conclusion!”

We had uncovered the story of Edward, the herb beer maker of Oldham and seen into the life of Joseph and Sophia nee Kibble. We had been witnesses to a drama of the past and filled in some of the details we could only guess at from the 10-yr apart snapshots of the censuses.

Edward died in 1903 and a colourful chapter of Tearle history in Preston closed.


Tearle, Edward Kefford William, 1907, Lexden, UK (CMP)

Elaine and I got quite a surprise, even a shock, to see the name E TEARLE on a WW2 memorial outside St Marys Church in the pretty little village of Old Welwyn. Welwyn Garden City is close to St Albans, and you can walk to Old Welwyn from Hatfield. It took us a while to gather the information needed to tell his story, but here it is now.

The E Tearle honoured on WW2 section of the Old Welwyn memorial is Edward Kefford W Tearle, of the military police, b1907 in Essex.

WW2 names Old Welwyn

WW2 names Old Welwyn.

The memorial itself is next to St Marys, Old Welwyn.

War memorial closeup Old Welwyn

War memorial closeup, St Mary’s, Old Welwyn.

Here is the information supplied by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Corps of Military Police
Date of Death:31/05/1940
Service No: 7683659
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Plot 2. Row C. Grave 26.

This Edward Kefford W Tearle b1907 Lexden, Kent, was the son of Edward Kefford Tearle 1878 of Hatfield and Maud Sarah nee Micklefield, and as far as I know, he was their only son. He was the grandson of William 1857 of Soulbury and Sarah nee Kefford. He was the great-grandson of John 1831 Soulbury and Harriet nee Figg.

 Both these families are descended from Richard 1805 and Martha nee Walker, the parents of all the Soulbury Tearles. Leslie James T, John Henry T and Edward Kefford W Tearle are all descended from John Tearle 1830 and Harriet nee Figg, while Norman is descended from Richard 1843 (John’s brother) and Elizabeth nee Ellingham. All the Soulbury Tearle families are on the branch of John 1741.

WW2 names detail Old Welwyn

Detail of the WW2 names, Old Welwyn.

The CWGC said of Edward’s last hours: “The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. De Panne village was the site of the final General Headquarters of the BEF in 1940, and there was a Casualty Clearing Station on the beach, which was an embarkation beach for the evacuation. From 27 May to 1 June 1940, the Germans strove to prevent the embarkation of the troops by incessant bombing, machine-gunning and shelling. The first German troops reached the village between 14.00 and 15.00 hrs on 31 May, and after heavy fighting, the commune was completely occupied by about 9.00 hrs on 1 June.”

Jonathon Tearle wrote to me on 20 Sep 2006

“This is my grandfather who was killed at Dunkirk in WW2. Although the evacuation was considered a great success, some poor souls got left behind to slow down the German advance. Edward was one of these brave men, and he wasn’t even a regular.”

Here are the results from our visit to the De Panne Communal Cemetery. We took the bus from Ypres to De Panne and a tram trip from De Panne to the cemetery below.

The Great Cross De Panne Communal Cemetery

The Great Cross; De Panne Communal Cemetery.

Edward Kefford William Tearle 7683659 De Panne Communal Cem

Edward Kefford William Tearle 7683659; De Panne Communal Cemetery.


John Tearle and Harriett nee Figg were shockingly poor – they lived in cottages in Simonsyde (off the Coopers Green Lane to Stanborough) and they spent time in the Hatfield Union Workhouse. To compound their tragedies caused by poverty, John and Harriet’s grandsons were killed in WW1: Leslie James Tearle was killed in France and John Henry Tearle was killed in Gallipoli. Then, in WW2 this man, their g-grandson, was tragically killed defending the beaches of Dunkirk as the British and French armies made their escape, on the very same day that his second cousin, Norman Tearle, was killed trying to ferry men from the beaches to the waiting warships. Norman went to war from Soulbury, while Edward’s family had left the village two generations earlier.

We went to see Norman’s grave in Oostende, by tram, later on the same day that we visited De Panne.

Edward Kefford W Tearle, above, died in May 1940, but his father, Edward Kefford Tearle (John Henry’s brother) died in September the same year. So poor Maud Sarah Tearle nee Micklefield lost both her son and her husband within six months.


Tearle, Alfred Edward, 1897, Watford, UK (1/Herts Regt)

Here is his service record from the CWGC
Name: TEARLE Initials: A E Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private Regiment/Service: Hertfordshire Regiment
Unit Text: 1st Bn. Date of Death: 10/05/1916 Service No: 4605
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: III. R. 8.

His parents were Alfred George Tearle 1872 Watford and Minnie M nee Cyster. His grandparents were Jabez 1844 Borehamwood and Susannah nee Payne.

Jabez’ parents were George 1818 of Dagnall and Annie nee Haws, who founded an Australian family. George’s parents were Able 1797 Edlesborough and Hannah nee Frost, and of course, this Able was the son of the famous Fanny 1780, possibly the daughter of Thomas 1737 Stanbridge and Susannah nee Attwell. So that makes Alfred a member of the branch Thomas 1737.

I note from the Hertford site that the 1st Bn in 19 August 1915 was transferred to 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, and on 29 June 1916 was transferred to 118th Brigade, 39th Division. Since Alfred was killed on 10 May 1916, he was never in the 39th Division. If you look up the activities of the 2nd Division, the poor chap never stood a chance of lasting the war. It looks as though he was killed between Loos and La Bassée during the battle of Loos.

His Army record of gratuities to his family shows only that he was killed “In Action”, and that two small gratuities were sent to his sister.

Alfred Edward Tearle UK Army Effects

Alfred Edward Tearle UK Army Effects

Alfred Edward is remembered on the War Memorial in All Saints Church, Hertford.

War Memorial All Saints Hertford

War Memorial, All Saints, Hertford.

War Memorial header, All Saints Hertford.

War Memorial header, All Saints, Hertford.

WW1 memorial names EA Tearle LJ Tearle All Saints Hertford

WW1 memorial names E A Tearle L J Tearle in All Saints Church, Hertford.

The second Tearle soldier on the memorial above is Leslie James Tearle of St Albans

The gate - Guards Corner and Windy Corner Cuinchy

The gate – Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

The massed graves of Windy Corner Cuinchy

The massed graves of Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

Alfred Edward Tearle Windy Corner Cuinchy

Alfred Edward Tearle headstone in Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

Alfred Edward Tearle in the Book of Remembrance Windy Corner Cuinchy

Alfred Edward Tearle in the Book of Remembrance, Windy Corner, Cuinchy.