Alfred John Carter Tearle 1901, Cuerdley, Lancs.
Here is Alfred’s military record from the CWGC
Name: TEARLE, ALFRED JOHN
Initials: A J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Corps of Military Police
Date of Death: 16/09/1941
Service No: 2689215
Additional information: Son of George and Minnie Tearle; husband of Kathleen Violet Tearle, of Harwell, Berkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 1. A. 6.
Cemetery: MALBORK COMMONWEALTH WAR CEMETERY
Here is a note from CWGC: “Malbork (formerly Marienburg) is a town on the River Nogat located in the north of Poland to the south-east of the city of Gdansk (Danzig), on the main road 50, and the cemetery is located to the west of the town.” And sadly – “The cemetery also contains the MALBORK MEMORIAL, commemorating 39 First World War casualties buried in Heilsberg Prisoners of War Cemetery.”
It took me a long time to find Alfred’s story because his parents – George and Minnie – didn’t mean anything to me. Quite by chance I saw his marriage on Ancestry I and sent off for the certificate.
Marriage to Kathleen V Wood
Name: Alfred J C Tearle
Year of Registration: 1925
Quarter of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar
Spouse’s Surname: Wood
Volume: 3a, Page: 1021
His father was Alan George Tearle and that meant a lot, plus of course Kathleen Violet Tearle was mentioned on Alfred’s military record. Now I knew exactly who he was. Alan George was a son of Jabez 1836 Dagnall and Elizabeth nee Brown. John L Tearle tells the story of Jabez in his book Tearle, A Bedfordshire Surname, so Alan George, and Alfred, are related to him. All are descended from Fanny 1780, so they are on the branch Thomas 1737. Alfred is also the uncle to a family of Canadian Tearles.
Here is his birth certificate:
Name: Alfred John C Tearle Year of Registration: 1901 Quarter of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar DISTRICT: Prescot County: Lancashire Volume: 8b Page: 691
Just to give you a flavour of the events, here is the family through the Victorian censuses.
1871 = Jabez 1836 Dagnall Elizabeth 38 William Brewer 8 Allan George 6 John Henry 3 in Hindley Lancs
Jabez has married a Wigan girl and she is working as a DressMaker.
1891 = Alan George Tearle 1864 Wigan Amelia 27 William Brewer 18m in Stockton on Tees
We know from Alfred’s military record that Alan George is usually called George, and his wife is referred to as Minnie.
1901 = Allan George 1865 Wigan Amelia 37 William Brewer 10 John Lawrence 9 Elsie May 5 Allan Brown 2 Alfred John Caster 3m in Cuerdley Lancs
We now meet Alfred John and find out that his full name is Alfred John Carter Tearle. I know nothing of his military record, but we have uncovered a terrible story – Alfred died as a prisoner of war in a POW camp near Gdansk, in Poland.
When we visited Malbork, this is what we found:
A little further out of town was the sobering memorial to the inmates who were victims of the POW camp:
And a plate from the wall of the camp itself: