Tag Archives: Tearle


Tearle, James, 1862, Preston, UK (Welsh Regt)

Here is his service record from the CWGC:

Name: TEARLE Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Welsh Regiment
Secondary Regiment: Royal Defence Corps
Secondary Unit Text: transf. to (3711)
Age: 36
Date of Death: 16/04/1918
Service No: 20724
Additional information: Husband of Alice Maria Tearle.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: A2. 12. 16.

I had wondered for a very long time who this was, but Lost Generation told me he was James and I had a James 1862 of Preston married to an Alice M… Was the CWGC wrong about his age? Ancestry gave me the medical records for a soldier whose military service began in 1880 and this lead me to be increasingly certain we had this chap already on the Tree. His parents were Thomas 1836 of Leighton Buzzard and Emma nee Ayres who moved up to Preston around the time Thomas’ brother Joseph 1838 of Leighton Buzzard (LB) did, closely followed by their father, Joseph 1803 Tebworth. Young James had brothers George 1868 Preston, and Robert 1871 Preston, both of whom died in 1873. Their father Thomas died in 1871, close to the birth of his youngest son, and their mother Emma died in 1879. In the space of eight years, James had become an orphan, with no family at all that he knew about. At 18yrs he joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regt, renewing several times. I can’t find any record of his serving anywhere overseas except for one year and 196 days on Gibraltar, in 1884. At this time he gave his next of kin as Sarah and Robert Gaunt of Preston. I have looked for a Sarah Tearle in Preston, but I can’t find one, so it is likely they were his foster parents. Around 1891 (I can’t find the marriage certificate) James married Alice Maria Edwards of Sipton, Staffs. In the 1891 census of Burnley, Lancs, they were newly married and living in 28 Aqueduct St, James describing himself as a Herbalist’s Assistant. Between 1892 and 1899 they registered four children in Colne, Lancs; Emmeline 1892, Alice 1894, Reginald 1896 and Minnie Louisa 1898. In the 1901 Colne census we can see James, Alice and their children living in 70 Market St, which is also the business address. James is a Herbalist (Shopkeeper) and the census enumerator categorises him as a SubMed.

James 1862 Preston 3711 and 2763 and 20724 ex-Lancs attestation 1914 in Wales.

James 1862 Preston 3711 and 2763 and 20724 ex-Lancs attestation 1914 in Wales.

WW1 started in June 1914 and James signed his attestation form, for 1 years service, in Cardiff on 16 Nov 1914. He said he was aged 45, but you can see that CWGC has this transfer at age 36. He transferred from the Loyal North Lancashire Regt to No 4 Supernumerary Co, 5th Battn Welch Regt, presumably because he was still a reservist, but now living in Cardiff. I have attached the two documents crucial to establishing who he was and to show his original attestation to the army in 1880 and again in Cardiff in 1914.

James 3711 and 2763 and 20724 army record p1

James 3711 and 2763 and 20724 army record p1

You can see his Loyal North Lancashire number (20724) in the lower document. It’s difficult to read because it’s scribbled out, but subsequent documents clarify it.

St Mary Whitchurch, Cardiff.
Above: St Mary, Whitchurch. On 19 Apr 1916, James transferred to the 24th Protection Coy of the Royal Defence Corps. He was living at 3 Hazelhurst Rd, Llandaff North, West Cardiff.He was described as a Shopkeeper, 5ft 7in tall, blue eyes, fair hair. In a medical report dated 22 Mar 1917, he was said to have been on leave in Preston from Fairweather Hospital, Cardiff when he contracted diarrhoea. He was operated on in Worley Hospital on 26 Feb 1916. He was certified “No longer physically fit for War Service” on 16 Apr 1917, and died on the very same day one year later. He was just 56 years old. Here is a copy of the record the army used to ensure he was correctly awarded the Silver War Badge.

James Tearle WW1 Silver War Badge

James Tearle 1862 Preston CWGC headstone in St Mary Whitchurch, Cardiff.

James Tearle 1862 Preston CWGC headstone in St Mary Whitchurch, Cardiff.

On 17 Apr 1918, his widow was awarded a pension of 15/- a week.

The fact that James was in Preston when he fell ill means to me that he still kept in touch with his family. The trip to Preston from Cardiff is a major undertaking and indicates the depth of the relationship he still enjoyed with his far-off family.

I wonder sometimes if James knew Charles 1894 Preston, above? It’s possible that in being an orphan he didn’t, but they are closely related, and in the same Lancashire regiment. James did receive a medal, but the record is unclear as to which one.

I have no clue as to why James should move all the way from Colne, Lancs to Cardiff, but his wife’s name might be Welsh and perhaps she felt the need to go to her family.

As with all the Preston Tearles, he is on the branch Joseph 1737.

Thelma Mary Shepherd

Thelma Mary Shepherd 1931 Wing, Buckinghamshire, UK

I cared deeply for Thelma, and here is the obituary I wrote for her:

Goodbye Thelma Shepherd 2005

Thelma Mary Shepherd

Thelma Mary Shepherd

We were still living in New Zealand when I wrote to Barbara Tearle of Oxford in 1992 asking her if my grandfather Arthur Tearle had any brothers and sisters. She wrote back to say he had one brother and many sisters, and she would put an advertisement in the local paper to see if there were any members of that family still in the district. It was Thelma who wrote to me. She explained that she was the daughter of Harry Tearle of Wing, son of Mahlon who was the brother of my grand-father Arthur and they were both the sons of the blacksmith of Wing, Levi Tearle.

From that letter came a lasting and deep friendship that I have enjoyed with my cousin, Thelma. We wrote letters, swapped cards and I even rang her a couple of times. She never forgot a birthday and she had a knack of getting a card to me on time, even though she may have sent it from England only three days before. She rang me once to say she had been allowed to buy her little house on the High Street in Wing that she had rented from the council for many years. Did I think she should buy it? I said “Definitely, it’s always better to own it than to rent it.” That Christmas she asked us to raise a toast to her as a newly propertied woman.

In March 1994, our dear son Jason was tragically killed and it was Thelma who organized her aunt Clarice Pugsley and cousin Sheila Leng to go with her all the way to New Zealand in November that year to help us in our grief. It was Thelma who gave us the 6 walnuts from the tree in Jennie Pugh’s back yard, which was itself a son of the tree that grew in Levi’s garden in Wing, which in turn was grown from a walnut gathered from the tree which grew for his mother in Stanbridge. Elaine, Thelma, Clarice, Sheila, my mother Tia and my father Frank each planted one of the walnuts under the kitchen window of our house in Whawharua. Two of those walnuts grew into trees and both of them are planted in different places on our farm, a tribute to Levi Tearle and the wonderful family he had brought up. Two years later, my father and I transplanted one of the saplings to a special corner of the block set aside for the tree and the Rev Fred Day, retired, of Te Kuiti conducted a small ceremony entirely in Latin to dedicate the tree to Jason’s memory. It was Thelma, too, who held Elaine’s hand in the car on the long journey to collect Jason’s ashes in the urn from the funeral director’s studio and Thelma, Clarice and Sheila were there in Hamilton with Genevieve, our daughter and a small collection of family and friends when my younger brother sang “Let the Circle be Unbroken” as Elaine and I finally laid our beautiful son to rest. A special bond had been formed, a bond that would grow stronger with time.

There was the wonderful reunion when they met my father for the first time. He and Mum came to Otorohanga for the formalities and saved us all the long trip to Hahei, and there were tears on the one hand and joy on the other, because my father was first cousin to Thelma’s father, Harry, and first cousin to Clarice herself. Arthur was much loved and much missed by his sisters.

Elaine and I were working in Te Kuiti at the time and each day we would go to work and we would organize something for “The Girls” to do while we were away. One day a Te Kuiti businessman took them on a trip to the black sand beach at Mokau where they met up with a bus carrying marching girls on tour. The busload of marchers was so taken with Thelma, Clarice and Sheila having come so far, that they put on their marching display, in their lovely costumes, just for them. They sat in the sun on a giant log watching the marchers while Tony Pivac poured tea from a flask into plastic mugs on a blanket on the beach. It was a magical day. On another morning, we took them to the Waitomo Club where they met one of the local bowling enthusiasts and captain of his team, the best bowler in the Waitomo. When we came home Thelma, Clarice and Sheila were sitting on the pool deck in the late afternoon summer sun, swirling their legs in the cooling water, drinking New Zealand sauvignon blanc, laughing and shadow bowling and celebrating Sheila’s remarkable win. She had crushed them, every single Waitomo bowler who had dared challenge her; every one who had thought she was merely lucky with the way she bowled. No-one had told them Sheila was the Bedfordshire champion. They thought she was just an English girl! Thelma and Clarice had sat in the shade under the veranda of the Waitomo Bowls Club and watched their cousin play her beautiful shots with borrowed bowls; and they had laughed and cheered for Sheila and talked with these delightful Waitomo Club players who bought them cups of tea and cool glasses of lemonade all day long. It was one of the sunniest and happiest days of the many adventurous days that Thelma spent in New Zealand.

“I was very brave today,” she said with a shy smile, “I watched someone take a bungy jump.”

“I was very brave today, I watched the “geezers” in Rotorua and dipped my feet in a hot pool.”

“I was very brave today, I walked under the Natural Bridge. I know its solid stone, but anything could have happened.”

That was after the day we took them on a trip along the Marokopa Road. We stopped briefly at the little Waitomo Caves School where Elaine used to be principal. We took a ride in a cave boat inside the Waitomo Caves and Thelma sat there utterly in awe, revelling in every minute of looking up at the thousands of beautiful glowing pin-pricks of light and being most impressed at how handsome and polite the young chap was who rowed the boat and helped her in and out.

We drove to the Marokopa Falls and Thelma watched the thundering water and felt the spray – that was brave, too, she said. Then we walked from the road to the Natural Bridge and along a narrow path beside a clear, cold stream. That was brave, too. We walked along the black sands of Marokopa Beach, dug fossils from the mudstone and listened to the thunderous roar of the Marokopa surf. That was brave, too. She was loving being an outdoors girl. We stopped at the Waitomo Hotel on the way home and had a cup of tea, just so we could go inside and sample its Olde Worlde elegance. It’s a late Victorian kauri building in a Regency style perched on top of a limestone cliff with a panoramic view over a pretty valley full of native bush. Thelma stood in the open glass doors and drank in the view while she told me how much she loved being in New Zealand. She would emigrate here and we could all live in the sunshine and she wouldn’t have to freeze in the bitter English winters.

That night we sat outside and had a glass of wine on the wooden steps of the house deck and Thelma looked up to see the Milky Way. “Where’s the Southern Cross?” I showed her where it was and how it pointed more or less to due south. “I have never seen so many stars.” During the time she was there, she would sit on the deck overlooking the farm and admire the skill and sheer hard work of Hurricane Jimmy, as they called him, the farmer who looks after our block. They admired his tractor work and he would come over to see them sitting on the deck and swap stories with them about his time on holidays in England and what they were doing on their holiday in New Zealand. Thelma talked about Hurricane Jimmy for years. For the whole time they stayed with us a tui visited the flax flowers and sang his beautiful melodies. A tui is a thrush-sized native bird, glistening black with a white tuft of feathers at the throat and a remarkable song of great clarity and purity of tone, distinguished from his imitators by a self-deprecating little cough at the end. They were totally charmed by this beautiful bird and considered themselves blessed.

They left a couple of days before Christmas. “Why not stay? We go to Pauanui for Christmas. You could join our beach barbies and go surfing every day. Who wants to go back to winter?”

“We’ve got to go home, our families would miss us.”

When we saw them off at the airport it was in the knowledge, the certain knowledge, that we would see them again. Our English family was not a myth; it was real, and the people we had met – Thelma, Clarice and Sheila – were some of the loveliest people we had ever met.

Elaine and I moved to England in 1999 and between then and now, Elaine’s friendship with Thelma has deepened into an enduring love. Elaine and Thelma dropped into a routine of contacting each other before the school holidays and Thelma would plan a trip they could take together. One year, she was feeling very lonely and asked us to take her to see Clarice. We drove down to Ilfracombe and Thelma stayed with Clarice while Elaine and I stayed in one of Clarice’s cottages about 3 doors away in the same street. Thelma and Clarice were like schoolgirls again; they gossiped and laughed and dug out family photos until deep into the night. We took Thelma to Lynmouth and she and I rode the cable railway up to Linton.

“I was very brave,” said Thelma, “I went up the railway and I didn’t close my eyes. Anything could have happened, you know.”

She and Clarice had a very tearful parting but they would see each other one more time. Clarice came up all the way from Ilfracombe to St Albans and Elaine took her and Thelma and Jennie Pugh to the Moat in Luton and it’s true that they never saw each other again. Thelma was so pleased that she had seen her beloved aunt.

On other holidays, Thelma would sit happily in the passenger’s seat and guide Elaine through the narrow country lanes of Beds and Bucks and point out all the places she used to bike to and all the places she used to know and she would talk about all the people who used to live there. One holiday recently she took Elaine to Southwold and Great Yarmouth and they sat on a wooden bench overlooking the beach, wrapped in blankets while she watched the RAF trying to salvage a Harrier jet that had crashed off the beach. Not far away, a young chap in T-shirt and shorts was watching the scene through a telescope mounted on a tripod and he noticed her watching him intently.

“Do you want to see the rescue?” he asked.

“Oh,” she said, “Do you think I might?” For the week they were there, the news was full of this Harrier being salvaged, but Thelma had organized a ring-side seat. Each morning she and Elaine went to the beach, examined the scene through the telescope and talked knowledgeably to the owner about things military. After all, her brother was an RAF Squadron Leader with an MBE.

“I was very brave,” she said, “I paddled in the North Sea. I could have been frozen, you know.” As she sat in the bus shelter with Elaine drying her feet, she collected quite a gathering of people who were happy to talk to this delightful old lady telling her story to her Kiwi companion. In a nearby café, she met people she knew from Wing. Later, she wanted fish and chips. Not any old fish and chips, mind, the ones in Great Yarmouth were not good enough. The only ones suitable were the fish and chips in Kessingland. There are rules about fish and chips; they have to be excellent quality and it’s not proper to pay too much. If the sign says the fish and chips are too expensive, you move on until a sign says the price is right. Thelma knew these things and Elaine loved her for it.

One holiday, Thelma navigated Elaine through the Buckinghamshire country lanes exploring thatched cottages and little Norman churches, some still showing damage from visits by Cromwell’s army. They trawled the churchyards for famous people from this time and examined the oak doors for bullet holes from Cromwell’s muskets. Thelma always had an exciting story to tell for every place they visited. Every holiday trip was thoroughly planned and each trip had a theme. Sometimes, they would sit under a tree while Thelma got her breath back and they would watch the passers-by and giggle as they made up stories about what their lives might be like. Thelma never took Elaine anywhere on the main roads, she always took “The scenic route.”

The very last trip Elaine and Thelma took was to Mentmore. Thelma was too weak to get out of the car, so Elaine jumped out and photographed the scene so Thelma could see the picture in the little screen on the back of the camera. She told Elaine all about the places they were seeing and how things had changed over time. She imagined herself living there…

A couple of days later, Thelma rang us to say she wanted to drive her red Ford Ka to Mentmore, did we think it was a good idea? Elaine said, “If you feel you can make it, then, yes of course you should go.” Thelma later rang to say that she had taken exactly the same route she had taken with Elaine and had sat in her car and looked out over that beautiful valley all the way to the narrow, steep spire of Leighton Buzzard church. As far as we know it was the last time she drove her beloved little Ka.

Thelma had a heart and a mind for the simple things; she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of English plants and of local history and yet she could play the high life as well. She was on the committee that vetted the people who would live in the Wing Almshouses. She took this job very seriously; my grandmother Sarah Jane Adams was brought up in the Wing Almshouses. On our last visit to see her in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, she told us how angry she was that the government was messing her pension about. Every time she went to hospital the pension stopped immediately, but it took weeks to get it started again when she got back home and that was a long and tiring business when it was so difficult for her to leave the house.

“I am going to write to the Minister of Pensions and tell him how to do this properly,” she said. “If you hear that he has resigned to spend more time with his family, you may assume that I had a hand in his downfall.”

Thelma was a woman of dignity and wonderful presence. She was intelligent and steeped in the knowledge of her family and mindful of her obligations to her friends, her mother and her village. She was a woman of rare character and great charm. She was a woman of the old school; gracious, generous and beautiful to the core. We shall not see her like again.

Ewart Tearle
St Albans
January 2005


National Roll of the Great War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tearle, F J

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Visit to Gallipoli; April, 2015

By Ewart Tearle
8 April 2015

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

A little village mosque.

A little village mosque.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANZAC Cove and North Beach.

ANZAC Cove and North Beach.

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

The Sphinx from North Beach.

The Sphinx from North Beach.

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

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

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

ANZAC Cove is now its official name.

ANZAC Cove is now its official name.

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

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

Ari Burnu Cemetery

Ari Burnu Cemetery

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

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

He began:
These extraordinary words took my breath away. Whoever heard such sentiments from the leader of a country towards those who had attacked him?

Ataturk's message at ANZAC Cove.

Ataturk’s message at ANZAC Cove.

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

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

Lone Pine Cemetery.

Lone Pine Cemetery.

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

The ten NZ graves on Chanuk Bair.

The ten NZ graves on Chunuk Bair.

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

Wellington Mounted Rifles names on Chunuk Bair

Wellington Mounted Rifles names on Chunuk Bair.

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

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

Ataturk guards Chanuk Bair.

Ataturk guards Chunuk Bair.

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

The trenches on Chanuk Bair.

The trenches on Chunuk Bair.

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

The ANZAC assault of 6 August is repulsed.

The ANZAC assault of 6 August is repulsed.

The plaque with the translation of 6 Aug 1915 assault.

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

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

The view from Chunuk Bair.

The view from Chunuk Bair.

Hill 60 Monument.

Hill 60 Monument.

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

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

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

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

Jones R. R. closeup.

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

The memorial at Twelve Tree Copse.

The memorial at Twelve Tree Copse.

John Henry Tearle – The Hertfordshire Soldier

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

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

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

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

The Helles Memorial.

The Helles Memorial.

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

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

John Henry Tearle on Helles Memorial.

John Henry Tearle on Helles Memorial.

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

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

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

Mahmetcige Saygi and the English officer

Mahmetcige Saygi and the English officer

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

Cpl Seyit Onbasi carries the shell to his gun.

Cpl Seyit Onbasi carries the shell to his gun.

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

A soldier of the 57th Infantry.

A soldier of the 57th Infantry.

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

The plaque detailing the acts of the 57th Infantry.

The plaque detailing the acts of the 57th Infantry.

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

A headstone for a soldier of the 57th Infantry.

A headstone for a soldier of the 57th Infantry.

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

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

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

Turkish names at the Memorial of the 57th Infantry.

Turkish names at the Memorial of the 57th Infantry.

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

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

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

DSC_3598 Gateway to Kesikdere Sehitligi

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

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

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

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

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

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


Turkish National Monument to the Battle of Canakkale.

Turkish National Monument to the Battle of Canakkale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elif's tatoo

Cemal’s tatoo

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

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

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


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

Some figures

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

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

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

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

Post Script

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

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

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


Who on Earth was Montague Tearle?

By Ewart Tearle

Mar 2015

For a very long time, only two sets of records existed for Montague Tearle; his marriage in the third quarter of 1915 to Lilian A Boulter in Derby, and his death in 1939, aged 63, somewhere in Hackney, London. There was no record of a birth certificate. The second set was from Chelsea Hospital, and consisted of his military and health records.

He enlisted for the army on 10 Oct 1915. The recruiting officer wrote his name as Montague Tearle, but his signature was Monty Tearle. He was given the military number 5006 and on attestation day he was put in the 19th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment, headquartered in Camden Town. Monty’s home address was 10 Nelson Street, Derby.

Montague Tearle attestation for Territorial Force

Montague Tearle attestation for Territorial Force

The second page of Montague’s army record was his Medical Inspection Report, which was conducted on 23 Oct 1915. He was 38yrs 6mth old, 5ft 10.5in tall with a 37in girth he could expand and contract by 2in. His vision in both eyes was 6/6, and his physical development was good. He was pronounced fit for service, subject to some dental treatment.

The third page recorded his acceptance of the service obligation – to serve anywhere he was posted and in whatever corps he may find himself at any time, subject to a condition placed on the army itself not to post him on any transfer where he would suffer a loss in pay. He duly signed that one.

The fourth and fifth pages are a double page of the same book – his service. It only has a few lines. He was “embodied” in the army as a Private (their capitals) from 13 Oct 1915 to 26 Apr 1916, a total of 197 days. A sad note on the left-hand page says, “…. Kings Regs; Not likely to become an efficient soldier on Medical Grounds” again, their capitals. Dated 24 April 1916. His record was “Home” meaning anywhere in Britan, including Ireland, 13/10/15 to 24/4/16. So he had no claim to any service medals, and no claim to pension. His next of kin was “Brother – Walter Tearle, 16 Churchill Rd, Birmingham.”

Montague leaves the army

Montague leaves the army

However, Montague did claim for pension: The next document from Chelsea Hospital was dated 29 June 1916 with a determination made on 15 July 1916 – Montague Tearle 5006, with regard to claim for pension: Rejected. What was he thinking of? All claims to pension were based on the number of days a soldier was in the army, so long as he had a posting abroad. Montague would have known that – he was trying it on.

He had another go in 1929 – the last two documents are from Chelsea Hospital and they record a request for information from the Kent County Police on 1 Sep 1929 to the London Infantry Record Office stating that Montague Tearle was under the care of the doctor in charge, British Legion Village, Preston Hall, Aylesford. “Some doubt exists as to the genuineness of this case, and I shall be glad if you would furnish me the particulars of … his service, and his description.” On 6 Sep 1929, the Chelsea Hospital received the form requesting the discharge documents “for the purpose of being annexed to his later Discharge to pension.” It would appear he was again claiming his pension, hoping that time had dulled the bureaucrats, or he was trying to stay in a soldier’s care home to which he only had access if he was on pension.

At first appearance, Montague’s request to join the army seems to be for the best of motives – he was 38yrs old and he was going to fight for his country. But in the light of his later activities this impulse looks a little less than the self-sacrifice he intended it to appear. He gets free dental treatment on the army and for 197 days he was quartered for free, as well actually being paid.

He does not appear (and neither does Walter Tearle) in any census from 1880 to 1911. There is no birth record for a Montague Tearle and all the Walter Tearles (nine of them) are accounted for in other families.

Ten years after Montague and his very reticent (not to mention almost invisible) brother came to light, Barbara Tearle of Oxford unearthed some newspaper clippings that recorded some of Montague’s activities. They are not pretty.

Bath Chronicle Thu 30 May 1907

Cyril Dudley Vincent, a music hall artist, was in the Bath City Police Court for having produced documents to back up a claim of having money, and asking for a loan on the strength of the documents. He raised the loan, but couldn’t pay the lender, hence he landed in court on charges of false pretences. The name on the letter was Montague Tearle, who said Cyril was a property-owning gentleman. It turns out that Cyril in the dock, and Montague on the documents, were the same man.

Montague never has any money, but he lives the life of a gentleman of quality. He uses the conventions of the gentleman to con the unwary and the trusting. We can see, above, that Montague joined the army in 1915; in the light of just this one conviction, it would not appear that the army was too concerned about the moral or criminal behaviour of its recruits for the Great War.

Morpeth Herald and Reporter Fri 26 Jan 1917

The Theatre Royal in Blyth, Northumberland, was opened in 1900. It was a well-known and well-respected local institution by 1917, when Montague Tearle became its manager. This report in the Morpeth Herald, which often had articles on Blyth, centres on Mr Tearle’s capacity as a very popular man who raised the considerable sum of £10 3s 6d for a local military charity. Mr Tearle, it was noted, was the son of a most famous Shakespearian actor, Edmund Tearle, who had played to Blyth audiences in this very theatre. Mr Tearle’s role as an ex-soldier in the Pals Battalion of the London Regiment was noted by the gold braid badge of honour on his sleeve and the stories of his exploits since 1914 in the Great War, where he had fought in the Battle of Loos in France, been injured and gassed and finally passed out of the army due to ill health. Sadly he was leaving the Blyth Theatre for the Raynor’s Repertoire Company as General Manager. He was later presented with a handsome silver Treasury note-case by a group of military officers.

It is quite likely that none of this is true; Montague was probably not the manager of the Blyth Theatre Royal, and the paper has not checked his assertion. He has raised £10 3s 6d and equally probably kept it all. He is not the son of Edmund Tearle of Leighton Buzzard, who was indeed a famous actor/manager but he is very keen to trade on Edmund’s name. Within nine months of leaving the army, he has literally embroidered his jacket cuff to embellish his story as a Great War veteran. As we know, he was never in France, never gassed, but he was invalided out of the army – one tiny fact to ground all the war stories he is happy to relate. He is leaving Blyth in a hurry, and stole a silver Treasury note-case on his way out. If we take another look at the 1907 court case, there are some similarities, which show a pattern in his behaviour – he is always in theatre, sometimes a manager, an actor, or an agent. This is why he has adopted the name Tearle: his contemporaries are George “Osmund” Tearle the actor/manager, Osmund Tearle (son of George) the actor manager, Edmund Tearle the actor/manager and possibly by now some whispering of the genius of Godfrey Tearle (born 1884) also making his way towards theatrical fame. The name is beginning to have some credibility.

Bucks Herald 15 Oct 1921

Montague Tearle, aged 46, of Leicester, a theatrical agent, was in the dock at the Bucks Assizes, charged with the theft of 8 Treasury notes valued at £5 10s, a 10s Treasury note and 7s 6d from various people overnighting in the Railway Hotel, Linslade. He was found guilty because everyone who had been stolen from had wax droplets in their room, and Montague was the only person who had a candle. The judge noted that between 1892 and 1905, Montague had been convicted in various courts no less than 15 times. Since 1905, he had been imprisoned for two terms of five years and there were other terms of imprisonment with hard labour. The prisoner wanted another chance, saying that his offending was due to the difficulty of finding work, and that he was very sick, spitting blood, and wanting to get back to Leicester. The prison governor said his sickness was due to refusing to eat while he was in prison since 31 August, awaiting trial. The judge sentenced Montague to twelve months in prison. This story was gleefully retold by The Northampton Mercury on Friday 21 October under the headline TRACED BY CANDLE GREASE.

Montague has even gone to Leighton Buzzard, the home of Edmund Tearle. What did they think there of a man claiming to be Edmund Tearle’s son, but speaks with a Yorkshire accent? Has he borrowed someone else’s accent as well while he is in Bedfordshire? The story above would be amusing if it wasn’t at the same time quite tragic. Montague’s life is a mess; look at the sorry list of convictions the judge above has noted, and the two terms of five years in gaol. He is 46 years old, and he has spent no less than 10yrs in prison. If he is spitting blood, does he also have TB?

The Herald 29 Mar 1924

The Leicester newspaper reported that Montague Tearle had appeared on bail in the Tamworth Borough Petty Sessions charged with arrears on an affiliation order. The arrears went as far back as 1918 and amounted to £60. Montague argued he had been very sick in hospital and in a sanatorium. He had found it difficult securing work due to his illness, but he thought he had a promise of work, and as soon as the doctor would allow him back to work, he would be able to pay the arrears at the rate of 10s per week. The mayor said the magistrates would give Montague the chance to repay at the stated amount.

Leicester is where Montague has housed his wife – his very long-suffering wife, Lillian – and Montague is pointing to ill health as a reason for his misfortune. It is relatively true – surely you can’t blag your way out of a war-time army by feigning sickness. And it may also be true that sickness has largely prevented him from keeping a job, but perhaps also there is a moral sickness, and he just cannot help himself from seeking the rush of pleasure he must have felt when he successfully talked someone out of their money.

Lincolnshire Echo Fri 20 Nov 1925:

Charged in the Ilkeston Police Court on false pretences. He had told the court he was a theatrical agent and was in Ilkeston on the chance of getting a job at the local theatre. He was remanded for a week.

There is no later edition to say what happened next – and whether he was convicted – but there are worrying similarities to other appearances in court: false pretences, theatrical agent, looking for work …

Pat Field of the Yahoo Tearle Group, noticed that Lillian A Boulter was listed twice in the marriages index, once with Montague Tearle and again with a William Woollen. Also, if William Woollen’s marriage listing in the index was examined closely, William Woollen also married a Lillian A Boulter on the same day, in the same place – Derby. She also noticed that Montague Tearle and William Woollen had the same date of death, and the same address; furthermore, they were on the same page of the index:

Montague’s marriage was in the Oct-Nov-Dec quarter of 1915 – around the same time he joined the army, and of course his address is Derby; that is where he was so recently married. Is it significant? Did Lillian have some savings? Or did he want the respectability of being a married man?

The story of the censuses

In order to uncover the story of a person between 1841 and 1911, the censuses are a reliable and necessary resource. In this case, they provided conclusive evidence of Montague’s identity.


Since Montague was born in 1874/5 he should have been in the 1881 census, and since he had mentioned a brother, Walter, then there should be a family containing a Montague and his brother Walter. There was no Montague Tearle, but there was a William Woollen born 1875 in Sheffield with an older brother Walter E Woollen. They are living with their parents, William J, 31, who was a silversmith born in Wath, Yorkshire and mother Lucy, aged 31, from Ince in Warwickshire. There are four Waths in Yorkshire, but we can safely say that William J Woollen was a Yorkshireman.


William is 16 and he is a lithographer, Walter Edwin, the elder brother, is 19 and he is a warehouse assistant, while their father William James, now aged 41 has given up silversmithing and he has become a journalist.


Walter Edwin is 29, a warehouse sales assistant, and he has married a girl from his home town of Sheffield called Alice Maud Kenyon. Alice’s father and sister are living with them. Walter’s own father William J, who has returned to silversmithing, and mother Lucy E are living in Albert Road, Sheffield. There is no sign of William Woollen 1875, nor of Montague Tearle. Was he in prison?


We now find out which Wath William James Woollen comes from: Wath-on-Dearne in South Yorkshire. He is 60 years old and still a silversmith. Lucy Ellen is 60, they have been married 39 years and had two children, neither of whom has yet died.

Walter Edwin, 39, is a clerk in a motor manufacturer’s factory in Birmingham. He is living with his wife, Maud and a boarder, who is a fellow clerk from work. More importantly, the 1911 census gives us the final, unimpeachable proof of who Montague really is. His brother Walter Tearle who lives at 16 Churchill Rd, Birmingham is actually his brother, Walter Edwin Woollen. Montague is unmasked – his real name is William Wollen, born 1875 in Sheffield, the son of a South Yorkshire silversmith. There is absolutely no sign of William Woollen 1875, nor of Montague Tearle, in this census. Was he in prison – again?

Not being in the censuses of 1901 and 1911 does not indicate that Montague was not working, nor was William Woollen completely buried as an identity. It is quite likely that Montague was either in prison, or he was being careful to stay away from the census enumerator.

We can go full circle now: we can join up William Woollen, the boy in the working-class neighbourhood of 1881, to Montague Tearle, the ne’er-do-well of the newspaper reports and the army recruit of 1915. In giving his next-of-kin as Walter of 16 Churchill Rd, Birmingham, Montague gave us one small fact amongst all the distractions, and that one fact told us who he really was.

1911 Walter Edwin Woollen 1872 of 16 Churchill Rd Birmingham



Tearle Meet 2006

The first Tearle meet (inspired by a suggestion from Barbara Tearle) was held at St John the Baptist Church, Stanbridge, Bedfordshire, on 8 July 2006. I hoped about two dozen would attend and we welcomed 50. It was actually a really good number because many people were able to talk to each other and it was a comfortable number to fit in the church. We had people from a very wide area – Rugby, Warwick, Wales, Brighton – so people certainly gave a lot of their time to attend. Many people also brought documents and Jennie Pugh brought some artifacts from my great-grandfather Levi’s smithy in Wing.

Richard works with James of Stowe

Richard works with James of Stowe

As everyone arrived, we gave them a copy of the Tearle Memorials in Stanbridge pamphlet. Here are John and Pat Field, pamphlet in hand, scouting the memorials.

John and Pat Field arriving

John and Pat Field arriving

And here’s an idea, below, of just how big the Tree is when printed and glued.

The tree printed and glued together

The tree printed and glued together

We were very fortunate to have Enid Horton and her daughter Lorinda, below, who volunteered to examine the banns register and transcribe all the Tearle events therein.

Enid Horton and her daughter Lorinda working on the banns register.

Enid Horton and her daughter Lorinda working on the banns register.


The Dagnall Tearle's

The Dagnall Tearles

We had a visit from the Dagnall Tearles, above, and they lingered long over the John 1741 branch, then went off to Edlesborough to see the memorials there. An engaging group. Front left, Elaine Tearle of Dagnall.

One of our long-term supporters, Jo Smith, was there and she and daughter Tracy, below, met and worked with many of the visitors

Jo Smith and her daughter Tracy

Jo Smith and her daughter Tracy.

A group of us went on an expedition to Wing. Here we are at the cricket grounds inspecting the fencing and the gate that Levi built. I’m the one kneeling. The manager of Ascott House said they might call it Tearle’s Gate.

Front: John and Ewart Tearle and Ingrid Taylor. Behind: David Ashley, Sam Tearle, Barbara Ashley, Jennie Pugh and Barbara Tearle, James and Richard Tearle.

Front: John and Ewart Tearle and Ingrid Taylor. Behind: David Ashley, Sam Tearle, Barbara Ashley, Jennie Pugh and Barbara Tearle, James and Richard Tearle.

A copy of the typed version of the Bishop’s Transcripts had been given to the church and Rev Janet Spicer left it for us to refer to.

Bishop’s Transcripts

Bishop’s Transcripts

Barbara Tearle, below, is Richard’s sister and a world expert on the Tearles. Here she is on the left, meeting one of the visitors with Elaine in the background talking with Lorinda.

Barbara Tearle, left

Barbara Tearle, left

One of the highlights was a visit by a family who hadn’t seen each other for quite a while. Descendants of Mahlon, second son of Levi Tearle of Wing, are John Tearle in the centre, brother to Sheila, while James and Sam are his sons. Jennie Pugh, centre, is their aunt, a grand-daughter to Levi.

John Tearle in the centre, brother to Sheila, while James and Sam are his sons. Jennie Pugh, centre, is their aunt, a grand-daughter to Levi Tearle, blacksmith of Wing.

John Tearle in the centre, brother to Sheila, while James and Sam are his sons. Jennie Pugh, centre, is their aunt, a grand-daughter to Levi Tearle, blacksmith of Wing.

Richard sent his recollections

A fabulous day that began 24 hours earlier. I travelled down from Lichfield on Friday 7th having booked a room for an overnight stay. The journey was thankfully uneventful and I managed to take in an hour or so in Leighton Buzzard, spending much of that time walking around the graveyard of All Saints Church and then enjoying a much needed mug of coffee in their small cafe.

Then I took the bus to Dunstable, trying to take in every inch of the route. we came upon Stanbridge almost without warning. Suddenly there was a magnificent sign for the 5 Bells and my first fleeting impression was that this was one of the biggest pubs I had ever seen! I barely had time for that thought to register before we were passing the Church of St John the Baptist. And what a beautiful church it looked too. Atop a slight hill and with gravestones on all sides it looked the very epitome of a country church. The bus moved on through Tilsworth and soon we were moving out of the main area we call Tearle Valley: but the signposts all bore familiar names; Houghton Regis, Eggington, Edlesborough, Eaton Bray. I couldn’t help imagining my ancestors walking along these ways or working, perhaps, in some of the fields that flashed by on either side.

On arrival in Dunstable I sought out my accommodation: a little further out than I had imagined, but the Tearle antenna found it without difficulty. I booked in, time to freshen up, unpack, take a rest and appraise the brilliance of Federer and the immense potential of Nadal and then it was out for a pre-arranged dinner appointment with Barbara. Time flew by before we realised that we had spent close on 3 hours indulging in excellent Italian cuisine and recalling family stories, childhood memories and the idiosyncrasies of various relatives from both sides of the family. By the time I got back it was gone eleven o clock and logs could learn a thing or two from me about sleeping!

And then the day dawned…

The sun shone and there was a bit of a breeze which meant that temperatures did not feel too high. Barbara met me where I was staying and within a few  minutes Jo and Tracy arrived to pick us up, as had been arranged. Tracy took us through the country side while Jo gave as a fascinating running commentary – neither of us had really been in these parts before. We arrived at the Church bang-on 10.00 and there were already half a dozen or so cars parked on the grass verge.

The first people we met were Pat and John as they arrived at exactly the same time. Ewart was waiting for us all at the entrance to the church, already surrounded by half a dozen earlier arrivals. Ewart then proceeded to hand out the pamphlets he had made up about the Tearle memorials in the graveyard and we set our stuff out on tables for people to look at. Meanwhile, people were pouring into the church – and I am not exaggerating! – and introductions were flying around left, right and centre.

It was heartening and, as Ewart later put it, humbling, to hear the words “I’m not a Tearle but read about today in the Parish Magazine and thought I’d come along as I used to live in the village.” This occurred on a number of occasions. At one stage I counted over 40 people in the church and expectations were exceeded!

Elaine arrived with print outs of the tree and these were laid out on the floor. At times it was impossible to get to them because of the number of people interested. There were a number of old photographs of various family members and one item that was always popular was the Scrapbook that Jo had compiled about old Dunstable.

I am hoping that someone  who has a better memory than me can post an account naming people who were there, because I will miss out many and I apologise to them for that.

To give you an idea of how successful it was, Elaine had to go to the 5 Bells to warn them that nearly three times as many people as had been notified to them were intending having lunch there!

I managed to take five minutes to look around the churchyard and meeting up with James and Sam, the sons of John (who had come away from the Llagollen Eistedfodd to attend – serves them right for picking the same day as us!)

All too soon 12:00 arrived and we had to vacate the church. CDs that Ewart had brought along were sold and the money donated to the church. And then most of us repaired to the 5 Bells.

Lunch was a wonderful, relaxed affair. It was very gratifying to see people who had never met before chatting away and making notes of telephone numbers or e-mail addresses. A word should be said about the staff of the 5 Bells: faced with an influx of some 25 Tearles, they organised things magnificently and were friendly and helpful throughout.

Ewart made a short speech, followed by an even shorter one by myself and the day began to wind up, but there was one more treat for some of us. Ewart had arranged that we visit Wing and look at some of the things relating to Levi the Blacksmith. We saw the iron railings and gate that surround the cricket ground at Ascott House and our thanks go to Patrick, the Estate Manager who allowed us to do this, accompanied us and gave us some insight into the stories behind the Rothschilds and life in those times.

Then we went to Wing and looked at Levi’s cottages and the where the smithy had stood. Ewart took us to the Church and we saw Levi’s headstone. At this point, I had to leave and I must thank Elaine for taking the time out to drive me to Leighton Buzzard station.

Special mention must be made of Jennie, Levi’s granddaughter, who was with us the whole day.  At 91, I hope I am that sprightly and compos mentis when I get there! She told some wonderful stories of Levi and was clearly moved by the whole event. I would like to nominate Jennie as Guest of Honour and her presence brightened an already brilliant day!

To sum up, then: an unqualified success of great value to all who were there and, I hope, an inspiration to all members. My personal thanks go to Ewart and Elaine whose organisational skills are second to none and to all those who turned up and made it the success it undoubtedly was.

We will be back!

Richard Tearle 09/07/06

Jo sent me her notes on the day’s events:

I have just read Richards account of his day at the meeting, from start to finish, he obviously absorbed every moment from the time he arrived in Leighton Buzzard to the time he got back on the train to Litchfield & it was lovely to read his memories of the day.

I have to say that it was a truly lovely 4 hours for myself & Tracy. Tracy came along but thought she might be bored with all this family chat, but found she enjoyed herself. We were sorry we had to leave early as we would have liked to have gone to Wing, but Tracy had to get back to relieve her partner of the joys of looking after two very energetic boys, one being 3 1/2 & the other nearly two.

I was also pleased to see so many people in the church & also the people who weren’t related but just wanted to join in with us. I would like also to thank Richard, for making the day possible through his web site & to Ewart & Elaine for bringing along the now huge family tree, the CD’s & memorial information. It was also good of the Rev to set out the parish records for us to see.

Hopefully this meeting will be one of many, & we can get to know each other better, but like Richard said we will have to discuss that & see how the membership numbers go. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jennie in the Restaurant & when she proudly announced to Tracy & I that she was 91 we found it hard to believe as she looks years younger, & she is an inspiration to us all, a very lovely lady.

Here is Barbara’s account:

The TearleMeet 2006

The Tearle family get together, announced in the last issue of the journal, took place on one of those idyllic summer days of sunshine, warmth, and gentle breezes.  It was successful beyond the wildest dreams of the organisers.  They would have counted it a winner with a dozen people, so they were overwhelmed to find that it had attracted about forty.  The day could not be called a Tearle reunion as we had not met before and in fact only a few people had ever met any of the others.  

The day was organise by Ewart Tearle, a New Zealander now living in St Albans.  It developed naturally from his contribution to the Tearle webgroup run by Richard Tearle.  Ewart has been entering everyone’s individual family research on a giant Tearle family tree and touring the area of “Tearle valley” photographing gravestones and the churches of our ancestors, so the obvious next step was to gather the living Tearles together so that we could meet each other.

The TearleMeet attracted Tearles from the south coast and the Midlands as well as from the Leighton Buzzard, Luton and Dunstable area.  We met for two hours in Stanbridge church by kind permission of the vicar, who had announced the event in the parish magazine with our invitation to any parishioners who might be interested – and they were!  Several Stanbridge ladies told us about the last Tearles in the village, two sisters who were there in the early part of the 20th century.  Their deaths ended the family’s association with the village which goes back to 1470 and possibly earlier.

Ewart’s wife Elaine spread the family tree  – made up of 60 or more A4 sheets of paper stuck together – along one of the side aisles.  Several people brought scrapbooks and photographs.  Ewart brought a yoke and a piece of ironwork made by Levi Tearle, a blacksmith in Wing in the late 19th century.  Throughout the morning, people were crawling over the tree working out were they were – or rather where their ancestors were because it contains no-one born after 1917.  I failed miserably to find Zephaniah Tearle (b. 1868) for one lady who wanted to know where he fitted in, only to be told by Ewart that he was not on the tree as it is not yet clear who his parents were.  I had more success tracing the ancestors of the actor Tearles, Sir Godfrey, his brother Malcolm and half brother Conway Tearle, who was not a Tearle at all.  Someone else remembered the son of Trelawney Tearle, from the era of the First World War.  Lest anyone think that all Tearles have unusual names, most are John, Thomas, Robert, William, George, Jane, Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth, so the different ones stand out as welcome points of reference.

Two hours passed very quickly amidst crawling on the floor, looking at photographs, finding the Tearle graves in the churchyard and the memorial in the church (to the Tearle wife of a Methodist missionary to Africa, both of whom died within months of leaving England) and meeting other people.  Many introductions began with the phrase “I’m from the Eaton Bray branch” or the Totternhoe or Luton or Wing branch, meaning that their ancestors moved there from Stanbridge during the 19th century.  But no-one was from my branch, the Toddington Tearles.

At noon, we crossed the green to the Five Bells who had been warned during the morning of a group of 25 for lunch.  They set aside one end of the restaurant for us to continue chatting and served food and drink with great speed.

Several of us spent the afternoon in Wing viewing the places connected with the blacksmith Levi Tearle, in the company of a delightful lady who admitted to being 91 and remembered living in his house or one of the cottages he built.  We were also taken on the Ascott estate to see the iron gate and railings which Levi made and which surround the cricket pitch.

The day brought home to me some of the geographical and social conditions of our Tearle ancestors.  For centuries all but a handful of escapees lived in an area radiating for no more than about five or six miles from Stanbridge – but maybe that is the subject of another article.

We all enjoyed the day and hope to repeat it in two years time.  It would not have been possible without Ewart’s immense work and enthusiasm and the goodwill of the vicar.  The moral of the event for family historian is that an impromptu, low key, gathering is relatively easy to organise and brings a new interest to family history.

Barbara Tearle


Tearle Meet 2008

Held in Stanbridge on Sat 5 July 2008.

The highlight of the whole day has to be the huge distances people had come to be there. We had families from Australia and Canada, Rugby and Southampton – and everywhere in between. When we set off to the 5 Bells pub in Stanbridge for lunch, we had 50.

Here are the Canadians – mother Sheila Rodaway (on right of the picture) and daughters Sharon Mallette and Diane Hill. Incredibly, they were on the Thomas 1737 branch and as descendants of Jabez, they were closely related to John L Tearle the author.

The Canadians - Sharon Mallette, Diane Hill and Sheila Rodaway.

The Canadians – Sharon Mallette, Diane Hill and Sheila Rodaway.

Somehow a TearleMeet is not complete without Jennie Pugh, but today’s Meet was extra special for her, because it marked the reunion of the Wing Tearles. Jennie is descended from Levi, the blacksmith of Wing and Alan Gibbs is descended from his brother Amos. For many years, Amos was the blacksmith’s assistant. Jennie and Alan  swapped stories and memories of Wing for a long time.

Jennie Pugh and Alan

Jennie Pugh and Alan

We had a little attendance book and Barbara volunteered to be hostess and ensure everyone signed it. Here she is overseeing brother Richard while he does the honours. Elaine had brought Jennie Pugh from Luton and she is lining up to sign as well.

Barbara Tearle, Richard Tearle and Jennie Pugh with the registry book

Barbara Tearle, Richard Tearle and Jennie Pugh with the registry book

Here  is half the Australian attendance on the day. Helen Manning nee Tearle and family are examining the John 1741 branch to see from where on the branch they descend. A charming family, they involved themselves fully all day in the ongoing activities.

Susan and Allan Manning

Susan and Allan Manning

We also had a visit from the Soulbury Tearles. Here they are, right, studying at lunch. I told them the story of Norman

Soulbury Tearles

Soulbury Tearles

Lawrence Cooper, an ex-villager and still an owner of ancient Stanbridge land, gave us a presentation on Victorian Stanbridge using his collection of postcards and photos.

Lawrence Cooper

Lawrence Cooper

In the picture are Helen Manning, Susan and Allan, Pat Field, Alan Gibbs and Ray Reese from Australia, watching the presentation.

Helen Manning, Susan and Allan, Pat Field, Alan Gibbs and Ray Reese from Australia, watching the presentation

Helen Manning, Susan and Allan, Pat Field, Alan Gibbs and Ray Reese from Australia, watching the presentation

For a small branch, William 1749 was well represented. Here are Peter and Viv Rolfe, examining the printout.

Peter and Viv Rolfe

Peter and Viv Rolfe

Alan Manning and I, swap stories. He was keen to take with him Lawrence’s presentation so that his family could be reminded of their fabulous day in Stanbridge.

Alan Manning and Ewart Tearle

Alan Manning and Ewart Tearle

In the picture above is the Joseph 1737 branch of the tree. At the last Meet in 2006 the whole tree fitted here, a testament to the hard work of all its contributors.


Joseph 1737 branch of the tree


The First Meet of 2006 was a hard act to follow: this, the Second Meet of 2008 will be even harder. The day, for me, began at 6.45 with the arrival – on time – of a taxi to take me to the station. The clouds were low, dark and threatening and, sure enough, by the time I boarded the train, it was raining quite heavily. But no amount of rain was going to dampen my spirits: too much planning, so many e-mails flying back and forth and so much anticipation were not going to be spoiled by a few drops of rain! By Milton Keynes it had almost stopped and blue skies appeared to the East: Leighton Buzzard saw the first sunshine of the day and by the time I arrived at Stanbridge, the weather looked very promising indeed.

Ewart, Elaine, Barbara and Laurence – the Churchwarden – were already there when I entered the Church of St John at around 9-15.  I thought my early arrival might enable me to contribute something to the preparation of the event: not so – it had already been done! Barbara was acting as hostess and I signed a Visitor’s Book that Ewart had provided – evidence of a lesson learned from last time. I was also able to place my lunch order as copies of the menu were available. Another excellent idea.

Please don’t ask me in which order people arrived: the Visitor’s Book would only prove my memory to be a lie, but I recall that Pat and John Field were there early as were Ray and Denise Reese with Alan and Helen Manning and daughter Susan. At this point I began to realise the importance of the event: Ray’s party were from Australia having timed their holiday, I believe, to enable them to attend! And when Charlotte from Ottawa and Sheila (also from the Southern Hemisphere) arrived I knew we had something special. Steadily, more and more people arrived – Jo, Ingrid, Tracy, Joan, Alan Gibbs, David, Paul and others.

I had brought along some of my Godfrey memorabilia as well as The Bottle which caused both amusement and interest from those who had not seen it before. There, I thought, it exists! Barbara had brought along a folder containing descriptions and many prints of Thomas Tearle the silversmith’s work. A beautiful catalogue which drew admiration from so many.

Ewart, of course, had done so much. Prints of the layout of the Churchyard, envelopes for the afternoon’s project, flyers containing all of our website addresses and the provision of a scanner/copier – no stone was left unturned. The Trees were laid out on pews, but two of them had to be laid out on the floor as they were too big.

Mid morning, and Laurence began his slideshow of Old Stanbridge. By this time, the sun was shining brightly and warmly and most of us were equipped with coffee or tea (supplied by Ewart) and Elaine’s delicious melt-in-the-mouth shortbread. Thanks, too, to John Field for facilitating that morning tea. Thanks, here, to Laurence for a most interesting display and commentary on village life.

More people arrived, including Jennie Pugh, our star guest from 2006. Despite recovering from a recent, minor, operation, Jennie was delightful and very definitely ‘on form’. Although 93, she has promised to be at the next Meet!

Now, here’s a story for you. On  Thursday night I received an e-mail from Christine who had been sent a clipping from the LB Observer advertising the event: she outlined her connection and hoped to be there. On Friday night, I received another e-mail from Joan saying she and Jenny Fellowes would be attending and reiterated her connection through the Soulbury line. So, there was Joan and Jenny and their cousin Christine who had not seen each other for 40 years!

Ian, his uncle David, cousin Stephen and their respective families arrived and were immediately enthusiastically studying the various trees, tying up what they had with what we had. This was good stuff – it is what it is all about!

Incredibly swiftly, lunch time arrived, but not before we were visited by the Rev Janet Spicer who commented, (somewhat ruefully?) that ‘she had a congregation’. We were able to fulfil our promise that ’50 for lunch’ had been promised to the 5 Bells – exactly 50 it was, according to a swift head count. We were looked after by the staff there and despite a couple of hiccups (not being caused by the food, I should add!), all went well. Ewart gave a short speech and an explanation of his plans for the afternoon. It must be said that Ewart played down his role, both for the day and his maintenance of The Tree: Barbara quite rightly, stood up and thanked him and reminded us all of the tremendous amount of work he puts in to that ‘maintenance’ and  the huge debt of gratitude that we all owe him. Hear, hear.

After lunch, I sat in the garden for a while, bathed by warm sunshine talking to David.  David’s nephew Ian seems to be the prime mover in the research side for that branch, but all of that family have a great interest. David, it turned out, is the brother of Alf Tearle, who was mentioned in despatches during WWII. Another heart-warming moment. Timetables and schedules precluded me from taking part in the activities Ewart had planned and, following some long goodbyes, Elaine kindly took me to LB station and I began a long and wearying journey home – but that’s another story!!

To close, I would like to apologise to anyone I have missed in the above, or have written incorrect details about. Above all, I must once again express my deepest gratitude to Ewart, Elaine, Barbara, Pat and Laurence and everyone who freely gave their time and support whether or not they were able to attend. Finally, to all who did attend, but – and I trust you will understand – especially to our overseas visitors who not only came but also must have brought their native sunshine with them!!!

Richard Tearle, July 2008


Pieces of String Too Short to Save – The Tearles

Chapter 6, the Tearles

By Bob Chancellor

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

Frances Tearle

Frances Tearle

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

Steam Ship Carpathia

Steam Ship Carpathia

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

Arthur Tearle

Arthur Tearle

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

passenger list

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

Arthur Tearle and baby Frances in Carthage

Arthur Tearle and baby Frances in Carthage

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

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

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

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

John and Mary Nunnelly

John and Mary Nunnelly

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

The Tearle family visits Frances at Christian College, Columbia

The Tearle family visits Frances at Christian College, Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The promo for the book to give you more information on it is here: Book Promo


Dunstable Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1710-1940

Compiled by Pat Field
Annotated by Ewart Tearle and Pat Field Mar 2010

Dunstable Parish CD up to 1813 – none
Dunstable Parish CD 1813 – 1852
27 Jan 1834 ADA dau of James Tearle, Horsekeeper.
Adah dau of James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Joseph 1737

Fiche 1853-1945

July 8 1853 GEORGE NASH TEARLE son of Richard & Kezia Tearle Labourer of West Street
Son of Richard Webb Tearle and Kezia nee Wright. Gson of James 1806, married Mary Ann Hallifax.
Joseph 1737.

July 28 1872 ARTHUR TEARLE son of Charles & Sarah Tearle – Lab Victoria Street Dunstable
Son of Charles 1840 & Sarah nee Hill. Married mary Ann Bullock. Joseph 1737.

May 28 1890 FLORENCE EMILY TEARLE dau of Charles & Annie Tearle Painter of Dunstable
Dau of Charles 1836 & Annie nee Eastment. Married George Spivey. Joseph 1737.

June 10 1894 FREDERICK JAMES TEARLE son of Charles Bowler & Constance Tearle Lab of Church Walk Dunstable born Jan 15 1885
Son of Charles Bowler T 1848 & Constance nee Dickens. Married Maggie Clara Weller. Joseph 1737.

June 10 1894 ARTHUR THOMAS TEARLE son of Charles Bowler & Constance Tearle Lab of Church Walk Dunstable Born July 9 1886
Son of Charles Bowler T 1848 & Constance nee Dickens. Married Beatrice Putman. Joseph 1737.

Nov 1 1908 FREDERICK WILLIAM HENRY TEARLE son of James Henry and Edith Lydia Tearle Warehouseman of 64 Edwards Street Dunstable
Son of James Henry T 1884 & Edith Lydia nee Morgan. Sergeant in the Australian Army in WW2.
Married Patricia Bridget Cotter. John 1741.

Sept 7 1911 IVY CONSTANCE TEARLE dau of Albert Edward and Norah Kate Tearle of 37 Church Street Dunstable Motor Fitter
Ivy 1906, dau of Albert Edward 1879 & Norah Kate nee Cardell nee Pecks. Gdau Charles Bowler T.
Joseph 1737.

Sept 7 1911 WINIFRED IRENE TEARLE dau of Albert Edward and Norah Kate Tearle of 37 Church Street Dunstable Motor Fitter
Winifred 1908, dau of Albert Edward 1879 & Norah Kate nee Cardell nee Pecks. Joseph 1737.

Sept 7 1911 ALBERT EDWARD TEARLE son of Albert Edward and Norah Kate Tearle of 37 Church Street Dunstable Motor Fitter
Albert 1910 son of Albert Edward 1879 & Norah Kate nee Cardell nee Pecks. Joseph 1737

Mar 18 1916 DORIS SYLVIA TEARLE dau of Louisa Sylvia Tearle of Rokley Gt Northern Road Dunstable Domestic Servant
Dau of Louisa Sylvia Tearle 1890, gdau Charles 1863 and Louisa Caroline nee Green. Joseph 1737.

Dec 1932 GRACE TEARLE dau of Alfred and Annie Tearle of 8 Richard Street Dunstable

Ethel Grace dau of Alfred 1887 and Annie nee Rathbone. Bap at 18yrs. Married Stanley Capp.
William 1749.

?Dec 1934 ?ELIZABETH TEARLE dau of Arthur and Elizabeth Tearle of 10 Chiltern Road Dunstable Lab born 17 ? 1916 ?
Irene Elizabeth 1916, dau of Arthur 1877 and his second wife Elizabeth Saunders. Gdau Tabitha 1854. Died 1940 and is buried in Dunstable Cemetery

Nov 15 1939 STANLEY ALBERT TEARLE son of Alfred & Annie Tearle (address unreadable) Machine Operator
Stanley Albert 1913 son of Alfred 1887 and Annie Rathbone – he married in Q4 1939, probably the reason for a late baptism. William

1749. Sept 30 1945 JOHN HAROLD TEARLE son of Alfred George and Vera Dorothy Tearle of 35 Grantham Road Luton Drayman born 2nd July 1945 UNK poss son of Alfred George 1901 and Vera Dorothy Irons) NOTE; These records were badly filmed and lots of pages were completely unreadable , the original
records may reveal more if needed.

23 Nov 1710 WILLIAM TALE – ANN FORD of Stanbridge
UNK. If this was his first marriage, the latest William could be born would be 1694. The nearest to this is William 1699, son of Thomas and Sarah nee Pepyatt, so this is not him. The only likely candidate on the Tree is William 1671 Stbg son of John 1645 and Jane on the John 1560 Tree (Nathaniel’s Tree). Unfortunately for us he married an Elizabeth and they had children from 1707 to 1722, so it isn’t him. A likely person may be William 1670 of Stanbridge, whose parents were John 1645 and Jane nee Purrett. William was the grandson of John 1620 and he married Susannah; they had a Mary Tearle in 1697 and another Mary in 1700. If Susannah died, it could well be this William who married Ann Ford.
There is a birth to this couple recorded in the Stanbridge PRs:
1711 NO21 Eliz d Wm-Ann T


7 March 1908
ARTHUR THOMAS TEARLE 21 Compositor 14 Church Lane Dunstable Father Charles Bowler
Tearle dec Lab
BEATRICE PUTMAN 19 72 Bury Park Road Luton Father Mark Putman Lab
Witnesses Mark Putman and Ellen Putman
Arthur Thomas T 1887, son Charles Bowler T 1848 and Constance nee Dickens. John 1741



28 July 1914
ROBERT TEARLE 26 Batchelor Hat Blocker 41 High Street North Dunstable Father Alfred Tearle
HETTY FLORENCE BOURN 23 Spinster Hat Machinist 41 High Street Dunstable Father William
Stow Bourn Gas Foreman
Witnesses Elsie Elizabeth Bourn and William Bourn Robert 1887, son Alfred 1866 and Mary Ann nee Roe. G-gson George 1797 and Mary nee Hill. John
9 Aug 1852
RICHARD WEBB TEARLE 27 Batchelor Lab of West Street Father James Tearle Lab
KEZIA WRIGHT 32 Widow West Street Father John Nash Farmer
Witnessed by John Tearle and Harriett Tearle
Richard Webb T 1826, stonemason, son James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Kezia died young, and their son George Nash T lived with Richard’s parents. G-gson of Joseph 1737.
10 July 1859
CHARLES TEARLE 23 Painter & Glazier High Street Father George Tearle Groom
ANN EASTMENT 20 Sewer Church Street Father George Eastment Gen Dealer
Witnesses George Eastment and Elizabeth Tearle
Charles 1836 son George 1809 and Elizabeth 1810. George is descended from Joseph 1737 and Elizabeth from John 1741. Charles is the g-gson of them both. One of their daughters, Charlotte Louisa, emigrated to NZ and died in Auckland 1947.

1868 September
CHARLES BOWLER TEARLE 21 Batchelor Lab of High Street Father James Tearle Ostler
CONSTANCE CLEAVER DICKENS 22 Spinster Father Simon Cleaver Farmer
Witnesses Thomas John Smith and Clara Cleaver Charles Bowler T 1848, brother of Richard Webb T above, son of James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Bowler is named after Mary Ann’s mother. Joseph 1737.

24 December 1871
CHARLES TEARLE 31 Batchelor Lab Dunstable Father William Tearle Lab
SARAH HILL 32 Spinster Dunstable Father James Hill Labourer
Witnesses George Tearle and Eliza Allen
Charles 1840, son William 1814 and Hannah nee Pratt. G-gson Joseph 1737.

7 June 1874
HARRY JOHN BULL 20 Batchelor Blocker High Street Father John Bull Shoemaker
EMILY TEARLE 21 Spinster ? High Street Father James Tearle Groom
Witnesses Joseph Boskett and Clara Tearle
Emily 1852, sister of Charles Bowler T and Richard Webb T above.

21 Dec 1874
LEVI TEARLE 20 Batchelor Blocker High Street Father William Tearle Stoker Gas Works
MARY SUMMERFIELD 21 Spinster High Street Father Thomas Summerfield Lab
Witnesses J. L Spittel and ? could be Fanny Mead or Ward got cert
Levi 1855 of Thorn, son William 1814 and Hannah nee Pratt. Joseph 1737.

29 Oct 1882
HENRY GEORGE GILBEY 22 Bat Baker Church Street F Daniel George Gilbey ? Officer
MARY ANN TEARLE 19 Spinster Dunstable Father Charles Tearle Straw Dealer
Witnesses ? Gilbey and Harriett Tearle – got cert
She was registered as Mary Hannah, but married as Mary Ann 1864, dau Charles 1831 and Sarah
Ann nee Brandon. John 1741

2 Jan 1905
JAMES HENRY TEARLE 21 Bat Straw Hat Manufacture High Street South F George Tearle lab
EDITH LYDIA MORGAN 22 Spinster Straw Hat Manufacture Dunstable Father ?Morgan
Witnesses John Haines and Rosa Dyer got cert
James Henry 1844 Dunst, son George 1851 and Louis nee Finch. Emigrated to Australia 1912. Lived
in Brisbane. John 1741.

10 March 1906
ALBERT EDWARD TEARLE 26 Batchelor Mechanic St. Peters Rd Dunstable Father Charles
Bowler Tearle Lab
NORAH KATE CARDELL 29 Widow St Peters Street Dunstable father Lot Pecks? Platelayer
Witnesses Francis Bowler Tearle and Beatrice Pecks
Albert Edward 1879 Dunst, son Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Joseph 1737.

8 June 1908
HERBERT ERNEST BURGESS 20 Batchelor Straw Hat Trade 64 Edward Street Father John
Burgin deceased Blocker
PRISCILLA TEARLE 21 Single Domestic Servant 64 Edward Street Father George Tearle lab
Witnesses William Herbert Pateman and Edith Lydia Tearle
Priscilla 1886 Dunst, dau George 1851 and Louisa nee Finch. Went to see brother James Henry T when he was living in NZ for a while. Edith Lydia is her sister-in-law. John 1741.

23 Oct 1909
SYDNEY JOHN TEARLE 28 Batchelor Lab Church Walk Dunstable Father Charles Bowler Tearle
deceased lab
ALICE ANN NORTHWOOD 26 Spinster Church Walk Dunstable Father Leonard William Northwood
Witnesses George Northwood and Beatrice May Saunders
Sydney John 1880, son Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Awarded the Military
Medal in WW1 for rescuing men while under fire. Joseph 1737.

26 Dec 1912
ALFRED TEARLE 24 Batchelor Lab Church Street Dunstable Father George Tearle dec Lab
ANNIE RATHBONE 23 Spinster Printer Church Street Dunstable Father Samuel Rathbone Shepherd
Witnesses John Henry Tearle and Lily Northwood.
Alfred 1887, son George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. G-gson Jabez 1792. Witnesses are Alfred’s
brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law. William 1749.

7 June 1913
JOHN HENRY TEARLE 28 Batchelor Telegraph Wireman Alfred Street Dunstable Father George
Tearle dec Lab
LILY NORTHWOOD 26 Spinster Litho Printer Church Walk Dunstable Father Leonard William
Northwood Blockmaker
Witnesses Amelia Mead and Harry Northwood
John Henry T 1885, son George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. G-gson Jabez 1792. William 1749.

8 Sept 1913
GEORGE SPIVEY 33 Batchelor Butcher Stuart Street Luton Father William Spivey Baker
FLORENCE EMILY TEARLE 32 Spinster Milliner High Street South Dunstable Father Charles Tearle
Witnesses Walter James Tearle and Lizzie Lavinia Spivey
Florence Emily T 1881, dau Charles 1836 and Annie nee Eastment. Joseph 1737.

18 June 1921
WILLIAM THOMAS MEAD 20 Bat Builder Victoria Street Dunstable Father Amos Mead Lab
AMELIA TEARLE 28 Single Alfred Street Dunstable Father George Tearle dec Lab
Witnesses Frank Tearle and Selina Gore
Amelia 1892, dau George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. Witnesses are her youngest brother and her soon-to-be sister-in-law. Died at only 37yrs. G-gdau Jabez 1792. William 1794.

2 May 1925
DONALD RALPH TEARLE 20 Batchelor Engineer Eaton Bray Father Richard Ralph Tearle Retired
PATTY MURIEL KENDALL 21 Spinster Clerk St. Peters Road Dunstable Father William Thomas
Kendall Gardener
Witnesses William Thomas Kendall and Leonard Leslie Tearle
Donald Ralph T 1904, son Richard Ralph T 1870 and Lillian Rosa nee Lofts. G-son Nathaniel 1839.
Leonard Leslie is Donald’s eldest brother. John 1560.

24 December 1938
STANLEY WILLIAM CAPP 25 Batchelor Bricksetter 44 Church Road Woburn Sands Father James
Thomas Capp Bricklayer
ETHEL GRACE TEARLE 24 Spinster Book Examiner 47 Great Northern Road Dunstable Father
Alfred Tearle Maintenance Worker
Witnesses Alfred Tearle and Horace James Capp
Ethel Grace T 1914, dau Alfred 1887 and Annie nee Rathbone. Born in Bethnel Green, London. Died 2001. Witness above is her father. G-dau George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. William 1794


1861-1940 – Fiches 1-21

1868 Sept 15 HANNAH TEARLE 24yrs Sewer London Road
Hannah 1844, dau of James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Joseph 1737.

1869 May 13 JAMES TEARLE 63yrs Groom London Road
James 1806, son Richard 1778 and Mary nee Pestel. Joseph 1737.

1871 Aug 24 ROSE EMILY TEARLE 1yr dau of Chas Tearle Ashton Street Dunstable
Dau of Charles 1836 and Annie nee Eastment. Joseph 1737.

1872 May 11 MARY ANN TEARLE 67yrs Widow High Street South Dunstable
Mary Ann nee Webb wife of James 1806. Joseph 1737.

1872 May 13 JOHN TEARLE 44yrs Lab High Street South Dunstable
John 1830, son of James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Joseph 1737

1872 Oct 28 ELIZABETH TEARLE 27yrs Plaitmaker Union Street Dunstable
Elizabeth 1845, dau William 1814 and Hannah nee Pratt. G-gdau Joseph 1737

1876 Dec 14 MARGARET TEARLE 5 weeks dau of Charles Tearle Ashton Street
Dau of Charles 1836 and Annie nee Eastment. Joseph 1737.

1881 Nov 11 SUSANNA TEARLE 54yrs Housekeeper High Street Dunstable
Susanna 1827, dau of Abel 1797 and Hannah nee Frost. Housekeeper for her brother Jabez 1836 for
many years. One of the few Tearle headstones in Dunstable cemetery. Thomas 1737 via Fanny 1780.

1884 Sept 2 ANNIE TEARLE 3 days dau of Annie Tearle Church Street Dunstable
Dau of Ann 1858, gdau Charles 1831 and Sarah Ann nee Brandon. John 1741

1885 April 1 MARGARET TEARLE 3 weeks dau of Ann Tearle Union Street Dunstable
Dau of Ann 1851, gdau of William 1814 & Hannah nee Pratt. Joseph 1737.

1889 May 4 CHARLES TEARLE 50yrs Painter King Street Dunstable
Charles 1836, husb Annie nee Eastment, son of George 1809 and Elizabeth Tearle. Joseph 1737.

1890 April 12 GEORGE TEARLE 80yrs Groom High Street Dunstable
George 1809, husb of Elizabeth Tearle, father of Charles 1836 and son of Richard 1778 and Mary
nee Pestell. Joseph 1737

1891 Jan 8 ANNIE TEARLE 32 yrs Sewer Church Street Dunstable
Ann 1858, dau of Charles 1831 and Sarah Ann nee Brandon. “Deaf and dumb from birth.” John 1741.

1891 Feb 14 CHARLES TEARLE 50yrs Lab Union Street Dunstable
Charles 1840, husb Sarah nee Hill, son of William 1814 and Hannah nee Pratt. Joseph 1737.

1892 Jan 18 HANNAH TEARLE 72yrs Sewer Union Street Dunstable
Hannah nee Pratt, wife of William 1814. Joseph 1737.

1892 Oct 6 ELIZABETH TEARLE 82yrs Widow The Square Dunstable
Elizabeth Tearle 1810, dau John 1770 and Mary nee Janes and wife of George 1809. John 1741.

1892 Feb 24 SARAH ANN TEARLE 61yrs Plaiter Church Street Dunstable
Sarah Ann nee Brandon – wife of Charles 1831. John 1741

1893 Aug 11 RICHARD TEARLE 68yrs Stone mason High St South Dunstable
Richard Webb Tearle 1826, son James 1806 and Mary Ann nee Webb. Joseph 1737.

1895 Oct 21 WILLIAM TEARLE 81yrs Gasman Union Street Dunstable
William 1814 son of Richard & Mary nee Pestell. Joseph 1737.

1896 June 23 RUTH ALLEN TEARLE 54yrs High Street Dunstable
Ruth Allen ne Willis, wife of James 1847. Joseph 1737.

1897 May 26 CHARLES TEARLE 67yrs Carter Church Street Dunstable
Charles 1831, son of Thos 1800 and Mary nee Cook, husb Sarah Ann nee Brandon. John 1741.

1900 July 7 MARY MATILDA TEARLE 22yrs Sewer 30 St. Marys Street Dunstable
Mary Matilda nee Weedon, wife of Arthur 1877, who was the son of Tabitha. Mary and Arthur’s son
Reginald born and died EB 1899. Arthur married Elizabeth Saunders in 1905. John 1741.

1901 Aug 31 WINIFRED VERA TEARLE 8 mths dau of Wm Tearle 96 High St South
Dau of William Charles 1869 and Jennie Anstee, gdau Charles Bowler T. Joseph 1737.

1915 Feb 22 ALBERT EDWARD TEARLE 36yrs Mechanic 37 Church Street Dunstable
Albert Edward 1879, son of Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Joseph 1737.

1915 March 9 THELMA TEARLE 1 mth child of John Henry & Lily Tearle 36 Richard St
Dau of John Henry 1885 and Lily nee Northwood. William 1749.

1915 May 6 ERNEST HARRY TEARLE 45yrs Lab 14 Church St. Dunstable
Ernest 1870, son of Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Joseph 1737.

1915 Dec 13 JANE TEARLE 43yrs wife of Chas Tearle 4 Downs Road Dunstable
This is Jennie nee Anstee the wife of William Charles Tearle, they are living at 4 Downs Road in the

1911 census. Joseph 1737.

1918 July 27 NORAH KATE TEARLE 42yrs wife of Albert Tearle, 47 Church Street Dunstable
Norah Kate nee Cardell wife of Albert Edward 1879, son of Charles Bowler T. Joseph 1737.

1920 Jan 24 GEORGE TEARLE 44yrs Discharged Soldier 14 Church Walk Dunstable
George 1876, son Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Fought in France in WW1,
buried with CWGC headstone.

1922 Nov 22 FRANCIS BOWLER 50yrs Packer 11 Church Walk Dunstable
Francis 1872, son of Charles Bowler T and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Joseph 1737.

1923 June 28 HETTY FLORENCE TEARLE 33yrs wife of Robert Tearle 40 Belmont Road
Hetty Florence nee Bourn, wife Robert 1887, gson William 1830 and Ann nee Rogers. John 1741.

1923 July 23 CISSIE NORAH KATE TEARLE 11yrs dau of the late Albert and Kate Tearle 193
Church Street Dunstable
Cissie 1912, dau of Albert Edward and Norah Kate nee Cardell nee Pecks. Gdau Charles Bowler T
and Constance Cleaver nee Dickens. Joseph 1737.

1925 April LEVI TEARLE 70yrs 100 Church Street Luton
Levi 1855 of Thorn, married Mary Summerfield. Son of William 1814 & Hannah nee Pratt. Joseph

1928 Dec 31 CONSTANCE TEARLE 80yrs Widow of Bowler Tearle 3 Counties Asylum
Arlesly (3 Church Walk Dunstable)
Constance Cleaver nee Dickens the wife of Charles Bowler Tearle. Joseph 1737.

1932 June 27 SELINA FLORENCE TEARLE 42yrs wife of Frank Tearle 24 Worthington Road
Selina nee Gore, wife of Frank Tearle 1899, son George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. William

1933 June 29 MILLICENT TEARLE 22yrs Spinster Leavesden Mental Hospital (10 Chiltern
Rd Dunstable)
Millicent 1911, dau of Arthur Tearle 1877 and Elizabeth nee Saunders. Arthur’s mother was Tabitha.
John 1741.

1933 Nov 22 SARAH TEARLE 79yrs Widow 6 White Hart Yard Dunstable
Sarah Jane nee Horn wife of George 1861, son of George 1831 and Hannah Maria nee Janes.
William 1749.

1939 May 27 AUDREY MARINA TEARLE 10mths dau of Frank Tearle and Edith Tearle,
Worthington Road Dunstable
Dau of Frank 1899 and 2nd wife Edith Weaver, married 1937. Frank was the son of George 1861 and
Sarah Jane nee Horn. William 1749.

1940 April 20 LILY TEARLE 53yrs wife of John Henry Tearle 14 Richard Street Dunstable
Lily nee Northwood wife of John Henry1885. Son of George 1861 and Sarah Jane nee Horn. William

1940 Nov 11 IRENE ELIZABETH TEARLE 24 yrs dau of A Tearle 10 Chiltern Road
Dau of Arthur Tearle and Elizabeth nee Saunders. Arthur was the son of Tabitha 1854, g-gson of
George 1794 and Mary nee Hill. John 1741.




WW1 Canadian Soldiers

Annotated Canada, Soldiers of the First World War

Compiled by Ewart Tearle, May 2010

Annotated by Ewart Tearle, May 2010

Name: Edward Tearle

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

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

Name: John Blake

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

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