JOHN TEASDALE 1886 – 1917

14551 Private John Teasdale 6th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment was killed in action 12 July 1917 and is buried in Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.[1]  He was 30 years old and is commemorated on the West Auckland Memorial and the Roll of Honour, West Auckland Memorial Hall.

Family Details

John Teasdale was born 1886 [2] at West Auckland the son of Margaret Teasdale.  There were 4 children, all born at West Auckland:[3]

  • Henderson bc.1886 died June 1916
  • John bc. 1887
  • William born 1890
  • Robert H. bc.1893

In 1891 Margaret was 40-year old, single and head of the family.  They lived at Foundry Yard, West Auckland.  In 1901, the family lived at East View, West Auckland and 50 year old Margaret was described as a “charwoman” and 15 year old John was employed as a “driver in a coal mine”.[4]  In 1911, the family were still at East View, 24 year old John worked as a coal miner (putter), 20 year old William as a coal miner (labourer) and 18 year old Robert as a coal miner (labourer).  It is recorded that 26 year old Henderson had an accident when 11 year old and could not work.[5]

In 1906, John married Esther Gill[6] and they had 3 children, both born at West Auckland: [7]

  • Rosina born 18 March 1910
  • Margaret Emma born 30 December 1912 died 25 September 1915[8]
  • Grace born 9 September 1914

The Army Form records that John’s parents were dead and a John Hogg from New Street, West Auckland had married his mother but she had since died.  It was recorded that he had no brothers or sisters but this seems to be incorrect.  In 1911, John’s wife Esther and daughter Rosina are recorded as living with her mother Emma Brunskill at High Etherley.[9]  As stated above, John lived at East View, West Auckland with his mother and brothers.[10] Later, they may have lived at 24 Salisbury Square, West Auckland.[11]

John’s younger brother William was killed in action – 17114 Private William Teasdale 9th Bn., the Yorkshire Regiment was killed in action 19 September 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.[12]  He was 26 years old and is commemorated on the West Auckland War Memorial and the Roll of Honour West Auckland Memorial Hall.

In 1918, Esther married Robert Reed [13] and lived at King Street, Witton Park.[14]

Military Details

John Teasdale attested 2 November 1914 at Bishop Auckland aged 28 years and joined the East Yorkshire Regiment and was given the regimental number 14551.  He undertook a medical examination 2 November 1914 and was considered fit for service.  He was 5’4½” tall and weighed 138 lbs.  He had a sallow complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.  His religion was Church of England.[15]  12 November 1914, he was posted to the 9th Battalion then 7 October 1915 he was posted to the 6th Battalion.[16]

The 6th (Service) Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment was formed at Beverley 27 August 1914 as part of K1, Kitchener’s New Army and came under the orders of 32nd Brigade 11th (Northern) Division.  In December 1914, it became the Pioneer Battalion to the Division.  Units of the 32nd Brigade were:

  • 9th, the West Yorkshire Regiment
  • 6th, the East Yorkshire Regiment left June 1914
  • 6th, the Yorkshire Regiment
  • 6th, the York & Lancaster Regiment
  • 8th, the Duke of Wellington’s joined 18 January 1915
  • 32nd Machine Gun Company formed March 1916
  • 32nd Trench Mortar Battery formed July 1916

1 July 1915, it sailed to Gallipoli and landed at Suvla Bay 7 August 1915.[17]

17 October 1915: Private J. Teasdale joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and posted to the Balkans[18] i.e. the Gallipoli Campaign.  The Division was involved in the following movements, engagements and battles:

1916 [19]

  • 26 January: the Division began to move to Egypt.
  • 2 February: Alexandria, Egypt
  • 19 February: took over a section of the Suez Canal defences
  • 17 June: orders received to move to France
  • 3 July: embarkation at Alexandria[20]
  • 7 July: Divisional HQ set up at Flesselles
  • 27 July: Division took over part of the Front in the Third Army sector
  • The capture of the Wundt-Werk
  • 15-22 September: the Battle of Flers-Courcelette
  • 26-28 September: the Battle of Thiepval

 1917 [21]

  • Operations on the Ancre
  • 7-14 June: Battle of Messines

12 July: Private J. Teasdale was killed in action.[22]  Private J. Teasdale was the only soldier serving with 6/EYR to be killed on that day.  The 6/EYR War Diary has not been researched so the circumstances surrounding his death remain unknown.  At this time the British forces were gearing up for the next assault on the German Line in Belgian Flanders i.e. the Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as Passchendaele.  This battle commenced 31 July, preceded by a massive artillery bombardment which started 18 July. His battalion was a Pioneer Battalion for the Division so they would be involved with general duties such as digging trenches, repair work etc.  It is possible that he was hit by sniper fire or shrapnel from shelling – the usual violence of warfare, whilst carrying out his duties.

Private J. Teasdale served a total of 2 years 253 days as follows:[23]

  • Home: 2 November 1914 to 16 October 1915…………………………………….349 days
  • Mediterranean Exp. Force: 17 October 1915 to 2 July 1916…………………259 days
  • France: 3 July 1916 to 12 July 1917……………………………………………1 year 10 days

Private J. Teasdale was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals.[24]

Burial [25]

Private J. Teasdale is buried at grave reference II.L.2 Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.  His wife organised for the following epitaph to be inscribed on his headstone:

“Ever Remembered by his Loving Wife Esther and Daughters Rosina and Grace”

Field ambulances were posted in the vicinity and the Military Cemetery was opened in May 1915.  There are 669 First World War burials.


Private John Teasdale is commemorated on the West Auckland Memorial and the Roll of Honour, West Auckland Memorial Hall.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.230 Auckland 1886Q4 probably

[3] 1891 & 1901 census

[4] 1901 census1

[5] 1911 census

[6] England & Wales Marriage Index Vol.10a p.399 Auckland 1906Q4

[7] Army Form W.5080

[8] Army Form

[9] 1911 census

[10] Army Form B.2065

[11] Army Form W.5080

[12] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[13] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.453 1918Q4

[14] Army Form W.5080

[15] Description on Enlistment & Army Form B.178

[16] Statement of the Services

[17] http://www.1914-1918.net/eastyorks.htm

[18] Medal Roll

[19] www.1914-1918.net/eastyorks.htm & http://www.warpathorbat.com/battles_ff/1916.htm

[20] Military History Sheet records that Private J. Teasdale left Egypt 2 July and landed in France 3 July 1916

[21] www.1914-1918.net/eastyorks.htm & http://www.warpathorbat.com/battles_ff/1917.htm

[22] CWGC

[23] Military History Sheet

[24] Medal Roll

[25] CWGC



TEASDALE J. Headstone

TEASDALE J. Headstone

TEASDALE J. Headstone Detail 1

Headstone Detail 1

TEASDALE J. Headstone Detail 2

Headstone Detail 2

TEASDALE J. Medal Roll

Medal Roll