Teasdale S.


4595 Private Sydney Teasdale, 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers was killed in action 29 September 1914 and is buried at Longueval Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.[1]  He was about 22 years old and is commemorated on the Cockfield war Memorial.

Family Details

Sydney Teasdale was born c.1892 at Innerleithan, Peebleshire, Scotland [2] the son of Joseph and Sarah Teasdale.  There were at least 6 children:

  • John Robert bc.1879 probably at Copley Lane, Lynesack
  • Elizabeth Ann bc.1890 probably at Copley Lane
  • Kate bc.1882 at Lynesack (the parish of Lynesack & Softley)
  • Amy bc.1885 at Lynesack
  • Ethel bc.1888 at Lynesack
  • Sydney bc.1892 at Scotland [3]

Joseph was born at Lynesack and Sarah at Eggleston (near Middleton-in-Teesdale) in 1891, Joseph Sidney worked as a “Band Master and Tobacconist” at Innerleithen, Peebleshire, Scotland where Sidney was born. [4]  In 1901 the family moved back to south west Durham and lived at Church View, in the Parish of Lynesack and Softley.  Joseph worked as a coal miner (hewer).[5]  By 1911, the family lived at 18 Coronation Street, Cockfield.  Ethel and Sidney lived at home with Joseph’s 4-year old grandson Alwyn.  19 year old Sydney worked as a coal miner (labourer).[6]

1902: The Butterknowle Silver Band, conductor Joseph Teasdale, were the winners of the Tees-side and District Amateur Brass Band League Silver Cup, 14 first prizes and 14 gold and silver medals.[7]  This photograph shows a young man, possibly Sydney Teasdale.

Service Details

12 February 1913, Sydney enlisted at Sunderland, joining the 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers as a musician, a cornet player.[8]

In August 1914, the 9th Lancers formed part of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, Cavalry Division.[9]  It was retitled as 1st Cavalry Division 16 September 1916 when a second division was formed. The 2nd Cavalry Brigade then included the following:

  • 4th Dragoon Guards
  • 9th Lancers
  • 18th Hussars
  • 2nd Signal Troop, Royal Engineers
  • “H” Battery, Royal Horse Artillery joined 28 September 1916

The Division moved to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).  15 August 1914: Private S. Teasdale entered France.[10]  The Cavalry Division took part in most of the major actions where cavalry was used as a mounted mobile force and also others where troops dismounted and used as infantry.

By the beginning of September 1914, the German Imperial Army had swept through much of Belgium and north eastern France and was fast approaching Paris.  By 3 September, the British and French forces had been retreating south west for over 2 weeks.  German victory was a definite possibility and the Allied Commander General Joffre prepared to launch a major counter attack offensive.  As night fell on 5 September the men of the BEF began to halt approximately 40kms south east of Paris and their gruelling retreat was at an end.  For the next 2 days, British I, II and III Corps advanced north eastwards, encountered only minor resistance from the German in the area, which had reached the limit of their advance and were now carrying out a tactical retreat.  On 8 September, British Infantry brigades advancing toward the Marne came under heavy machine-gun fire and artillery fire from German units in La Ferte sous Jouarre and on the north bank of the river where they had formed a bridgehead.  The British withdrew, began bombing the German positions and by mid-afternoon had entered the town in force.  Both of the local bridges had been blown but the Royal Engineers immediately began to construct a floating bridge over which III Corps crossed the Marne on 10 September and joined I and II Corps which had crossed the river further to the east the previous day.

The German armies were now in full retreat to the north and east, hotly pursued by the combined British and French forces.  Retreating German units fought rear-guard actions under rainfall throughout the day on 11 September and by the morning of the 12th they had occupied defensive positions on high ground overlooking the northern banks of the river Aisne.

The Battle of the Marne referred to in the French press as the “Miracle of the Marne” halted the month-long advance of the German forces and decisively ended the possibility of an early German victory.  The battle also marked the end of the mobile war and the beginning of trench warfare.

The BEF suffered almost 13,000 casualties during the Battle of the Marne, of whom 7,000 were killed.  [11]

The 2nd Cavalry Brigade involved in a number of actions including:

  • The Battle of Mons: 23 August and subsequent Action at Elouges, 24 August
  • Rear-guard Action of Solesmes: 25 August.
  • The Battle of Le Cateau: 26 August with subsequent Rear-guard Affair at Etreux, 27 August
  • Affair of Nery: 1 September and Rear-guard Action of Villers-Cotterets
  • The Battle of the Marne: 7-10 September
  • The Battle of the Aisne: 12-15 September and subsequent Actions of the Aisne Heights, 20 September
  • The next “official” action was not until the 1st Battle of Ypres, the Battle of La Bassee, 10 October – 2 November. [12]

24 August 1914: A painting by Caton Woodville depicts the action `Saving of the Guns’ at Audregnies for which Grenfell won his VC.

7 September 1914: Another painting by Caton Woodville depicts the action at Moncel which was the last time the 9th Lancers charged using the lance.  It is possible Sydney Teasdale was involved at Moncel as A Squadron was right flank guard but there is no way of knowing unless he is mentioned in one of the personal diaries.[13]

Private S. Teasdale was killed in action 29 September 1914 when 1 officer and 19 other ranks were killed by German shelling of their billets at Longueval. [14] During the morning, a “coal box” fell into the yard where A Squadron was billeted, killing Lieutenant G. Taylor Whitehead, some NCOs and men, wounding others.  During the afternoon a shell fell near Brigade Headquarters, and a lot of the men went to look at it, while doing so, another fell in the same place, killing and wounding some more.  In the evening, Lieutenant G. Taylor Whitehead and seventeen NCOs and men were buried in the Longueval cemetery. The following is a list of the day’s casualties:[15]

Officers killed:


  • Lieutenant G.E. Taylor Whitehead


NCOs and men killed:


  • 4515 SSM W Westcombe       A Sqn
  • 4758 Sgt Caldwell                  A Sqn
  • 1038 Sgt Gibbs                        A Sqn
  • 4053 LCpl Edwards                A Sqn
  • 2187 Pte Fallows                    A Sqn
  • 4595 Pte Teasdale                  C Sqn
  • 4527 Pte Sherwood                A Sqn
  • 17 Pte Russell                          A Sqn
  • 567 LCpl Mahy                        A Sqn
  • 420 Pte Cooper                       C Sqn
  • 4016 LCpl Scotcher                 A Sqn
  • 926 Cpl Bowlby                       C Sqn
  • 3813 SQMS Curtis                  C Sqn
  • 6336 SSF Percy                        B Sqn
  • 5118 Tpr Daly                         B Sqn
  • 2989 Pte Roberts                    C Sqn
  • 1164 Pte Carden                     B Sqn


Sydney originally served with A Squadron but on the 29 September was with C Squadron – he may have been moved after 24 August 1914 when the Regiment lost men due to wounds or were taken prisoners of war.

4595 Private S. Teasdale was awarded the 1914 Star with clasp, British War and Victory medal.[16]


Private S. Teasdale is buried at grave reference B.10, Longueval Communal Cemetery. Longueval is located between Soissons and Rheims. There are 19 burials of the 9th Lancers in the cemetery.

There is one Lancer killed in action on the same day who has no known grave.  He was 4157 Shoeing Smith W.H. Saward and he is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.  This memorial commemorates 3,740 officers and men of the BEF who fell in the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne between the end of August and early October 1914 and have no known grave.[17]


Private S. Teasdale is commemorated on the Cockfield War Memorial and the 9th Lancers WW1 Roll of Honour in Canterbury Cathedral.

De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour includes the following entry:

“Teasdale S. Private No.4595, 9th Lancers; served with the British Expeditionary Force in France; killed in action 29 Sept.1915” [18]


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] 1891 Scotland census

[3] 1881, 1891 Scotland & 1901 census details

[4] 1891 census

[5] 1901 census

[6] 1911 census

[7] photograph by A. & G. Taylor of Bishop Auckland

[8] SDGW & UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects 1901-1929

[9] http://www.1914-1918.net/lancers.htm

[10] Medal Roll

[11] CWGC

[12] www.1914-1918.net/1cavdiv.htm & http://www.warpath.orbat.com/battles_ff/1914.htm

[13] Mrs. A. Tarnowski Curator of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum email dated 6 December 2017

[14] CWGC

[15] Mrs. A. Tarnowski Curator of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers Museum email dated 5 December 2017

[16] Medal Roll card index

[17] CWGC

[18] De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour Vol.3 p.265



TEASDALE S. cemetery

TEASDALE S. Longueval-Barbonval Cemetery


TEASDALE S. Line of Lancers

Line of Lancers

TEASDALE S. Headstone


TEASDALE S. Medal Roll

Medal Roll

TEASDALE S. de ruvignys roll

de ruvignys roll


One thought on “Teasdale S.

  1. Pingback: COCKFIELD | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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