Brothers Frederick and Frank Teare from Peel killed in the battle of Arras April 1917

poppyFrederick and Frank Teare, stepbrothers born in Peel, were in two different armies when the battle of Arras started on 9 April 1917. They died within days of each other and despite being in the same battle and within miles of each other almost certainly had no idea they were so close. Frederick and Frank Teare are remembered on the Peel War memorial.

In the spring of 1917, British Empire and French forces began a combined offensive against the German Army on the Western Front in France. British Empire troops attacked around Arras on 9 April. Far to the south, the French launched their attack on 16 April, along the Chemin des Dames ridge. Arras had been close to the front line throughout the war, and was dominated by the high ground of Vimy Ridge. The German defences were formidable, with several lines of trenches, concrete blockhouses and deep dugouts.

The Canadian Corps, made up of the 4 Canadian Divisions, attacked and captured the high ground of Vimy Ridge that dominates the Douai plain and provides unobstructed views in all directions.

Frank Teare, a corporal in the Canadian Infantry Alberta Reg: 50th Bn. was killed on the 10 April 1917, the second day of the battle for Vimy Ridge. Despite severe cold and unseasonal snow the Canadians captured the majority of Vimy Ridge on the first day. They dug in and consolidated their positions overnight and on the 10th were attacking a small summit known as Hill 145. By the 12 April the Canadians controlled the whole ridge but at a cost – 10,602 Canadians were wounded during the attack, and 3,598 killed.

More about the story of Frank Teare and how he came to be in the Canadian Army here.

To the south an advance of over three and a half miles achieved by the 9th (Scottish) Division and the ‘leapfrogging’ 4th Division resulted in the capture of the village of Fampoux. This advance was the longest made in a single day by any belligerent from static trenches.

Frederick Teare, a sergeant in the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, was wounded on the 11 April in the disastrous attack from Fampoux. Only 57 of the 363 men and 12 officers who started the attack returned unscathed. He died from his wounds in Hospital in Etaples 12 days later.

More about the story of Frederick Teare and how a master mariner came to die on the Western Front here.

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Wilfred Kneale Teare 1896-1919

poppyWilfred Kneale Teare was born in 1896 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire son of James Teare born in Ramsey, IoM and Anne Arnott born in Ripley, Derbyshire. She was totally deaf since the age of 19. His father worked as a hewer in a coal mine and in 1901 the family was living in Bolsover. In 1911 Wilfred was still living with his family but now at 10 Cavendish Street, Mansfield and he was working as a coupler in a coal mine. He was the oldest of 5 children – his younger brothers Harold Thomas, Leslie Hector and the youngest Cyril Robert and his sister Christina Margaret.

He enlisted into the army at Mansfield on the 10 September 1914 becoming a private in the Sherwood Foresters Notts and Derby Regiment 1st /8th battn . He was described as 5ft 9¾in with a fresh complexion, blue grey eyes and light brown hair.

He was in the UK from September 1914 to June 1915 when he was posted to France arriving in Rouen on 29/6/15. The battn was the first complete Territorial Division to arrive in a theatre of war when they joined the BEF in the Ypres salient. They were in action during the German liquid fire attack at Hooge and the attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

The Battn was involved in the capture of Gommecourt from the end of 1916 to March 1917 From The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War: At 7 a.m. on the 13 March Capt. A. Hacking, in command of A Company, ordered Lieut. A. H. Michie with his platoon to seize Kite Copse. Michie made a rapid reconnaissance, and in a very short time found himself in possession of this important point, the enemy garrison having nearly all left to fetch their rations. The water was boiling in the dug-outs, and a supply of coffee was found, which enabled Michie’s platoon to get breakfast as soon as the position was consolidated. During the evening the enemy made two determined counter-attacks against the position, but these were both driven off with heavy loss by the excellent work of Pvte. Teare with his Lewis gun, Sergt. King and Corpl. Scrimshaw.’

Wilfred was subsequently awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field. The citation reads ‘ for excellent work with his Lewis gun when the enemy made two determined counter-attacks on the position at Kite Copse, Gommecourt on 13/03/1917.’

At the end of March 1917 the Battn was posted to Westrehem where they undertook 2 weeks of extensive refitting and training especially in new company and platoon formations for attack. It was during this time that Wilfred was promoted to rank of corporal (3/4/17). The Battn were then deployed in the Lens /Loos area alternating between the front line and reserves ‘to a delightful little spot known as Marqueffles Farm, nestling under the wooded slopes of the Lorette Ridge.’

In June 1918 Wilfred was admitted to Hospital in Boulogne and eventually returned to UK where he was referred to the specialist heart unit in Colchester. He was discharged from the army in September 1918 as being no longer physically fit for service due to a heart condition, severe VDH (valvular disease heart) having aortic insufficiency and consequent shortness of breath which became worse with exercising. In the opinion of the medical board this had been exacerbated by his military service. He had a reference as a very good military character, sober, honest, trustworthy and intelligent and was awarded a pension.

He died on 17 June 1919 as a result of his heart condition. The Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser for 19/06/1919: ‘Military Funeral at Mansfield. Wilfred Teare of 16 Southwell Road has died from the effects of gas poisoning. He had been gassed twice and he was discharged from the army.’ He is buried in Nottingham Road Cemetery, Mansfield and remembered on the war memorial there.

Wilfred’s brother, Harold Thomas Teare served in the Coldstream Guards and after the war he emigrated to Canada along with their younger brother, Cyril.


The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War by W.C.C. Weetman

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Charles Henry Teare 1895-1918

CHTeareCharles Henry Teare was born 23 January 1895 in Douglas, IoM, son of John Teare, a general labourer and Lydia Margaret Clague. In 1901 the family was living at 12 Barrack Street and there were 5 siblings George S, John F, Gladys E, Thomas A and Margaret L. In 1911 Charles was working as a message boy.

Charles was first a private in the King’s Liverpool Regiment (No. 26942) but in November 1918 he was private 48822 in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 6th Battn.

The 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers transferred to the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division in July 1918 and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including; The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Beaurevoir Line, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of Valenciennes. These are referred to as the battles of the 100 days being the final battles on the western front before the defeat of the German armies and the armistice on 11 November 1918.

Major General Sir Archibald Montgomery writing the story of the fourth army in the battles of the 100 days August to November 1918 recalled ‘Throughout the remainder of November 7th considerable fighting took place. The numerous sunken roads, copses, and hedgerows concealed the enemy’s machine-guns which covered the withdrawal of his rearguards. Slowly but surely, however, each centre of resistance was located and dealt with in turn. Particularly severe was the fighting in the 50th Division area in the village of Dourlers, which was captured by the 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers supported by the 1st King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.’

Charles Teare died of wounds on the 7 November 1918 and is buried in Dourlers Communal Cemetery Department du Nord, Nord Pas de Calais, France and so it seems very probable that he was in the severe fighting when the 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers took the village of Dourlers on that day.  He is remembered on the Onchan War Memorial, Harris Promenade Memorial, Douglas and in the Ireland Memorial Records 1914-18.


Thank you to Carolyn Moore and relatives of C H Teare for permission to use this photograph

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Philip Norman Teare 1892-1917

Philip Norman TearePhilip Norman Teare was born 20 March 1892 near the town of Happy Valley, O’Halloran Hill, South Australia son of Philip Thomas Teare and Lucy Isabelle Kenihan. Philip worked as Porter on the South Australia Railways living in Keswick, South Australia.

He enlisted into the army in December 1915 in Adelaide and was described as 5ft 6½in tall, 132 lbs with medium complexion dark hair and grey eyes. He was posted to A Coy 2nd Depot Battn then to the 27th Infantry Battn of the Australian Imperial Forces and was posted overseas in 1916. They left Adelaide in March and arrived in France in September.

On 20 September 1917 the 27th Battn took part in the Battle of Menin Road. During the battle, they were committed to the fighting as part of the first wave, which routed the German forces.  Advancing under a cover of artillery and machine gun fire, the battalion captured a section of the German line known as the ‘Blue Line’ between Polygon Wood and a position known as the Iron Cross Redoubt.Later, they successfully took part in the Battle of Broodenseinde on 4 October,which was their last major offensive action in 1917.

Philip received shrapnel wounds to his knee in May 1917 and on 14th October was promoted to Corporal. Two weeks after his promotion the battalion was sent forward to the front line as part of the continuing Second Battle of Paschendale (also called the 3rd Battle of Ypres).

He was fatally wounded on 28 October when the Battn diary records they were ‘in the same positions C Coy carried 29th Bn rations to the front line. Heavy bombardment of the Anzac and Westhoek ridge with mustard gas shells ‘. Philip Norman Teare died of his wounds (gas poisoning) on 2 November 1917 in 17th Casualty Clearing Hospital, Belgium and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetry, Poperinge, West Flanders and is remembered on the Australian War Memorial.


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Herbert Douglas Teare 1897-1918

poppyHerbert Douglas Teare was born 20 May 1897 in Peel IoM, son of William James Teare a General Labourer and Christian Caine.  In 1901 the family was living in Princess Street, Douglas and he was the youngest with 2 brothers (Robert William and John Albert) and 2 sisters (Emily Gladys and Eva Alice). Before he joined up Herbert worked as a roper at Quiggin and Co Ropeworks.

Herbert enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers 2/7th Battn. in Douglas.  The 2/7th Battalion was formed at Salford in August 1914 as a home service (“second line”) unit. In February 1915 they were attached to 197th Brigade, 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division and landed at Le Havre 28 February 1917. In March 1918, the brigade suffered extremely high and horrendous casualties during Operation Michael, the opening phase of the German Army’s Spring Offensive.  On the morning of 21 March, a large-scale German attack began the Battle of St Quentin. Elements of the German 25th and 208th divisions attacked through heavy fog at dawn, overwhelming the 4th East Lancashires and 2/8th Lancashire Fusiliers (24th Division)  which held positions in the forward zone. On the right flank, near the boundary with 24th Division, a reserve company of 2/7th Manchesters held a defensive position from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, when they surrendered, having taken 70 percent casualties and run out of ammunition. Consequently the battn was reduced to a cadre status and became a training battn seeing no more active service.

Herbert was killed in the action on the 21 March 1918, the first day of the battle of St Quentin when the Lancashires lost over 7000 men. He is remembered at Pozieres Memorial Picardie, France.  His final pay due was paid to his mother and his sister Eva Alice.


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Robert Killip Teare 1891-1918

poppyRobert Killip Teare was born 19 November 1891 in Ballabeg, Lonan, IoM, son of Philip Christopher Teare and Margaret Killip and in 1901 the family was living at their uncle’s house – Ballabeg Farm. In 1911 Robert was working as a horseman at Berrag Farm, Jurby, which was run by brothers Henry and Robert Quirk.

Robert enlisted on 11 November 1915 in Keswick where he was working as a farm labourer, he was recorded as 5ft 6¼ in tall, 147 lbs and with defective teeth. He joined the Border Regiment as a private in September 1916 and was initially posted to the 3rd Battn but then later to the 1st Battn.

Between December 1915 and July 1916 he was in UK and he married Sarah Mary Burrow on 29 June 1916. He was posted to France 16 July 1916 where he was wounded. He was in Topsham Gen Hosp between August and October 1916 with a gunshot wound to the cheek, which was reported as healing uneventfully but at the same time 10 teeth were extracted. After a furlough he was again posted to France from May to December 1917. Back home 16 December 1917 he was admitted to Runcorn Hospital for a few days with a septic thumb. He was absent from parade on 13 February 1918 and confined to barracks for 5 days before he was posted to France again embarking from Folkestone for Boulogne on 17 February 1918 arriving in Etaples on the 18th to join the newly amalgamated 7th Battn Border Regiment (Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry).

In February 1918 the regiment was around Hermies, supplying working parties for the defences being prepared for the expected German Offensive. With the end of fighting on the Eastern Front many battle hardened German Divisions were assembled. On March 21st 1918 the German Bombardment began and the 7th Border ‘stood to’ in battle positions at Havrincourt as part of V Corps, Third Army. By the 22nd March it was decided to withdraw from the Cambrai Salient and on the 23rd they withdrew via Villers en Flos to Martinplouich and manned a ridge there, repulsing an attack by the Germans in this area.

On 23 March 1918 Robert Teare was reported missing presumed dead. He is remembered on the Malew Parish war memorial and the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. He had married Sarah Mary Burrow in Flimby Paris Church, Cumberland on 29 June 1916 and they had two children Eleanor Teare (born Maryport 25/09/1916) and John Burrow Teare (born Flimby 20/12/1917). His £14-9s-6d pay owing was transferred to Sarah M Teare his widow and sole legatee.


More information about 7th Battn Border Regiment (Westmoreland and Cumberland Yeomanry)

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James Garrett Teare 1888-1917

poppyJames Garrett Teare was born 1888 in Garston, Lancashire son of Robert Teare and Elizabeth Ann Evans born in Cardiff. His father was a Saddle and Harness maker as was his older brother Robert Henry and he had a younger sister Cecilia Jane. James Garrett became a joiner apprentice and in 1911 was living at home with his widowed mother, older brother and younger sister.

We have not been able to discover more about his service record except that he enlisted in Birmingham and was a Private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 2nd Battn (Reg No 30038). He died on 13 May 1917 in Arras, Pas de Calais, France and is remembered on the Arras Memorial and the war memorial in St Michael’s Church, Garston, Liverpool. The £4-10 shillings army pay outstanding was paid to his brother Robert Henry as his sole legatee.

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William Burgoyne Teare 1894-1916

poppyWilliam Burgoyne Teare was born in October 1894 in Salford Lancashire son of John Teare and Josephine Elizabeth Wilton born in Tottingham Surrey. John Teare had been in the army having served as a private in the 1st Battn  3rd Reg of Foot ‘The Buffs’ in Crimea, Corfu, China and the East Indies.  His army record states he was born in Malew Parish, Castletown, IoM and was originally a sailor by trade. He was discharged with an excellent conduct record in Canterbury in 1875 and went on to become the manager of a retail coal yard in Salford.

William Burgoyne Teare had a younger sister, Ann Lilian, and in 1911 he was working as an apprentice fitter in a brass foundry.

He enlisted into the British Army on 4 January 1915 and is recorded as 5ft 4in tall with girth 34 in.  He joined the Royal Scots (Lothian Regt) 2nd Battn and served as a Private initially released from his regiment being posted to Barrow in Furness for munitions work. In October 1916 he was transferred back to his regiment and was posted to France. He was admitted to a field hospital in Somme Region suffering from ‘neurasthenia’ in September 1916 (a condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, neuralgia and depressed mood – probably today we would say post traumatic stress disorder) and then discharged back to his regiment from the field hospital on 3 November. His death is recorded as 13 November 1916 when he was first reported as missing, presumed dead before being confirmed as Killed in Action. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Department de la Somme, Picardy, France. His sister Ann Lilian wrote to the War Office to  register as his next of kin.

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Centenary of Wanderer rescue after sinking of Lusitania 7 May 1915

lusitania wandererThe Cunard Line passenger liner ‘Lusitania’ was torpedoed by the U boat U20 off the Irish coast at 1400 on 7 May 1915 with the loss of about 1200 lives.

The Wanderer (PL11) a Peel built and operated fishing boat was the first on the scene of the disaster as she had been shooting her nets 10 miles south of Kinsale head when the Lusitania was torpedoed. She sailed to the scene and was able to pick up over 160 survivors. Luckily the sea was calm and they took 110 on board and towed the others in a raft and lifeboat until they could be transferred to other boats. The letters from the crew of the Wanderer provide a vivid first hand account of the final moments of the Lusitania and the efforts to rescue as many as they could in a small fishing boat which quickly became overloaded.


The Wanderer PL11 was built in Peel in 1821 and sailed with a crew of 7 with skipper William Ball (Jurby), his son Stanley, William Gell (Ramsey), Thomas Woods, Robert Watterson, John Macdonald and Harry Costain (all from Peel). One of her shareholders was Charles Morrison a Peel grocer and it was to him the letters about the Lusitania rescue were sent. His daughter Eleanor Morrison was married to William Edward Teare, sailmaker and partner in Teare and Sons ships chandlers. Wanderer was sold to Ireland and renamed Erins Hope. Later she was fitted with a motor and continued fishing until the 1930s.

There were 771 survivors in all and 128 American citizens amongst the dead. In firing on a non military ship without warning the Germans had breached international law (the Cruiser Rules). The Germans accused Lusitania of being a naval vessel because she was reportedly carrying munitions and said the British had been breaching the Cruiser Rules. The presence of  munitions in the cargo was never proved and  this sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States. The resulting propaganda was important in changing public opinion and the subsequent decision for America to enter the war.

See the recent BBC article and video at

Thomas Arthur Teare 1889 – 1915

poppyThomas Arthur Teare was born on 11 May 1889 in Urmston Lancashire son of Thomas Teare originally from Ballamona, Isle of Man and Alice Day born in St Neots, Cambridge.

Thomas’s father worked in the stationary trade and is variously recorded as a stationer, printer and stationery traveller or commercial traveller. They lived at various addresses in Urmston during Thomas’s childhood and at age of 22 in 1911 he was living at home but now employed as a bank clerk for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in Cadishead. Thomas had two siblings Harry James (born 1891) who became an Insurance Clerk for the Boiler Insurance Company and a sister Doris Day Teare (born 1893).

Thomas was a pre war territorial and on 10 September 1914 he sailed with the 1st/6th Battalion Territorial Force of the Manchester Regiment for Egypt. In May 1915 the 1st/6th embarked for Gallipoli and disembarked at ‘W’ and ‘V’ beaches on 5 May. Each man carried 200 rounds of ammunition, 2 days supplies and iron rations – no baggage blankets or stores were allowed. On the 4 June they took part in the 3rd Battle of Krithia. Their first objective was taken and consolidated but the enemy counterattacked on the 6th

On Sunday 6 June Thomas was wounded twice and seen to fall into one of the many gullies characteristic of the Gallipoli peninsula. His brother Lance Sergeant Harry James Teare (later promoted to 2nd Lieutenant Manchester Regiment in June 1915), searched for him without success and he was later declared killed in action.  Sergeant Thomas Teare has no known final resting place and is remembered on the Helles memorial, Gallipoli and St Clements War memorial, Urmston.

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