History found in town loft

JOHN Teal who has discovered a memorial record of

JOHN Teal who has discovered a memorial record of "The Men of Hartlepools" who died in the First World War

A CHANCE visit to the attic has led to a Hartlepool man uncovering a piece of war history.

John Teal, 67, was in the middle of a complete re-decoration of his Trentbrooke Avenue home when he found a 94-year-old document.

He discovered a 50-page document called the “Memorial Record of the Men of Hartlepools” which had lain in his loft for 24 years.

John had been in possession of the book ever since he inherited it from his late uncle George “Boxer” Teal who died in 1990.

The fascinating document lists the names, rank, and address of every man from the town who fought in the First World War.

It also lists their regiment, date of death and the place where they died.

The book, which was first released in 1920 priced at one shilling, has a cover which reads “Their name liveth for evermore.”

John, a former site manager at Hartlepool Sixth Form College in Blakelock Road for 24 years until his retirement three years ago, plans to donate it to the Heugh Gun Battery which played such a significant role in the Great War.

John, who is married to Pauline, 72, said: “Uncle Boxer was into local history. Just before he died, he gave me this book.

“I did not think anything of it at the time and put it in the loft but we have been sorting things out lately.

“We have been decorating the house and I found the book when we were having a clearout.”

The book describes itself as “a memorial record of the men of Hartlepools who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War”.

An insert describes how it was first compiled by a Mr TS Coulson jointly with the Hartlepool and West Hartlepools War Memorial Committees.

The list also included men of the Mercantile Marine and Trawler Service who lost their lives as well as “the men of His Majesty’s Naval, Military and Air Forces.”

The document’s first recorded casualty was a Thomas Aitken of Middleton, He was a private with the 18th Queen’s Own Hussars and died on May 24, 1915 in France.

Also listed is Private Theo Jones, of Ashgrove Avenue in west Hartlepool. He gained a place in history when he became the first soldier to die on British soil in the war.

His listing describes how he was in the 18th Durham Light Infantry and died on December 16, 1914 - the date of the Bombardment of Hartlepool.




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