Alfred Teale

Nov 14, 1875

Born in Yorkshire, England to Simeon Verity and Jane Ann (nee Spink) Teale


Nov 11, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion CEF in Kingston, Ontario

 Ø  Number 59961 (temporary number 126)

Ø  Next of kin given as Maud Teale, wife, Stone St., Gananoque, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Brickmaker

Ø  Previous military experience given as Yorkshire Light Infantry for 3 years

Ø  Religion given as Wesleyan

Ø  Assigned to “A” Company

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter with headquarters in the Kingston Armouries


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer

Jan 22, 1916

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a gun shot wound to his left ear


Jan 23, 1916

Discharged to duty from the field ambulance


Apr 10, 1916

During close combat with the Germans at the St. Eloi Craters, Private Alfred Teale was severely wounded in the abdomen and was evacuated to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance where he died of his wounds.  He was later buried in the Dickebusch British Military Cemetery.


 Following the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. CW Claflin, Chadron, Nebraska, USA


Mar 18, 1921

His widow Maud was remarried to an American from Chadron, Nebraska, USA, Charles William Claflin in Kingston, Ontario


Text below reproduced with permission

Taken from the
"Gananoque Remembers (A tribute to the men who gave their lives for our freedom)"
by Geraldine Chase and Bill Beswetherick

Alfred Teale was born in England 14 November 1875, the son of Simeon Verity and Jane Ann Teale. He married Maud Elizabeth and before the war worked as a bricklayer. He enlisted 11 November 1914 at age 38 and served in the 21st Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment.

Private Teale arrived in France in September 1915 and was lightly wounded in February 1916. He soon returned to his unit in early April in time to participate in the fighting in the huge craters at St Eloi south of the Belgian city of Ypres. The fighting was confusing. Many huge and interlocking craters were created when the British and Germans blew 31 underground mines and continuous shelling destroyed most trenches. Because of confusion over their exact locations and the fact opposing units often occupied the opposite sides of craters, many soldiers were killed by their own artillery. In addition, because of the confusion over exact locations, Canadian artillery often fired on positions not occupied by the enemy thus depriving their infantry of support. Also much of the fighting was done at night and often recovery of the wounded was not possible with the result many drowned in the water-filled craters, some of which were up to 15 metres deep. Private Teale was one of 14 men killed or wounded 1 April when the enemy attacked his unit at night with artillery, grenades, and machine guns just after they had entered their front-line trenches. He died of his wounds nine days later at a nearby hospital.

Private Donald Fraser, 31st Battalion (Alberta Regiment) and whose unit fought next to Private Teale's, recorded in his diary his experiences during the confused fighting at St Eloi: "During these trying days the enemy was raining shells continually; the trenches were in a, quagmire and unconnected; communications were entirely broken down; there was not such thing as a firing trench; the enemy gave us no peace to consolidate; neither could materials be brought up; our men battered and weary had all their work cut out to shelter themselves from the devastation that was happening around. Casualties were heavy and the men so completely worn out that reliefs were frequent and each change found the situation more obscure; the whereabouts of the enemy unknown. Our own bearings in the air." St Eloi was the battle in which Canadians first wore steel helmets.

Private Teale is commemorated on Page 172 of the First World War Book of Remembrance, Peace Tower, Ottawa and is buried in DICKEBUSCH NEW military cemetery, south-west of Ypres, Belgium. The Canadian maple leaf in engraved on the headstones of five Gananoque men who are buried in cemeteries near the city.

Dedicated to the memory of a member of our congregation: Christ Church (Anglican).


Alfred Teale is also honoured on the Gananoque, Ontario War Memorial




For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers who were killed during the war were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below is the name of Alfred Teale being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.




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