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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Charles Henry Yeaman (1890-1916)

Information about Charles Henry Yeaman, a teacher at Dunston Hill School, who volunteered in 1916 but died of appendicitis while training as a second lieutenant. He is commemorated on Durham County Council War Memorial.


Charles Henry Yeaman was born in Gateshead on 11 May 1890, the son of Robert and Annie Yeaman. In 1891 the family were living at 36 St. Edmund's Road in Gateshead and John's father is recorded as a school teacher. Charles had six brothers (George, John Wilson, Robert D., William C., Frederick and Norman) and a sister (Annie), and he was the youngest in the family.

Portrait of Charles Henry Yeaman, by Ernest Hill, 1922 (D/DLI 7/800/1)
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Ten years later the Barclays were living in the same house, and three more daughters (Florence Evelyn, Olive Mary, and Alice Maud) had been added to the family.

He attended South Street Council School in Gateshead, and a secondary school, also in Gateshead. He followed this with three years as a pupil teacher at Shipcote Council School (attending Gateshead Pupil Teacher Centre) and one year as an unqualified assistant teacher at Victoria Road School, both in Gateshead.

He trained as a teacher at Bede College in Durham from 1910 to 1912, and in the 1911 Census he is recorded as a resident at the College, although his family were still living at 36 St. Edmund's Road. Following the completion of his training, he began work at Dunston Hill Council School, then a County Council school.

On 9 February 1916 he was given permission to enlist by the County Council Education Committee, and he joined the 3/7th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, but never served abroad.

He fell ill with appendicitis in September 1916 and was taken to Armstrong College Hospital in Newcastle where he died on 15 September. He received a military funeral, his coffin being carried from his home to Gateshead East Cemetery on a gun carriage, and it was carried to the grave by six of his brother officers. There was also 40-strong firing party commanded by Captain Tillbrook.

In addition to the County Hall memorial (where he appears as 'Charles Yearman') he is also commemorated on a plaque and in the stained glass windows at St Edmund's Church, Gateshead.


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
  • Medal Rolls Index Cards
  • North East War Memorials Project website
  • Bede College register of applicants, E/HB 257, pp.203-204
  • Bede College students' record book, E/HB 236, f.9
  • Durham County Council Education Committee minute book, CC/A26/1/24, pp.183-184
  • 1891 Census return, RG 12/4184, f.96r, p.11
  • 1901 Census return, RG 13/4759, f.194v, p.8
  • 1911 Census return, RG 14/29992, institution schedule
  • Durham Advertiser, 22 September 1916, p.8(f)
  • Picture, D/DLI 7/800/1