University to mark death of fallen soldier who played a part in its founding

Our University is marking the 100th anniversary of the death in action during the First World War of a brave soldier who played a part in its founding.

Eric Henry Janson Teasdale (1896– 1917), Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion serving in the Machine Gun Corps, tragically passed away on the 21 January 1917 in France, Boulogne, after visiting his elder brother Edward George Teasdale in hospital earlier on that day.

Born in Leicester on 21 April 1896, Teasdale was the youngest son of Edward Henry and Fanny Henrietta Knox Teasdale, Leicestershire Hosiery manufacturer (Wooding & T). Eric Henry Janson Teasdale studied in Fareham then Canterbury where he served as a Private in the Officer Training Corps.

In 1914 Teasdale enlisted and worked for the Norwich Union Fire Society in Leicester, which led to him serving in the North Midlands Divisional Training where he become a 2nd Lieutenant. After being promoted to Lieutenant Teasdale volunteered to overseas services, where he attended a short course in Aldershot, then was seconded to duty in the Machine Gun Corps. After completing his training in the Machine Gun Corps, Teasdale was sent to the 1st Battalion.

His elder brother, Edward George Teasdale, served as a Private in the 16th Battalion, leaving France for the Italian front. Sadly, on the day of the handover to the 3rd Battalion Teasdale Senior tragically lost his life on 17 March 1918.

Eric Henry Janson Teasdale passed away at the age of 20 and Edward George Teasdale age 33. Their sacrifice led to their mother Fanny Henrietta Knox Teasdale, of “Heathfield” on London Road, leaving a bequest worth £3,048 13s 4d to University College Leicester.

Mrs Teasdale’s generous bequest came with a request to have a memorial tablet in memory of her sons. The tablet was commissioned and can be found in the entrance of the Fielding Johnson building, with another tablet in memory of other men killed in the war with a memoriam gift under their names. 

Rosie O’Connor, Legacy Manager with the Development and Alumni Relations Office at our University said: "Donations made in memory, like the one made by Mrs Fanny Henrietta Knox Teasdale in memory of her two sons, made our existence possible, for this we will always be grateful."

If anyone has any further information or photographs regarding the Teasdale brothers and their family, please contact the Special Collections at the University on