Norman Teale

802636, Gunner, 60th Field Regiment. Royal Artillery.

Missing between 30th May & 2nd June 1940 aged 28.

Norman was the husband of Mary Teale of Stevenage. At the time of the German invasion of France and Belgium the unit was stationed at Lille near to the Franco-Belgian border. The official War Diary was destroyed during the retreat and the only documents available to provide any insight as to the fate of the men of the Regiment lay in several reports made by unit officers after their return from Dunkirk.

It appears that on the 13th May 1940 the Regiment was posted to Brussels to help try to stem the invasion. After several days, on the 18th May, it moved back to Den Hock and later that day to Courtrai. On the 23rd the Regiment, under constant enemy attack, moved to Armentieres near to Lille. The following day they moved again, this time to Houplines and then Wytschaete. They remained here for several days and tried to establish what the position was but this proved extremely difficult due to the speed of the German advance. A variation of troops passed through the Regiment’s position, many of them in complete disarray. Eventually on the 30th of May the Regiment was ordered to the town of Isenberghe, some 12 miles from Dunkirk. Here they had to abandon their vehicles and guns and destroyed them before walking to Dunkirk. That night they arrived on the beaches at La Panne. It is believed that at some stage during this late part of the evacuation Norman was lost on Bary Dunes, possibly killed in one of the many air attacks.

His body was never found and, as a result, his name is recorded on the Dunkirk Memorial. (Column 15)

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