Rank or Title
Date of Birth
20 Mar 1859
Date of Death
13 Dec 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Chief Constable David Teale, the man credited with having built up the Luton Borough Police Force, died at 8.20 on the morning of December 13th, 1916, three weeks after being taken ill suffering from pleurisy and bronchitis.
David Teale, aged 57 and known as "The Chief," had completed 22 years and two months as Chief Constable. He held his Majesty's Police Medal for meritorious service, and was also Chief Officer of the Luton Fire Brigade, a role he took on shortly after arriving in the town.
He and wife Emma, whom he had married in Yorkshire in 1881, lived with daughter Hilda at 22 Dunstable Place. His aged mother was still living in Tollerton, Yorkshire.
Born in Tollerton on March 20th, 1859, David Teale joined the North Riding Constabulary as a young man. After 21 months he went to the Bradford Borough Police Force, with whom he served for 27 months before going to the Accrington Police Force in Lancashire for five years. Transferring to Burnley, he rose to the rank of chief inspector, serving more than seven years with the Lancashire Constabulary.
He took up his duties as Chief Constable of Luton on October 1st, 1894, in succession to Chief Constable David Jaquest. In that time the population of Luton had increased by 75 per cent and the number of officers on the establishment from 30 to 55.
When David Teale first arrived the police were accommodated in small rooms at the Plait Hall and prisoners had to be detained at the County Police Station, until 1900 when the Dunstable Place premises were secured.
A year after arriving, the Chief Constable established a Police Aid Fund and a fund to provide the poor children of the town with boots and clothing. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the R.S.P.C.A. He belonged to the Loyal Patience Lodge (No 82) of Accrington, under the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows.
Tributes to Mr Teale came from the Mayor (Alderman John Staddon), council officials, magistrates and Alderman Edwin Oakley, Chairman of the Watch Committee.
Alderman Oakley described Mr Teale as a strict disciplinarian with a genial, kindly heart - as straight as a man could be in every respect. He was a man worthy of the highest trust, and a more loyal and devoted servant the council and the town never had.
There were large assemblies of the general public on Saturday, December 16th, to see the Chief Constable's funeral procession. Police and firemen slowly marched along Stuart Street and up Rothesay Road to the General Cemetery, ahead of the hearse inside which the the Chief Constable's uniform, hat, belt and sword were placed on the coffin. The procession was accompanied by civic dignitories and by Polly, the Chief's horse, led by her groom, Pc Head. In the stirrups were the reversed riding boots of the late Chief.
Police officers formed up in line at either side of the road as the cortege passed into the cemetery. In the chapel a simple service was conducted by the Rev E. Lightwood Smith and the Rev A. Woolliscroft, the ministers of Waller Street Wesleyan Church, of which Mr Teale was a member.