Alfred Farndale
Born 5 July 1897 




















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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



Alfred Farndale son of Martin and Catherine Jane Farndale, formerly Lindsay, (FAR00364) born Tidkinhow Farm.

(BR and family knowledge)

Alfred Farndale registered Guisbro District Oct-Dec 1897

(GRO Vol 9d page 487, 1837 online)

Military Service:

83795 Private Alfred Farndale, Machine Gun Corps, awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Served in France, Iraq and India. In World War 2 served as a Special Constable and was awarded the Police War Medal.

(Medal Rolls)


Alfred Farndale, bachelor, farmer aged 29 son of Martin Farndale (deceased), married Margaret Louise Baker, spinster of Leeming Bar daughter of Arthur Baker JP (deceased) at Bedale Parish Church, on 16 Mar 1928.



Alfred and Margaret Farndale, went to Canada in March1928 and remained there until 1935 when they returned to England to farm first at Middleton-One-Row, near Darlington, then at Thornton-le-Moor until 1940. They then lived in Northallerton until 1943 when they took Gale Bank Farm, Wensley. They retired in 1971 to Leyburn.


Martin Baker Farndale, born 6 Jan 1929 Trochu, Canada (FAR00911).

Marion Catherine Farndale, born 30 Oct 1930, Trochu Canada (FAR00915).

Alfred Geoffrey Farndale, born 10 Apr 1932, Elnora Canada, (FAR00922).

Margaret Susan Farndale, born 8 Oct 1937 Thornton-le-Moor, (FAR00952).


Alfred Farndale, died of prostate cancer aged 89 on 30th May 1987 at Ruston Hospital in Northallerton. He was cremated at Darlington and his memorial stands in Wensley Churchyard.

Margaret Farndale died at Leyburn on 17th November 1996 age 95. She was cremated at Darlington and her Memorial is in Wensley Churchyard.


(Most of above from family knowledge)



Alfred in 1902



Alfred about 1920






Alfred in 1930




Alfred in 1940



 Alfred Farndale was born on 5 July 1897 at Tidkinhow Farm, Stranghow, Skelton, son of Martin Farndale, farmer and Catherine Farndale, formerly Lindsay. He was the youngest of twelve children.

He went to a local school and was working at home when the war broke out in 1914. He joined the East Yorkshire Regiment in 1916, but then volunteered for the Machine-Gun Corps and served on the front line with 239th Company at Ypres in France until mid 1917 when he went to Mesopothamia and served in action there until the end of the war.

He married Margaret Louise Baker (of Audlem, Cheshire) at Bedale Parish Church on 16 March 1928. Immediately after the wedding, they both went to break open Prairie in Canada, where three of his elder brothers and two sisters were doing the same thing. He built a house for his family in Huxley in 1928.

But the slump of the late twenties and early thirties was crippling and the family was forced to return to England in 1935. He then farmed at Thornton-le-Moor before moving to Gale Bank Farm in 1943, where he remained until he retired in 1972. Throughout the Second World War, he served as a Special Constable.

They had four children, Martin Baker (born Trochu, Alberta, 6 January 1929); Marianne Catherine (born 30 October 1930, Trochu); Alfred Geoffrey (born Trochu 10 April 1932) and Margaret Lindsey (born at Thornton-le-moor on 8 October 1937).

He led a long, varied and active life as a farmer, soldier and pioneer of Western Canada.

He died on 30 May 1987 aged 89 years at Rutson Hospital, Northallerton. He was cremated at Darlington and his grave lies in Wensley churchyard








The voyage to Canada in 1928




 Talk between Alfred Farndale and his son, Martin on 29 July 1982

"I remember going to school at Charltons near Tidkinhow. We then went to Standard 1 at Boosbeck. We stayed there until we were 14. It was a two mile walk each day. The headmaster was Mr Ranson. I remember Jim, my elder brother catching me fishing and playing truant. He just said "Get in" (he was in a pony and trap) and he took me to a days marketing at Stokesley. I remember the second masters name was Ackroyd. I got a fork through my leg and he sucked it out. We were always inspected as we arrived at school. We had to walk passed the Bainbridge place and people used to say that he had more sheep on the moor than he was allowed. I remember William looking after me at mother's funeral. I was crying and very upset.

The war came in 1914 and I was just 17. I wanted to join up so I ran away and joined up at the local recruiting office at Northallerton, somewhere in South Parade I think. I joined the West Yorks but my father found out and said I was under age, which I was. The CO wanted me to stay on the band, but father wouldn't hear of it and I came out. I remember being very proud of my first leave in uniform. Then one day they called for volunteers for the Machine-Gun Corps and I stepped forward. We went to Belton Park, near Grantham for training. I joined 239th Company MGC and we were attached to the Middlesex Regiment. In 1917 we sailed for Calais and went to "Dickiebush" Camp. We were first in action at Westbrook and Polygon Wood. I remember an incident on the Menin Road galloping up with two limbers of ammunition towards the gun positions at Hooge. I was a Private but I was giving a lift to Quarter Master Sergeant Zaccarelli. The Germans started to shell us. They could clearly see us. I had one horse killed and I managed to cut him free and I then rode the other. Zaccarelli was killed; it was quite a party when I reported it. My Captain asked if there were any witnesses but there were none, otherwise I might have got something. I remember an officer coming up to me when we were under bombardment at Ypres and saying "How would you like to be in Saltburn now, Farndale?" We saw some action at Zonnebeke, Ploegstraat and Arras. The suddenly we were ordered to Marseilles and got on a troopship for Basra in Mesoptamia. After about 14 days we were in the Suez Canal and then the Red Sea. We landed at Basra and marched to Kut-el-Amara as part of a force under General Maud to relieve Townsend. About the middle of 1918 the Turks surrendered. We hung around for quite a while. I cut my thumb on a bully beef tin and it got poisoned. I was in hospital in Kut when 239th Company left for England. I eventually got to Mosul where I thought my unit was and met my platoon commander Lieutenant Pearson. He asked me where I had been and put me in charge of the officers mess. We had some Punjabi officers at the time and they used to knock me up to try to get whiskey! Later in 1918 we were ordered to Bombay. I remember I had to take my stripes down on the troopship. We were sent up to the Afghan frontier for a while and we had quite a lot of trouble in the local bazaars.

Eventually in early 1919 I think, we got a troopship to England. We landed at Southampton. I remember we were told that we could keep our greatcoats or take £1 when we were demobbed on Salisbury Plain. I took the £1! I remember arriving at Middlesborough station very late at night and sleeping on the platform. I got the first train next day to Guisborough and actually arrived at Tidkinhow before they were up! This would be in 1919. I know that I was clear of the army by the start of 1920. I wish I had stayed in. I really did like the army life. But I had to come out.

I then went to Tancred Grange to help my eldest sister Lynn whose husband had died in 1918. I spent my time between Tancred and Tidkinhow till I married your mother on 16 March 1928 at Bedale Parish Church. Martin was over from Canada and he was best man. It was just after my father died in January 1928. My eldest brother, John took over Tidkinhow. Peggy and I had already decided to join the 'Canadians' [his brothers Jim, Martin and George and his sister Kate] in Alberta. We went to Huxley and rented a section of the CPR and you three children were born. However we had bad luck with crops and the slump and we had to go back to England in 1935.

We had a farm in Middleton-One-Row in 1936 and then we moved to Sycamore Lodge at Thornton-le-Moor near Northallerton in 1937. That was where Margot was born. It was too small though and we left it in 1940 after the war had started. We then lived at 117 Crosby Road, Northallerton. I was a farm contractor doing ploughing and threshing. It was very hard work and very long hours. I was Special Constable as well. Then, in January 1943, we moved to Gale Bank Farm at Wensley. We had been looking for farms for years and this was easily the best, so our luck had changed. It was then about 400 acres, but now it is more. Peggy and I retired in 1972 and we are now living at "Highfields", Eller Close Road, Leyburn."





Gale Bank Farm






Alfred in Canada




Alfred’s wedding                                                                                                                                Margaret Louise Baker (Peggy) in about 1925  



Alfred’s family


Military Service

83795 Private Alfred Farndale Machine-Gun Corps

Awarded British War Medal, issued 17 March 1922

Awarded Victory Medal, issued 17 March 1922

Enlisted into 88th Training Reserve Battalion at Northallerton 13 December 1915

Relegated to the Army Reserve (under age) 14 December 1915

Mobilised 6 December 1916

Transferred to the Machine-Gun Corps 30 January 1917

Posted to 239th Company MGC BEF 13 July 1917

Posted to 18th Indian Divisional Battalion 10 January 1919

Posted to 17th Indian Divisional Battalion 10 January 1920

Transferred to Class Z Army Reserve on demobilisation on 19 March 1920

Discharged 31 March 1920 on General Demobilisation


Service with the colours from 6 December 1916 to 18 March 1920 (3 years and 3 months)

Service Overseas BEF from 13 July to 13 October 1917 (3 months)

Service overseas Iraq and India from 14 October 1917 to 9 January 1920 (2 years and 3 months)



Alfred East Yorks 1914



Alfred in Mesopotamia






























Peggy’s photographs