b. 01/06/1833 Grahamstown, South Africa. d. 01/12/1893 South Bersted, Sussex.
Sir Christopher Charles Teesdale (1833-1893) was born in Grahamstown, Cape of Good Hope, to Lieutenant-General Henry George Teesdale of the Royal Artillery who was stationed there. He joined the Royal Artillery as a gentleman cadet on 29 April 1848. His first posting was to Corfu and he was promoted to second lieutenant on 22 March 1853 and left Corfu in April 1853.
During the Crimean War, he acted as the Aide de Camp to the celebrated Sir Fenwick Williams at Kars, Turkey. He was there throughout the blockade of the town. Teesdale would be awarded the Victoria Cross on 25th September 1857 for his actions in the town on 29th September 1855. He had volunteered to take command of the force engaged in the defence of the most advanced part of the works. It was a key position that needed to be held. The Russians launched a heavy attack on the position, and Teesdale threw himself into the midst of the fighting. The enemy made some progress into the redoubt, so Teesdale encouraged the garrison to make a counter attack which was so vigorous it pushed the Russians back out of the redoubt and prevented their progress.
Later, when the Russian artillery fire had driven the Turkish artillerymen from their guns, he rallied the men and inspired them to return to their posts, and then led the final charge himself, to help the men win the day. He also, at great personal risk, saved a number of wounded men who were lying in the open under heavy fire.
Teesdale was decorated with the Victoria Cross on 21st November 1857 at Windsor Castle from Queen Victoria. Teesdale would have a number of appointments involving the Royal Family for the remainder of his career. He was created a KCMG in 1887, and for ten years was Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria. He was also Equerry to the Prince of Wales, and was later Master of Ceremonies for the Queen.
In 1893, Major General Sir Christopher Teesdale was on a 10 week visit to Germany, where he was taken ill. It was not seen to be serious, but on Sunday 29th November 1893, following a visit to church, he was suddenly seized with an attack of paralysis. Teesdale died on 1st December 1893 at his home, The Ark, South Bersted, near Bognor Regis, Sussex. Teesdale had never married. He was buried in the churchyard at St Mary Magdalene, South Bersted. His medals are part of the Ashcroft Collection and displayed in the Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: ST MARY MAGDALENE CHURCH, SOUTH BERSTED, SUSSEX.
Kevin Brazier – Images of the Teesdale VC Grave in South Bersted, Sussex.
Alastair Kennedy-Rose – Several images of family photographs of Christopher Teesdale VC KCMG CB.