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Evans, Edgar

Edgar was the son of John & Esther Evans (nee Smith) who had married at the Holy Ascension Church, Upton (Chester, Cheshire West CE51/1/74) in 1893.  On the 1901 census they were living at Wellington Avenue, Shotton, Flintshire.  John was head of the household, 38 and a Pattern Maker (Engineers) who had been born in Mancot, Flintshire.   Esther, 33 had been born in Upton Chester. Their listed children were Edgar 6,  Murial 5, Bertha 4,  Hasper, 2, and  Gerald 1 had all been born in Shotton    There were 2 Boarders living there as well, both from Walsall, Staffordshire and both Joiners.

By the 1911 census they had moved to 1, North Terrace,Sandycroft and their family was larger. John was still head of the household, 47 and an Engineer’s Pattern Maker as before.  Esther, 42 is described as a Housekeeper and they had been married 18 years Seven  children had been born to them, all of whom were still living.  Edgar, 16 was working in the Sheet Mills.  Muriel, 15 and Bertha 14 were both  Domestic Servants. Hasper  12, Gerald, 11 and Marjorie,7 were all  in school. Annie was 2 and had been born in Sandycroft.

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Edgar’s regimental details  above and tells us he was born in Queensferry, lived in Sandycroft and enlisted in Hawarden. His medal card also accessible on Ancestry, states that he was entitled to the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals but makes no mention of the DCM. This source gives us his previous regimental number and it tells us that his first theatre of War was the Balkans and he entered it on the 8th August 1915 so he served in Gallipoli.

Edgar’s Army Service Records exist and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. He was medically examined on the 2nd September 1912. He was probably still just 16 years old at that time. Edgar was described as having a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair. He was 5 ft 6 1/2 inches tall, had a chest measurement of 37 inches with a range of expansion of 2 inches. His vision and physical development were considered to be good and he was declared fit for service in the Territorial Force.

He actually attested on the 1st November 1912 when he was 17 years old. He stated that he was an iron worker at John Summers Ironworks. Mr G Hazeldine of Shotton was asked to provide a reference for him. Mr Hazledine said he had known him for 18 months and that Edgar had worked for him for 8 months and that he found him to be honest and sober. His first regimental number was 1090 which is stated on an agreement he signed with the army to ‘serve in any place outside the UK in the event of a national emergency’.

He attended preliminary training from November 1912 to the 26th July 1913 at Rhyl before being  finally embodied into the regiment in 1914.

He embarked on H.M.T ‘Caledonia from Devonport on the 14th July 1915 as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.  From the 9th September 1915 to 6th November 1915 he was admitted to hospital three times suffering from dysenetry with an average stay in hospital of 1 week.

Edgar’s career in the army seems to have been chequered. He was promoted to Lance Corporal but lost his stripe for creating a disturbance after lights out and attempting to strike an NCO with a rifle whilst drunk.’ (23rd March 1916). There was at least one other drunken ‘offence’ and  also got into trouble frequently for being absent from where he should have been. He was quite a character!

There is correspondence in the records between the army and Edgar’s father regarding the receipt of his medals – again there is no mention of the DCM. There is correspondence about a commemorative plaque and scroll and there is correspondence about the return of Edgar’s possessions. They were listed as

1 Devotional Book, 1 Razor in case, Numerals, 2 Cards, 2 Wallets Photos, 1 Identity Disc.

The records say he was awarded a Bounty of £15 ‘under the A.O , 209/16 9th July 1918′ Can anyone explain this? It was 4 months after his death.

Edgar Evans in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tell us that his father John was the sole Legatee and received £17. 0s 5d on the 26th August 1918, £2. 12s 11d on the 25th October 1918 and his War Gratuity of £17 on the 3rd January 1920.

He died of wounds received in action on the 10th March 1918. This is a day later than other sources say.

There is an index card for Edgar Evans in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden.  (Sandycroft F5). It  was signed by his father W. Evans on the 23rd September 1919. It confirms his regimental details and it is this source that says he had the DCM

Edgar is mentioned in the book “Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918  Royal Welsh Regiment  Volume 28”, although that states he was in the Cheshire Regiment. ( I found no such information on his Army Records, nor could I find any reference for the DCM,)

He is also remembered on Queensferry School Roll of Honour in the Queensferry War Memorial Institute and on the Sandycroft War Memorial in St. Francis’s Church.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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