Joseph Edward Evans was born in Ruabon, Denbighshire circa 1895 and appears on the 1901 census living at 19, Tanlan (Chapel Square), Ruabon, Wrexham, Denbighshire, with his parents. Joseph 6, was their eldest child and only son. Father, John Evans was 33 and a Colliery Labourer below ground, who was born in Malpas, Cheshire. Emma, his wife was 28 and had been born in Ruabon, Denbighshire. Also recorded was their daughter Mary E. Evans, 3 also born Ruabon.
The 1911 census sees the family still living in Denbighshire at Chapel Square Tanylan Ruabon, Denbighshire. Father John Evans was now 43 and still working in the Coal Mines as a Miner, Labourer below ground. His wife Emma was 38 and they had been married 21 years. Four children had been born to them, but one had died. Joseph E. was 17 and a Labourer, above ground employed by the Colliery. Mary was 13 and at school A second daughter, Edith A. was 1 year 6 months old.
Presumably Joseph and probably his family moved to Flintshire some time after the 1911 census. Joseph’s Commonwealth War Grave Certificate (see below) gives his parents’ address as 1 Griffiths Row, Pentre, Queensferry.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and tells us he enlisted in Barnsley. His residence was Chester and he died at home.
A useful source of evidence regarding Joseph is his grave in Hawarden Churchyard (St Deniol’s). The inscription says
Private Edward J. Evans, Highland Light Infantry 201780 11th June 1917 age 23 (22) Pentre, Queensferry.
Monumental Inscriptions Volume 111 – Lovelock. – Page 16 A 5
There are no traceable military records for this soldier apart from what is written above. There is no explanation as to why he joined the Highland Light Infantry. He has no medal card. A suggestion on The Great War Forum was that he never served abroad and was therefore not entitled to any medals. Another point made was that particular regiment was based in Catterick and Ripon in 1917 which would explain his enlisting in Barnsley.
Any help at all would be gratefully received to help us tell this story.
Joseph is also remembered on the Sandycroft War Memorial in St. Francis’s Church