John Francis was born circa 1888 in Bangor, Caernarvonshire, the son of Hugh Evans and Ellen Jones, who married in a Civil Ceremony in Bangor in 1887 (BAN/29/E119)
John’s family history is the same as Harold’s, please click on the link to Harold’s page below.
Some records exist for John Francis Evans but they are incomplete and at times confusing. John Francis joined the Territorial Army in 1910. He Attested in Chester in May 1910. He was 22 years and 6 months old and gave his address as Jubilee Terrace, Saltney. He said he worked for the Railway Co. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, and had a chest measurement of 37 inches with a 2 inch expansion capacity. His vision and physical development were deemed to be ”good’ and he was signed fit for the Territorial Force on the 9th May 1910 and was given the regimental number 1088. He named his father as his next of kin. He was assigned to to the Field Ambulance of the Welsh Border Brigade. He attended annual Training in 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1914. He was discharged on the 30th October 1914 ‘in consequence of being medically unfit, ‘ having served 175 days.
He re enlisted however 10 days later. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 9th November 1914. He attested in Chester again. This time he was 27 years and one month old. His address was the same as before – Jubilee Terrace, Saltney. He stated that his Trade was a ‘Striker’.
His Army Service Records tell us that he served ‘At Home’ for 361 days from the 9th November 1914 until the 4th November 1915. He then served in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from the 5th November 1915 until the 5th September 1916 (306 days). He then served from 6th September 1916 to the 28th September 1916 ‘At Home’ – 23 days.
On his discharge on the 28th September 1916 I believe he was awarded the Silver War Badge. Sometimes called the silver wound badge, it was issued to servicemen honourably discharged from the forces under the King’s Regulations after September 1916, because of wounds or sickness. Around the front of each badge is written , “For King and Empire, Services Rendered.” Each badge carried a unique number and it is possible to trace the recipient from that number. It was issued as a form of recognition to the men who no longer wore a uniform and were being mistaken for those who had never joined up.
His actual death date and circumstances are a mystery. He died in January 1917 about 3 months after discharge. .
There is an index card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour in The County Record office in Hawarden (Card Saltney Ferry F 13). It says he was Killed in Action in January 1917. This, I believe, was written by his mother Ellen as she had signed Harold’s card (Saltney Ferry F12) although she didn’t sign or date John’s card. I do believe that he died of either illness or wounds from his war service, as he was discharged as Unfit for military service, but I cannot find any mention of him on the Commonwealth War Graves database, nor can I find if he died either in Cheshire or North Wales. The C.W.G.C closed the list on December 1921, so he should have been included. If we can find out why he died, and there is a death certificate for him to say he died from his war service, he will be “Brought in from the Cold” by the C.W.G.C. Any help would be appreciated.
There is a lot of confusing information about this soldier and there is an element of speculation on this page.
There were 2 other members of the family who were also in the War and so the family were to suffer twice in 1917, as John Francis’s younger brother Harold Evans was also killed in March1917 a few months after John Francis. Their grief was compounded. However another son Richard was to survive as his Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Saltney Ferry L 69) tells us that he was in the Navy on HMS “Sunflower” as a Stoker, K10974. Period of his service was from 22nd April 1911 – 15th of September 1919. Z Reserve. Card signed by R.W? Evans on 29th October 1919.
Please read Harold’s page on the link.