Davies, Evan Owen

Colin Sargeant contacted me to say that an appeal had been put on for information regarding a soldier who lost his life in 1945 and was buried in Venray War Cemetery, in the Netherlands.  This appeal was from Tom van Mierlo a member of the board of Stichting Adoptiegraven CWGC Venray War Cemetery.   I contacted Tom, as I did not have Evan Owen Davies on my database as one of the Fallen who were recorded on the WW2 War Memorial, nor in my database I am compiling for men and women whose names were not put forward to be remembered, who were lost in WW2.

He gave me the probate of Evan Owen Davies, which was my first clue – DAVIES, Evan Owen of 40, Chester-road, Shotton, Cheshire, died 1 June 1945 on war service.    Administration Llandudno 6 November to Margaret Ellen ROBERTS (wife of George Cyril ROBERTS).

The 1911 census gave me another clue, as living at 3, Halkyn Street, Holywell was a Thomas Davies, Head, age 22 years, (Married 2 years), a Carter Labourer, born in Llanshuhad (sic), Denbighshire and his wife, Mary Davies age 23 years who tells us she had had 2 children, and both were still living.  Mary had been born in Wigan, Lancashire.  They were Evan Owen Davis age 4 and Margaret Ellen Davies age 1, neither had their birth towns recorded on the census.

Curiously, there was a Samuel & Sarah Newall living at No. 1 Halkyn Street, Holywell on the 1911 census as well.  Samuel was a Clock Repairer on both censuses.

I did find in the 1921 census a possible sighting of both Evan and Margaret Ellen Davies living with a Samuel & Sarah Newall at Tan Llys, Coleshill, Flint.   Also in the household was their daughter-in-law, Mary Esther Davies.  How are they connected?   I have tried to find the connection between Mary Esther Davies and the Newall’s, but cannot, at the moment, find it.

I found on the 1939 National Register an Even O. Davies living at 1, Bungalow, Factory Road, Hawarden, he was a general Labourer, and his date of birth was the 1st of August 1906, and he was single.   I then looked for the marriage of Margaret Ellen Davies, who I believed to be Evan Owen’s sister: –

St. Ethelwold’s Church Parish Registers – Marriages

Page 54 No. 108 15th December 1934 George Cyril ROBERTS, 24, Bachelor, Ironworker, 40, Chester Road, Shotton, Father Ebenezar Richard ROBERTS, Deceased & Margaret Ellen DAVIES, 24, Spinster,40, Chester Road, Shotton, Father Thomas DAVIES, Deceased.   (After Bann).

Witnesses: – John Edward BRYCE & Catherine EDWARDS.   Officated by J.J.J. ROBINSON.

Then I found Margaret Ellen and her husband George on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th of September 1939.   They were living at 46, Chester Road, Shotton, Flintshire.

This source gives us the date of birth of the residents.   George C. Roberts had been born on the 21st of April 1910 and he was a Crane Slinger at the Steel Works.    Margaret E. Roberts had been born on the 2nd of April 1910 and was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   There were two children, brothers I believe, in the household and I wondered if they were evacuees, as looking for their births, they had been born in Birkenhead.   Any information would be gratefully received.

Well, it seems that Evan was not conscripted or enlisted in 1939, indeed, it seems that according to the Royal Artillery Attestations, he enlisted possibly on the 17th of September 1940, this information with many thanks to “travers1940” of WW2talk.

I contacted WW2talk and “travers1940” was able to tell me when he enlisted

 From near numbered soldiers who have surviving Royal Artillery tracer cards on ancestry it looks like he joined the RA on 17th Sept 1940, which would match with him being at the home address on 1939 Register.

1082340 Jones, Bert – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 117th Field Regiment
1082341 Jones, Emlyn – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 117th Field Regiment
1082342 Jones, George – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 117th Field Regiment
1082346 Jones, Hugh – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 117th Field Regiment
1082378 Siddall – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 102 Field Regiment (TA)
1082383 Jones – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 102 Field Regiment (TA)
1082386 Wilkinson – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 102 Field Regiment (TA)
1082388 Ollenshaw – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 102 Field Regiment (TA)
1082389 Swindells – joined 17th Sept 1940 – first unit 102 Field Regiment (TA)

On the 1st of October 1941 Evan Owen was transferred to the Pioneer Corps.   After that, I’m afraid, I only have the casualty Lists to help find out what happened to Evan Owen.   On Casualty list 1779, Evan Owen was recorded as having died as the result of an accident on the 2nd of June, 1945, then Casualty List (Page 8) Corrections, he is listed as having died on the 1st of June 1945.

On the 2 CWGC Graves Concentration Report Forms, it is reported that Evan Owen DIED.

On the Casualty List he is under the heading of “Died as the result of an Accident.”  Not Killed in Action or Died of Wounds, so what happened?

 The CWGC Graves Concentration Report Forms tell us that Evan Owen Davies was buried first, possibly where he died, Margraten American Military Cemetery (Map reference Sh9 1/100.000  655481) and then on the 29th of April 1947 he was reburied at Venray War Cemetery.

I cannot find out how or why he died, his Service Records can be obtained from the Army –

Disclosures 1 (MP 520)

Army Personnel Centre

Kentigern House

65 Brown Street


G2 8EX

Tel: 0345 600 9663

Unit History: Pioneer Corps – FORCES WAR RECORDS

Pioneer Corps

In September 1939, a number of infantry and cavalry reservists were formed into Works Labour Companies. These, in October 1939 became the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (AMPC), and a Labour Directorate was created to control labour matters. On 22 November 1940 the name was changed from the AMPC to the Pioneer Corps.

Pioneers were recruited from throughout Africa, Mauritius and India. They performed a wide variety of tasks in all theatres of war. These tasks ranging from handling all types of stores, laying prefabricated track on the beaches and stretcher-bearing. They also worked under Engineer supervision on the construction of the Mulberry Harbour and laid the Pipe Line Under the Ocean (PLUTO), constructed airfields, roads and erected bridges. Hardly known today is the fact that many thousands of Germans and Austrians joined the Pioneer Corps to assist the Allied war efforts and liberation of their home countries. These were mainly Jews and political opponents of the Nazi Regime who had fled to Britain while it was still possible, including the cinematographer Sir Ken Adam. These men – often dubbed “The King’s Most Loyal Enemy Aliens” – later moved on to serve in fighting units like the Royal Fusiliers, Royal Tank Corps and even with the RAF. Serving as German nationals in the British forces was particularly dangerous, since, in the case of them being taken captive, there was a high probability they would have been executed as traitors by the Germans. Also, the number of German-born Jews joining the British forces was exceptionally high. Until the end of the war, one of seven Jewish refugees from Germany had joined the British forces. Their profound knowledge of the German language and customs proved to be very useful. A lot of them served in the administrative bodies of the British occupation army in Germany after the war.

I have hit a wall regarding Evan Owen Davies, but he must be remembered for his sacrifice, any information would be gratefully received.@












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