I was not able to find anything about Alfred’s family life, but with information given by Ann Tolen and Chris Stockton, who I contacted on Ancestry.co.uk, and who told me that Alfred EVANS was the son of Edward EVANS and Ann JONES, we have been able to tell his story. Ann tells me that Alfred and his brother’s were very close. There were a family of 5 brothers 3 went to war 2 returned. Many thanks to Ann.
Edward and Ann married in St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden on the 4th December 1909. – Edward EVANS, 25 Bachelor Collier, Ewloe, Robert EVANS, Collier, Deceased & Ann JONES, 24 Spinster, Ewloe, Alfred JONES, Engine Driver. (After Banns). – Witnesses:- Henry WEIGH, Esther GRIFFITHS & William WAINWRIGHT. D.Tudor EVANS, Assist Curate.
I believe that Alfred Evans was born on the 19th February 1916, at least that is the date that was on the 1939 Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939,(War was declared on the 3rd September the same year).
Alfred married Eunice Boswell in 1937 at the Highway Methodist Church, Ewloe (Flintshire (Mold) A103/01/E17).
If this is the right family, living in Wood Lane, Hawarden, then Alfred and Eunice were living with Eunice’s Grandfather, William Boswell, born 16th February 1873, a Widower and Iron Moulder at Heavy Steel Works. Thomas Boswell, born 18th December 1900 was single and a Buildings Contractors General Labourer. Eunice Evans, born on the 26th June 1915, was described, as all married women without a job, as as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties. On this is a clue to what happened to Eunice after the war. Another name was written in and a date on the document (Bunnell – 1947). There is another redacted record, on this Register, so it may be that Eunice and Alfred had a child or a sibling of Eunice, and it is this record that was redacted, but I do not know, at the moment, if anyone can add to Alfred’s story, please get in touch.
I can trace Eunice Boswell’s family on the 1901 census and the 1911 censuses, still living at Wood Lane, Hawarden.
I do not know anything about Alfred, his family or early life, as stated before, nor do I know when he enlisted or was conscripted in to the war, but on the 29th September 1939, he was still with Eunice and her family.
He did join the 4th Bn. The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), but as at any time, he could have just been transferred into the Regiment. At the moment, all I have is his two Casualty Forms.:-
Casualty Form Page 19 – Expeditionary Forces. – MISSING – 4th Bn. The Buffs – 6096134 EVANS Pte. A 23rd October 1943
Casualty Form Page 6 (At Sea) – Previously reported Missing 23/24th October 1943. Now Presumed Killed in Action (Contd.) – 6096134 EVANS Pte. A 23/24rd October 1943 (Previous List No. 1300)
War Death (Army – Other Ranks) (Page 267) – EVANS, Alfred Pte. 6096134 Buffs 1943 Vol. 1 Page 355
I contacted chrisstockton187 on Ancestry and he was able help solve the mystery of Alfred’s death:-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Eclipse_(H08) – Many thanks to Chris.
Alfred was a member of “A” company of the 4th Battalion Royal East Kent Regiment and was aboard the destroyer HMS Eclipse which sank in the Aegean Sea east of Kalimnos after hitting a mine on the night of 23/24 October 1943. 119 of the ships crew of 145 were lost and 134 soldiers.
Please click on the link which does give a description of what happened. – Battle of Leros – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leros
Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, gives an idea of his oredeal, along with thousands of others too.
The 4th Battalion Buffs was a 1st Line Territorial Army unit that served with the BEF in France 1940. The battalion was transferred to the island of Malta in 1941 and served throughout the siege. The battalion then joined the 234th Infantry Brigade, which took part in the disastrous Battle of Leros in an attempt to capture the Dodecanese Islands in late 1943. The brigade and other Allied forces, mainly Italian, attempted to hold the island from the Germans, but without success. This was due mainly to German air superiority as the Allies had very few planes to cover them. The 234th Brigade Commander, Robert Tilney, ordered the surrender after many days of resistance and hard fighting.
This excerpt from the Commonwealth War Graves History of the Athen’s Memorial, may shed a little more light on Alfred.
The ATHENS MEMORIAL stands within Phaleron War Cemetery and commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives during the campaigns in Greece and Crete in 1941 and 1944-1945, in the Dodecanese Islands in 1943-1945 and in Yugoslavia in 1943-1945, and who have no known grave.
Eunice was to remarry in 1947 to Cecil H. Bunnell in Mancot Prebyterian Church, (Flintshire (Mold)A102/03/E18).
He was well loved as his name was given to be added to the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial to be remembered forever for his sacrifice. Any help would be gratefully received.