William Evans was born in Mold in about 1877. His Father was Thomas and his Mother was Catherine. He was recorded on the census of 1891 living at 14 Conway Street, Mold. Head of the household was Thomas Evans,54, a Brewery Labourer. His wife Catherine was 51. Their listed children were Thomas 20, William 14 and Joseph 11. There was a lodger named Joseph Williams, a 50 year old Coal Miner.
William’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk They include many duplicate pages and many damaged and difficult to read pages, but it is possible to follow some of his story. The records tells us that William was a career soldier. He first enlisted in the militia about 1896 when he was 19. He served in the 3rd Btn of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was still serving when he reenlisted 3 years later. He signed up again at Mold on the 19th May 1899. He was 22 years and 5 months old and said that he was a General Labourer. He requested to join the Rifle Brigade.
The following day he had a medical. He was described as being 5 feet 7 and a half inches tall, weighed 142 lbs and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with a 2 and a half inch expansion range. His complexion was fresh, eyes grey and he had dark brown hair. He was considered fit enough to serve in the Rifle Brigade. It seems however, he was transferred almost immediately to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers the same day.
William served for the next ten years. The Records tell us that he served ‘At Home’ -in the UK from the 19th May 1899 until the 26th May 1900. He was in the Boer War in South Africa from the 27th May 1901 until the 23rd October 1902. (He was awarded the Kings and Queens Clasps in South Africa)He was in India from the 24th October until the 5th April 1907 and served ‘At Home’ in the UK from the 6th April 1907 until the 18th May 1911. This being the termination of his period of engagement his discharge was confirmed. He seems however to have re enlisted immediately for a further 4 years.
William had married Martha Thornton in Mold on the 4th May 1908. They had three children. Anne, William Henry and Laura. A Relatives Form in the records lists his Father Thomas Evans of 13 Milford Street Mold, his brother Joseph. His sisters Maggie Evans and Sarah Griffith and his wife and children.
He joined The British Expeditionary Force in France in November 1914 and was killed in action on the 7th September 1915. The news cutting below gives the best account of what happened.
His Flintshire Roll of Honour card includes the address 42 Alyn Terrace and bears his wife’s name, Martha Evans.