Evans, William H

William Henry Evans, Sapper WR/273803, 33rd Light Railway Operating Coy. Royal Engineers
Died of disease 28 February 1919 at Abbeville, France, aged 30

 

EARLY LIFE

William Henry Evans was baptised on 9 December 1888 in Macclesfield, the youngest son of Hannah and Samuel Evans, a shoemaker of Macclesfield. In 1891, two-year-old William was living at 19 Barton St, Macclesfield, with his parents and siblings Harriet (22), Annie (19), Samuel (16), Walter (14), Elizabeth A (11), Joseph (9) and Hannah (6). Ten years later in 1901 the family had moved to 12 Chester Rd and William was working as a silk piecer. By 1911 William’s father had died and he and his brother Joseph were living with their widowed mother at 2 Court No 4 House, Arbourhay Street; by this time William was working as a pipe builder for a railway company.

In 1914 William married Eliza Ann Garfield at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church. The couple lived at 69 Commercial Road, Macclesfield and had two daughters.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

William joined the Cheshire Regiment with service number 3/45597 but was later transferred to the Royal Engineers with serviceenumber 282950, eventually serving with the Royal Engineers’ Light Railway Operating Company with service number WR/273803, possibly because of his previous experience of working on the railways. He was drafted to France after 1915, and was recorded at 69 Commercial Road, Macclesfield in the Spring 1919 Absent Voters’ List.

Sapper Evans died on 28 February 1919 at the 3rd Australian General Hospital, Abbeville, France. The nature of the disease which caused his death is not known.

 

COMMEMORATION

Sapper William Evans is buried in grave ref. V. G. 12. at Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, France.  His widow asked for the inscription “WITH THE MORN THOSE ANGEL FACES SMILE WHICH WE LOVED LONG SINCE AND LOST AWHILE” to be added to his headstone.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Sapper William Evans, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Sapper William Evans is commemorated on the Park Green and Town Hall war memorials.

 

NOTES

 

SOURCES

GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (Find My Past): Macclesfield
Cheshire Parish Registers (Familysearch)
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls (Ancestry)
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

 


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