Private 27010 George Evans, MM

Evans George 96 424x600

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 5th December 1917, age 22.
Buried in Grave I. G. 7. at Windmill British Cemetery, Monchy-Le-Preux, Pas De Calais, France.

1st Bn., King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). 12th Brigade of 4th Division.

Son of Mr William Evans.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/29142/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Evans registered March quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
8 Tibbington Terrace, Tipton, Staffs.
William Evans (46, Coal Miner - Pikeman, born Dudley), his wife Eliza (42, born Dudley), and their 6 children: Ann Jane (15, born Sedgley), Elizabeth (13, born Sedgley), Louisa (10, born Sedgley), Arthur (8, born Sedgley), George (6, born Tipton), and Lily (4, born Tipton).

1911 Census
1 Regent Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
William Evans (55, Widower, Coal Miner, born Brierley Hill), and 5 of his 9 surviving children: Louisa (21, House Keeper, born Tipton), Arthur (18, Presser at Tin Works, born Tipton), George (16, Core maker, born Tipton), Lily (14, born Tipton), and Edward (9, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £1/3/8d (1 pound, 3 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his father, William, in April 1918. His War Gratuity was £6/10/0d (6 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his father in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George had enlisted in June 1916.

Action resulting in his death

For the 1st Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) (1/RLR) 1917 had been hard year. They had fought in the Battles of Arras and Third Ypres, and over 250 Other Ranks had been killed in action. It is likely that George Evans joined in the early month of 1917 so potentially served in all of these actions.

After the 1st Battle of Passchendaele, the 1/RLR were moved out of the Ypres Salient and were posted to the relatively quiet trenches around Monchy-Le-Preux, to the east of the Arras battlefield.

Overnight on the 4th and 5th December 1917, gas entered one of the 1/RLR dug-outs and 12 Other Ranks were killed. 11 of these men are buried side-by-side in graves I.G.5 to I.G.14 of Windmill Hill Cemetery, Monchy-Le-Preux. Buried in grave I.G.7 is Tipton man, Private George Evans M.M.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 23rd May 1917
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
KING'S OWN (R. LANC. REG.)- Evans, 27010, G., (Tipton).

Tipton Herald July 6th 1918
Old Tipton Scholar's Bravery
The Chairman (of Tipton Education Committee) was then asked by Councillor Salter (Chairman of the War Pensions Committee) to present the Military Medal to Mr Will Evans, the father of an old scholar who had won the Military Medal, and then in the performance of further military duties had given his life for his country. Private George Evans was on the parapet with a machine gun, and kept the Germans back for at least an hour during the great push of March last, and what the gallant private did showed his courage and determination, and how well he deserved the Military Medal which was awarded to him. They were all sorry that the gallant young soldier could not have lived to receive the honour personally. He was a credit to his parents and a credit to Tipton, and the parents had the consolation of knowing that he had gallantly filled a position of great difficulty and danger. He therefore, with great pleasure handed the medal to the young man's father. The Chairman was only sorry that the soldier's life had not been spared so that he could have personally received it.
The deceased soldier was born and raised in Tipton, and was employed at Mr Salter's Engineering Works; he was associated with the Prince's End Baptist Sunday School. His mother died some time ago, and the father had been practically an invalid since that time.
Letters had been received from the young soldier's officers testifying to his bravery, and showing that he, along with many others who took part in the great defensive beginning last March had covered themselves with glory.

Some confusion here as he was killed in action December 1917, but the references to "March last" suggest he was involved in the Spring Offensive of March 1918. The confusion lies in the Tipton Herald as his MM was gazetted 18th June 1917, so must have been won in March/April 1917 which would have been the Battle of Arras (Capture of Rouex or Fampoux in April 1917). It would be difficult to classify anything in March 1917 as the "great push" so I think the journalist got confused and used the standard terminology for the 1918 German March Offensive. Also "he was later killed", yes some nine months later. Not the Herald's best report!