1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 15776 Arthur Leslie Evans
- Age: 23
- From: Pendre, Flint
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
- D.O.W Thursday 6th December 1917
- Commemorated at: Bailleul Cc Ext
Panel Ref: III.E.40
Arthur Leslie Evans was born on the 24th December, 1893 in Flint and baptised on the 07th January, 1894 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint. He was the youngest of seven children to Joseph Wood Massey Evans, Justice of the Peace, County Councillor, and Mary (Foulkes) of Pendre, Church Street, Flint.
Arthur Leslie was a godson of the Reverend Canon Llewelyn Nicholas, rector of St Mary’s Parish Church.
Arthur’s sister, Sarah Olive (1884–1965), married Otto Charles Kahn (son of physician Dr Herman Kahn) at St Mary’s Parish Church on Flint on 30th June, 1909. A resident of Rochelle, New York, he was Departmental Manager of the Union Pacific Railway. Their engagement was announced in the New York Times on 22nd June, 1909.
Another sister, Mai (1882–1976), married Otto’s brother, Joseph Henry (1884–1946), also at St Mary’s Parish Church, on 30th April, 1913. He was a merchant, of Moffel Bay, South Africa, but later resided in Sutton, Surrey. He fought for the English in the South African Campaign (1899–1902).
Their youngest sister, Nina (1889–1964), married Reginald Elsenham Montgomery Moore (1892– 1926) at All Saints’ Church, Sydenham, London, on 19th June, 1920, and they resided in Prestatyn. He was the son of the late Dr William Holmes Moore, of Charters Towers, Queensland, and Mrs Moore of Sydenham, London.
Arthur, who never married, was an Apprentice clerk with Messrs J Blythe and Sons Corn Merchants, Bootle, Merseyside.
He enlisted at St George's Hall in Liverpool on 01st September, 1914 joining the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 15776.
He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory from 14th September 1914, he trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915.
News of his enlistment was featured in the Flintshire Observer on 24th September 1914:
FAMILY'S GOOD RESPONSE:
Alderman J.W.M. and Mrs Evans of Pendre, Flint have both sons and three nephews who have responded to the call "Your Country Needs You." Mr G. Neville Evans has joined the Yeomanry at Birkenhead; Mr Arthur Leslie Evans, the Corn Trade "Pals" Battalion, an is now in Prescot; Lieut. Sydney Evans is with the 2nd Liverpool Rifles by at Dunfermline; Mr Frank Pierce, Insurance "Pals" Battalion, Prescot; and Mr Gerald Foulkes is coming from Canada with the Colonials.
His service record shows:
29th November, 1914; Whiston Hospital with influenza, 8th January, 1915 to 13th January, 1915; Rainhill Hospital after vaccination, 24th February, 1915 to 3rd March, 1915; Larkhill Camp, Salisbury, 5th September, 1915; embarked Southampton, 6th November, 1915; landed at Boulogne, 07th November, 1915; granted 1st Good Conduct Badge on completion of 2 years’ service, 1st September, 1916; leave to UK, 4th – 14th February, 1917.
He died on 06th December, 1917 at the No. 53, Casualty Clearing Station, Bailleul, France, from gunshot wounds in the chest and left thigh.
He was buried in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (Nord), France (Plot III, Row E, Grave 40) where his headstone bears the epitaph:
"GONE FROM OUR LIFE BUT NEVER FROM OUR HEARTS".
His death was reported in the Liverpool Daily Post on 13th December 1917:
Roll of Honour
Flint Men Killed
The official information has been received of the death of Private Arthur Leslie Evans, son of Alderman J.W.M. Evans of Pendre, Flint, provision merchant. The deceased was a member of the King's Liverpool's, and had been with the Battalion over two years before joining the Army. He was in the employ of Messrs. J. Blythe and Sons, corn merchants, Bootle. He was 23 years of age.
News of his loss was also reported in the Flintshire County Herald on the 14th December 1917:
Deaths of Heroes:
It is with extreme regret that we make the sad announcement that the borough of Flint has been deprived by the death of another of its soldier heroes upon the battlefield. On Monday Alderman J.W.M. Evans J.P. C.C., provision merchant, Flint, and residing at Pendre, Upper Church Street, received the communication in a letter and unofficially that his youngest son, Private Arthur Leslie Evans, had been wounded and further information was anxiously awaited. Another letter was to hand from the Liverpool District on Tuesday morning, corroborative of the information and stating that Private Evans had sustained wounds while pursuing his duties. He was conveyed as speedily as possible to a Dressing Station so that his injuries should have the necessary attention. Hopes were entertained by those who were with him that there would be a favourable turn in his condition, and Alderman Evans and his family we're also somewhat bouyed up; but early on Tuesday afternoon an official telegram arrived conveying the sad intelligence that Private Evans died on the following day. Deceased, who would have been 24 years of age on Monday next, was a native of Flint and had served a term of years with Messrs. J. Blythe and Sons, corn merchants, Bootle. He patriotically answered the call of his country and joined the Army and had been over two years at the front. He was home on leave from the front in February last. He was greatly respected by his soldier comrades, and beloved by all those who shared his acquaintance in his home surroundings. The sympathies of a large number of people of Flint are extended to Alderman Evans and Mrs Evans and the members of the family in there sad bereavement.
Mr Evans received the following letter from Arthur’s Commanding Officer.
3, King’s Mount Birkenhead
My dear Mr. Evans,
I am Transport Officer of the 17th King’s and am at present home on leave, and only heard to-day the sad news of Leslie’s death. I had a letter 3 days ago from my Assistant telling me Leslie and another man had been wounded and I had hoped for the best, but a rumour I heard last night caused me to look up A. H. Blake, who, of course told me of the calamity.
I have been his officer since June 1915, and may say it is entirely due to men of his stamp that I have one of the best Transports in France. He was devoted to his horses and his turn- out was a credit to himself and to the Battalion. His conduct was exemplary during the whole time he was with me, and his cheerful disposition enabled him to rise superior to the wretchedest surroundings. I never knew a kinder boy with animals, or a more trustworthy and I cannot adequately replace him. I feel the deepest sympathy with you all in your great loss, as it was easy to see from his letters home how close the family ties were.
Well, the poor boy has paid the greatest of all sacrifices, and we shall hope not in vain, but take consolation that he died as a soldier should, doing his duty cheerfully and bravely. His memory will always be with us, “as one of the best” and could any man have a better epitaph?
If there is anything I can do, Mr. Evans, to help you in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know, and in the meantime,
I am, Yours with deepest sympathy,
(Signed) W. Marshall, Capt.
Arthur's personal belongings were sent to Mr Alfred Harvey Blake, 8, Seafield Drive, New Brighton, Cheshire and were: identity disc, photographs, safety razor, fountain pen, scissors, leather purse, 2 pocket mirrors in case, knife and a half-Franc note (defaced) souvenir. On enlistment he was 5ft 101⁄2ins, weighed 143lb, chest 341⁄2 in, had dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, scar on back of neck, and his physical development and vision were good.
Soldiers Effects to executors Alfred Blake and Richard Mogridge.
Arthur was awarded the 1914–15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
His family placed a memorial notice in the Liverpool Echo on the first anniversary of his death 06th December 1918:
EVANS - In sad but proud and ever loving memory of Private ARTHUR LESLIE EVANS, 17th K.L.R.(Transport Section), who died of wounds, December 6, 1917, the dearly loved youngest son of Alderman J.W.M. Evans J.P. and Mrs Evans, Flint.
He is remembered on the following war memorials:
St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint.
North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor.
He is also remembered on his parents’ headstone in the Old Ground of the Northop Road Cemetery, Flint.
This verse, about life at Larkhill Camp, Salisbury, where Private Evans was stationed from 05th September, 1915 to 06th November, 1915, emphasises the importance of infantry training, and highlights the difficulti
There’s an isolated desolate spot that I’d like to mention
Where all you hear is ‘Stand at ease,’ ‘Slope arms,’ ‘Quick march,’ ‘Attention,’
‘Slope arms,’ ‘Fix bayonets,’ then ‘Present,’ they don’t half put you through it
And as you stagger to your hut, the Sergeant shouts ‘Jump to it.’
It’s miles away from anywhere, by gad it’s hard to have fun,
A bloke lived there for 50 years and never saw a woman.
There’s only 2 lamps in the place, so tell it to your Mother
The postman always carries one, the policeman has the other.
And if you want a jolly night and you don’t care a jot
Just take a ride inside the car, the car they haven’t got.
Lots and lots of tiny huts are dotted everywhere
For those who have to live in them, let’s offer up a prayer.
The soldiers live inside the huts, it fills my heart with sorrow
With tear stained eyes they say to us it’s Lark Hill again tomorrow.
Inside the huts there’s great big rats, as big as nanny goats
Just last night a soldier saw one, trying on his greatcoat.
For breakfast every morning it’s like Old Mother Hubbard
You double round the hat three times and jump up at the cupboard.
Sometimes they give you bacon, sometimes they give you cheese
It forms platoons upon your plate, Orders Arms and Stands at Ease.
Every night you sleep on boards, just like a lot of cattle
and when you turn from left to right, your bones begin to rattle.
and when the bugle blasts at morn it drives you off your noodle
you knock the icebergs off your feet and damn and blast the bugle.
Arthur’s older brother, Edward Nevylle (1879–1965), served in the war for 41⁄2 years with the 17th King’s (Liverpool Regiment) attaining the rank of Lieutenant. He served in France and Italy and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917 and the Edinburgh Gazette of 19th April, 1917 reported: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Accompanied by one man, he succeeded in capturing his enemy’s position together with six prisoners. Later, he took command of his company and drove off an enemy counter-attack.” It was reported he had experienced a number of miraculous escapes from serious injuries.
Joseph Wood Massey Evans was born on 03rd January, 1846 at Pendre in Church Street and died there on 30th October, 1929 and buried in the family plot in the Northop Road Cemetery.
Mr J W M Evans was a native of Flint, and extremely well known and highly respected in the town. He was born in the house in which he died, and was probably one of the oldest residents of the borough. He was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Joseph Evans. Mr Jos Evans conducted a general store known as Pendre Stores, and the late Mr Evans entered into business with his father when he was 18 years of age. After his father’s death he carried on the business of Corn Miller at the Bryn Mill, which he visited five days before he died. He contracted a chill and was taken worse two days later, when Dr Dobey, Chester, was called in consultation with Drs J Humphry Williams and Bateman, but he gradually became weaker and passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
In his younger days Mr Evans had been a prominent and popular public man. He served on the Flint Town Council in the late 1870s, and was also an alderman of the Flintshire County Council for some time. He was responsible for the planting of trees in Church Street to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1898. His name was enrolled on the Commission of the Peace in 1909. He was a staunch Conservative, and was president of the Flint Conservative Club for many years. He was also an ardent churchman and was a faithful member of St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint, where at different times he occupied various offces, including those of warden and sidesman. Mr and Mrs Evans celebrated their golden wedding in June, 1928 when they were the recipients of many congratulatory messages. At the Parish Church on the Sunday morning following the funeral, the Rector (Reverend T J Davies, Bachelor of Arts) referred in sympathetic terms to the late Mr J W M Evans, and said that he had been greatly interested in Church work during his life, and had also been very active in public affairs. The Rector reminded the congregation that the late Mr Evans was baptised at the opening of the present Parish Church in 1848.
Joseph’s wife, Mary, was born in Bagillt on 23rd July, 1851 and died at Pendre, after a long illness, on 7th June, 1935. She was buried with her husband and their daughters, Dorothy Vois (1886–1890) and Gladys Marie (1880–1933). Also in this grave are the parents of Mr J W M Evans – Joseph (1808– 1863) and Maria Matilda (1814–1867), and their only daughter Annie Matilda, Justice of the Peace (1843–1933).
Mrs Evans, who was of a quiet disposition, was greatly attached to St Mary’s Parish Church, and was well known and highly esteemed in Flint and district.