The AIF Project

Mansell William EVANS

Regimental number3811
Place of birthUpper Darling Range, Stoke, Newington, London, England
SchoolChurch of England School, West Hackeny, London, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSleeper hewer
Address56 Pier Street, Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinFather, W Evans, 8 Neville Road, Newington Middlesex, England
Previous military serviceServed 5 years in the Territorial Force (Queen Victorias Rifles).
Enlistment date11 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Orontes on 24 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularArrived in Australia, 1911. "He was an Officer in the 20th North London Boy Scouts and Troo9p which I (his father) formed in 1908 and of which I was Scoutmaster. He proved himself an excellent drill and an efficient disciplinarian and was popular in the Toroop. Was for years member of the Church Choir, West Hackney and had a good treble voice. Took several prizes at School. Fond of sport, football and cricket. He joined his father in the business at the age of 15. Lived in a healthy and historically interesting suburg of London where lived the celebrated Hymn writer. Dr. Isaac Watts, also Daniel Defac." Details from Father.
FateKilled in Action 03-4 September 1916
Place of death or woundingSomme, France
Age at death26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Family/military connections"Brother: Stanley Vaughan Evans, No. 789, 44th Battalion was wounded and gassed and experienced some service at Hanger Wood. Was on Messines Ridge when it was blown up. He is now back again in Australia in vicinity of Perth. Married. Letter addressed C/o GPO Perth, will find him." Details from Father.

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