The AIF Project

John Colvin EVANS

Regimental number215
Place of birthOrange, New South Wales
SchoolAlbion Park Public School, Albion Park, and Fort Street Model School, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address'Bieula', The Boulevarde, Strathfield, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinFather, J W Evans, Strathfield, New South Wales
Enlistment date10 February 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentLance Corporal
Unit name19th Battalion, A Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll1215
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular

'Sailed with his Battalion for Egypt on the 25th June, 1915, and landed in Gallipoli in August. After spending a short time on the Peninsula he became ill with typhoid fever and was invalided to Malta. On recovering he joined his Battalion.' Details from Father.

FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Elizabeth EVANS, 'Tara', The Boulevarde, Strathfield, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousin: 836 Sergeant William Tamblyn CRAGO, 20th Bn, killed in action, 3 January 1917.
Other details

War service: proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915. Admitted to 16th Casualty Clearing Station, 8 September 1915 (bronchitis); transferred to Mudros, thence to Hospital, Malta, 12 September 1915 (typhoid). Embarked for Egypt, fit for active service, 30 November 1915; taken on strength, Overseas Base, Ghezireh, 13 January 1916.

Admitted to No. 4 auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 27 January 1916 (mumps); discharged to duty, 27 January 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 1 August 1916 (shell wound, left side and leg); admitted to No. 3 Canadian General Hospital, Camiers, 2 August 1916; to 7th Convalescent Depot, 8 August 1916; to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, 21 August 1916; rejoined unit, 28 August 1916.

Appointed Acting Sergeant, 23 August 1916; Sergeant, 7 September 1916. To Bayonet Course, 9 October 1916; rejoined unit, 11 October 1916.

Detached to 5th Training Bn, England, 28 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 13 September 1917; rejoined 19th Bn, 18 Seotember 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

1729 Sergeant S.S. MATTICK, 19th Bn, stated: 'I was with [215] Sgt.[J.C.] Evans at the time of his death. He was killed by a shell which landed on the parados and the "Back-Wash" entered his head and neck killing him immediately. Sgt Evans was digging to deepen the trench, which was waterlogged when he met his death. No. 269, T/Sgt. Lochens W. and No. 334, Sgt. Taylor, E.D. (now Lieut. in 17th Bn) and I, buried Sgt. Evans. He was buried where he fell I There was a pill-box half-left from the position we were in at the time. After burying Sgt. Evans we placed his rifle and a paper inscription above the grave. Along with Sgt. Evans was buried No. 224, Pte. Foat. They were both killed by the same shell and we buried them together.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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