(1876 - 1937)
Local Connection: Was an Inspector for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Sydenham from 1931.
Company Sergeant-Major 18th Battalion, Manchester Regiment.
London Gazetted on 30th January 1920.
CSM George Evans was the last person to be Gazetted for the Victoria Cross in the First World War.
Digest of Citation for the Victoria Cross reads:
On 30th July 1916 at Guillemont, France, Company Sergeant-Major Evans volunteered to take back an important message after five runners had been killed in attempting to do so. He had to cover about 700 yards, the whole of which was under observation from the enemy. He succeeded in delivering the message in spite of being wounded and rejoined his company although advised to go to the dressing station. The return journey had again meant facing 700 yards of severe rifle and machine-gun fire, but by dodging from shell-hole to shell-hole he managed it.
A total of 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the First World War: 454 Victoria Crosses were awarded to UK-born recipients; 173 were awarded to servicemen who fought for Britain, but were born overseas; 1 person was awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War. Special paving stones will be laid in the home towns of every UK soldier awarded the Victoria Cross as part of 2014's World War I centenary events. The specially-commissioned stones will be given to councils in the areas where the VC recipients were born. A total of 28 will be unveiled next year to commemorate medals awarded in 1914 and a further 600 will be laid in every year up to 2018. Evan's will be laid in July 2016 at Kensington, where he was born.
He joined the army on 5th March 1894 in the Scots Guards. He served the South Africa War from 1899-1902 with the first Battalion. He saw service, for six months, in the Orange Free State, seeing action at Belmont and Modder River. During this war he joined Imperial Representative Corps, accompanying the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V, and Queen Mary) on their tour of Australia during the Commonwealth Celebrations.
After the tour he returned to South Africa serving in the later part of the Boer War. In April 1901 he was awarded the South African Medal and clasps for Belmont and Modder River. He left the Scots Guards in August 1902 after serving as an instructor.
Early in the First World War he enlisted in the Manchester Regiment on 4th January 1915. Apart from the occasion of his winning the Victoria Cross, he had displayed great bravery throughout the Battle of the Somme, especially at Montauban and Trónes Wood. He was always a splendid example to his men and from 30th July 1916 he was a prisoner of war.
Location of Memorial:
He is commemorated on the Lewisham Shopping Centre Mural and has a memorial on his grave at Elmers End Cemetery, Beckenham, Kent.
He was born on 16th February 1876 at Kensington, London. His mother died on when he was six weeks old and his father died on when he was 13. He looked after himself from that time on. He was educated at various schools in the London area. After leaving the army in 1902 he joined the NSPCC and became an inspector. He was married , his wife's name was Clara (née Bates) and they had four children whose names were, Daniel Jones, Constance, Viola May and George. He died on 28th September 1937.
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