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David Howell Evans, born 1890 in Cockett, Swansea.1

Parents, William age 28 and a Coal Miner, Margaret age 29, Daughter, Elizabeth Ann.  Son, David Howell Evans, age 8 months old. Welsh language spoken by the family. They lived at Raven hill No. 4.2

Parents, William, age 38 Coal miner hewer, his wife Margaret age39, Daughers, Eliza A. age 12 & Cathrine L. age 4, brothers, David Howell age 10, Thos J. age 9, William G. age 7 and Idwal J Evans age 1. All lived at a house & shop next to Crispins row Ravenhill. They were a Welsh speaking family.3.

Parents, William and Margaret been married for 25 years, had nine and eight children living.  Daughters, Elizabeth Ann, Rural Letter Carrier Swansea, age 23 and single, Cath Louisa age 14 and Olive Gevennie, in school, age 6. Sons, David Howell Evans, age 21 and single, Coal Miner hewer. Thos Jno, Griper In Mine (below), age 19 and single, William Glyn, Labourer In Mine, age 16, Idwal Isaac, in school, age 11 and Joseph Ewart Evans, in school, age 9. They lived at 1 Armine Road, Gendros, Nr.4

Served with the Welsh Regiment 14th Battalion “C” company, in France & Flanders, service number (17859).  Died age 27 when killed in action on 10th May 1918. Grave reference I.E. 23., Martinsart British Cemetery, Somme, France.5 & 6

Paper image and text (awaiting orthorisation)

Tom G. Davies, Universny corps, Royai Welsh Fusiliers.
Aaron Williams, Swansea Battalion.
John Jenkins, Swansea Battalion.
David Howel Evans, Swansea. Battalion.
Peter Black, Swansea Battalion.
D. J. Charles, Swansea Battalion.
James Jackson, Swansea Battalion.
Daniel Davies, 11th Worcestershire Regt.
- Morris, 12th Welsh.”7

A largely attended public meeting was held at London House, when the inhabitants of Fforestfach showed their appreciation of its representatives in the nation’s roll of honour in a practical manner.  Suitably inscribed wallets have been handed or sent to the local participants in the present crisis.  Five of them who had been granted a few days’ leave, were present, and received a warm reception upon taking their seats.  The Rev. H. J. Stewart, Vicar of Cockett, presided.  He opened the meeting with an excellent address in Welsh and English, welcoming the brave young men, and pointing out how proud all concerned should feel of those so filled with enthusiasm for righteous cause, as to offer their services for their country, homes, and friends.  The wounded soldiers the speaker had lately met were amongst the happiest men he had known, for they were satisfied that they had done all they could do. He hoped that those present would live to come back, when they would have a great reception, and wished them every success. (Applause.) Mr. John Nicholas sang, or Britons, Raise Your Banners High," whereupon Mr. Thomas Williams said Fforestfach felt proud of all'-who had fallen in to fight for their safety, freedom, and honour. Some of them, he added, were members of his Sunday School class, and he hoped they would all come back alive and well. (Applause.) Mr. D. Jones, schoolmaster, Cockett, said he was proud of the Fforestfach men who had enlisted, many of whom had attended his school. The place owed a debt to them. The roll of. honour to be set up in Cockett School would bear 35 names, and he hoped they would all return.  He wished them God's speed. (Applause.) Mrs. Hughes wife of the Rev. E. J. Hughes, Calfaria, who was heartily welcomed by the chairman, made the presentation.  In a neat and pithy speech she expressed great pleasure in being present and felt honoured in being asked to make the presentation.  Words to adequately convey the true sentiments of Fforestfach's inhabitants could not be found.  The wallets showed the appreciation, kindness, and esteem of the people to whom she sincerely hoped God would enable them to return strong and well. (Applause.) She then handed the tokens to Private John Jenkins, Private David Howel Evans, Private. Clifford Rees, Private Aaron Williams, Private D. J. Jones. and Private D, J. Williams.  Mr. Tom Williams, Llwyn Onen, followed. Mr. J. Nicholas gave a solo, and a splendid address, his touches of humour bringing the house down. He dwelt on the nearness of the present, war to most people, and spoke with pride of Fforest fach's representatives, who were a credit to the place.  He wished them every success. (Applause,) John Jenkins responded, and, thanked all concerned, on behalf of his comrades, for the kindness extended to them.—The Chairman proposed, and-Mr. Sobey seconded, a vote of sympathy with Mrs. J. Stanley. Ystrad-road, whose husband recently died as a result of wounds.  Mr. Ben Jones, on behalf of the committee, proposed, and the Rev. E. J. Hughes seconded, a vote of thanks to the chairman.  Hen Wlan fy Nhadau" and "God Save the King" brought the meeting to a close.”8

D.H. Evans8a

Armine road, Fforestfach, presented an animated appearance on Tuesday afternoon, when Corporal David Howel Evans arrived home from a military hospital on ten days’ leave.  About two months ago Corporal Evans received severe knee wounds, coupled with the tiresome travel, he looked remarkably fit.  He was met at High street, Swansea, by members of his family, the Rev. E. J. Hughes (Calfaria).  Messrs. Ben Jones and Tom Williams (Llwyn Onen) and taken home by taxi.  The street was most tastefully decorated.  Hundreds of Jubilant school children cheered lustily when the taxi bearing the hero drew up.  In pre-war days Corporal Evans donned the All White jersey on a number of occasions.”9

"Mr. William Evans, Armine-road, Fforestfach, has been apprised of the fact that his eldest son, Sergt. David Howel Evans, Welsh Regiment, is missing. Sgt. Evans joined a local unit. He saw much service on the western front and was wounded severely on two occasions, in pre-war days he figured promisingly in the All Whites’ pack. His brother, Cpl. Tom Evans, Welsh Guards, won the Croix de Guerre some months ago. Official intimation has been received ,that Pte. Tom Morgan, 5, Capel-road, Llanelly, of the Machine-gun Corps, is missing since April 10th. Prior to enlisting Pte. Morgan was the manager of Messrs. Eastmans, Ltd., Stepney-street."10

"Aveluy Wood, Near Albert, France
British artillery fire, misjudged. Today known as “Friendly Fire”.
“On the 8th instant the Major of the Battery was relieved by the Captain, who worked out the switches for the barrage and, in error, ordered the preliminary barrage line ‘so many degrees’ left of the Zero point instead of ‘so many half degrees’.
The Battery therefore opened fire on a line well in rear of our front line and measurements show that it would catch the third wave of the infantry at the time when the advance to the second objective was due….”

“This disastrous incident had cost the Swansea Battalion alone, twelve men killed and thirty wounded. Among those who fell was Sergeant David Howell Evans, who was twenty-seven years of age. The eldest of nine children, his mother had died at an early age in the first decade of the twentieth century, leaving his father to bring up the family alone. David had worked before the war as a miner in the Fforestfach area of Swansea, following in the footsteps of his father, William, who was also a collier.
William was a much-respected deacon at the Calfaria Welsh Baptist Chapel on Carmarthen Road, Swansea. Indeed, when David was home on leave after coming through the attack on Mametz Wood, the congregation had presented him with a Bible, while his father looked on with pride. Sergeant Evans’ brother, Sergeant T.J. Evans, was also serving, but with the Welsh Guards. In action at Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917 his brave actions had earned him a Croix de Guerre.
Unlike many relatives of the fallen, David’s father and brother were able to visit his grave in France during the 1920s. The photographs still show the pain that they had suffered at his loss, etched on their faces. A specially made plaque to his memory still remains with the family to this day, the following words appearing beneath his portrait:

The path of duty
Was the path to glory"11

Medals: Victory and British.12

1 England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
2 Census Wales 1891
3 Census Wales1901
4 Census Wales1911
5 Commonwealth War Graves Commission
6 Forces War Records, 07.03.2014
7 Cambrian Daily Leader 19.11.1914
8 Herald of Wales 16.01.1915
8a Herald of Wales 27.05.1916
9Herald of Wales 01.07.1916 (in part)
10 Cambrain Daily Leader 10.06.1918
11 Swansea Pals by Bernard Lewis, 2004 ISBN 978-1844152520, page 161 &162
12 British Army WW1 Medals Rolls Index 1914-1920