The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

James Walter Evans

James Walter Evans was born in Ystradgynlais and served with the Royal Engineers on the Western Front. He died of wounds in a field hospital in April 1918 and was buried in France.

The information on James Walter Evans has been compiled from a number of sources, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameJames Walter Evans
Date of Death28th April 1918
Place of DeathFrance
Age at Death28
Unit and RegimentRoyal Engineers; 497th Field Coy.
RankSapper
Service Number398112
Grave  AIRE COMMUNAL CEMETERY - FRANCE; II. H. 2.
Local MemorialsYstradgynlais War Memorial
Ystalyfera County School
St Cynog's brass plaque, Ystradgynlais
Personal DetailsBorn Ystradgynlais. Son of John (born Ystradgynlais 1850, Grocer and Shopkeeper, died 7th March 1928) and Mary (born Hereford 1854, died 12th December 1952) Evans (**Click) of Glan-yr-Avon, Ystradgynlais, Breconshire. Married in 1914 Dorothy Sanderson Evans nee HOPPER of 7, Albion Street, Driffield, Yorkshire.
Former outfitter in Birmingham. James enlisted in Birmingham and was posted to France. Died of wounds caused by shrapnel from an exploding German shell.
Known SistersJessie EVANS (Born Ystradgynlais 1888)

From the Labour Voice newspaper, 26th February 1916:-

Private James W Evans of the Royal Engineers, who is stationed in North Wales, was home over the week end on leave. He looks well and received a cordial welcome from his many friends.


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 3rd June 1916 :-

NEWS OF THE BOYS
Private James Evans, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Evans of Glanyrafon, has left one of the training stations this week for France. He is attached to the Royal Engineers.


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 4th May 1918:-

Private James Evans, son of Mr John Evans, Glanyravon, is reported to be lying seriously ill at a base hospital suffering from wounds.


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 11th May 1918 :-

YSTRADGYNLAIS NOTES
Deep regret was felt locally when the news was circulated last week that Mr. and Mrs. John Evans Glanyrafon, had been notified of the death in a field hospital of their son Lance Corporal Jas. Evans of the R. E. Prior to the war he was an outfitter in Birmingham and received the fatal wounds on his first day in the trenches. He leaves a widow and child to mourn their loss and much sympathy is felt with the bereaved family. A memorial service will take place next Sunday week at the Parish Church.


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 18th May 1918 :-

YSTRADGYNLAIS NOTES
Further information has been received touching the death from wounds of Sapper J. W. Evans, of the Anglesey R. E.'s, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Evans Glanyrafon. In a letter dated 1st May to his father, the Rev. F. L. Staples, C.F., says

"You have no doubt heard by now the sad news that your son passed away on Sunday morning last. Everything possible was done for him and he was quite comfortable. His last thoughts were that God would bless his wife and child, also his father and mother. Please accept my sincerest sympathy with you in your great sorrow and convey the same to his wife, as I have not her address. Your great consolation will be the thought that his splendid sacrifice was indeed for God's sake, and will in due time be rewarded at God's hands. Your son's body was laid to rest yesterday in the military cemetery."
Sapper Evans was highly popular on account of his pleasing disposition. He was an old pupil of Ystalyfera County School and was a cricketer of exceptional ability. Much sympathy is felt with his parents and with the widow and only child. A memorial service will be held at the Parish Church on Sunday evening when the Rector will officiate.


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 25th May 1918 :-

FRONT PAGE
An impressive memorial service took place at the Parish Church on Sunday evening last, when there was a large attendance. The service was in memory of Sapper J. W. Evans R.E., son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Evans, Glanyrafon. The Rev. Jas. Jones B. A., rector, preached an inspiring sermon on the text, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life," and a portion of the funeral service was also read. The hymns sung were, "O God our help in ages past," "How bright these glorious spirits shine" and "Peace, Perfect Peace". Mrs. Ada Williams played the "Dead March."


From the Labour Voice newspaper, 8th June 1918 :-

Page 3
Mrs. J. W. Evans, Albion Street, Driffield, East Yorkshire desires to thank all friends for kind expressions of sympathy during her great sorrow in the loss of her husband, Sapper J. W. Evans.

Mr. and Mrs. John Evans Glanyrafon also desire to thank all friends and sympathisers for expressions of sympathy in the loss of their son, Sapper J. W. Evans.

From the South Wales Voice of 10th March 1928 comes the news of the passing of the father of James Walter Evans. John Evans, mentioned above in the articles about his son's death, died in March 1928 and had a prominent obituary:-

PROMINENT YSTRADGYNLAIS RESIDENT

We regret to report the death of Mr John Evans Glanyravon House Ystradgynlais, which occurred on Thursday morning after an illness lasting some time. Deceased, who had reached the age of 78, was well known in the district. He was a faithful adherent of the English Congregational Church, where he will be greatly missed.

The late Mr Evans had been a cripple for 60 years, as a result of very severe injuries to his spine and legs while a young man. At the time he was employed as a cashier at the now-defunct Hendreladis Colliery. Whilst riding on the foot plate of the economy loco, he fell under it. After some years he was able to get about with the aid of sticks, the use of which he retained until his death. He went to live at Cardiff and after serving on the staff of the South Wales News entered on a business career. He returned to Ystradgynlais and opened a grocery shop in College Row, which he has kept for over 50 years. Mr Evans took a keen interest in the Ivorites and was still secretary at the Cledwyn Cynlais Lodge, a post he had held for over 45 years and acted as delegate to conferences. He was of a cheerful disposition, his infirmity failing to dampen his interest in all things. He was widely read man and possessed a fluent knowledge of French and a retentive memory. His great delight was to trace the progress of commerce from the time of his youth.

Deceased was for 20 years secretary of Sardis Chapel and when he resigned in 1901 to open the English Congregational Church, was presented with an illuminated address, gold pencil and gold rimmed glasses by the members of Sardis.

He leaves a widow to whom the sympathy of the district is extended. One of his sons Sapper James Walter Evans Royal Engineers, made the supreme sacrifice during the last year of the war.

The funeral takes place on Monday at 3.30pm, for gentlemen only.

South Wales Voice of Saturday March 17th 1928:-

LATE MR JOHN EVANS GLANYRAFON
REPRESENTATIVE GATHERING AT FUNERAL

There was a representative gathering at the funeral of Mr John Evans Glanyrafon, Church Road Ystradgynlais, which took place on Monday for the Parish Churchyard. The mourners were: Mrs M Evans widow; Mrs J W Evans daughter-in-law; Mr and Mrs Paddock brother-in-law and sister-in-law; Mr A Davies, Mrs M Williams, Mr and Mrs Sidney A James Crynant; r and Mrs David Phillips, Mr Jack Paddock, Mr and Mrs J A Bounds, Mr and Mrs A Thomas nephews and nieces; Harry and Leonard Davies; Harry Davies; Islwyn Davies; Lena Davies; Katie Jones grandnephews and nieces.


From the South Wales Voice Friday 19th December 1952:-

"AUNTIE POLLY" DIES AT 99"
OLDEST INHABITANT OF YSTRADGYNLAIS

The death took place on Friday 12th December of Mrs Mary Evans aged 99, affectionately known by all as "Auntie Polly" Glanyrafon where she lived with her niece Mrs Alec Bounds. She was the oldest inhabitant of Ystradgynlais, a native of Richards Castle Ludlow Herefordshire and came to the district about 60 years ago. She was the widow of Mr John Evans grocer College Row and had been a member of Ystradgynlais Parish Church and a member of the Mothers' Union.
The funeral took place on Monday and the members of the Mothers' Union attended. Interment was at the Parish Churchyard.



St Cynog's Cemetery Family Grave of James Walter Evans, died of wounds 1918

Parents Buried St Cynog's Churchyard AREA A Row 09 No 07
[Granite Kerbing Severely Worn]

THE INSCRIPTION ON THE GRAVE

IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN EVANS /GROCER GLAN-YR-AFAN /DIED MARCH 7 1928 AGED 76 YEARS /REST IN PEACE
ALSO MARY EVANS/WIFE OF THE AFORESAID /DIED DEC 12 1952 AGED 98 YEARS /WORTHY OF REMEMBRANCE
IN LOVING MEMORY OF JAMES WALTER EVANS/WHO DIED IN FRANCE /APRIL 18 1918 AGE 28 YEARS/ FOR GOD KING & COUNTRY

Ystradgynlais War Memorial

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