No 3046 Sergeant Edgar Job Evans of the 1st Battalion, the King's (Shropshire) Light Infantry, and his wife Mary. Evans is wearing the tropical version of his regimental mess dress uniform.
Evans was born about 1871 at Seacombe, Cheshire the son of Thomas and Martha Evans. He enlisted for Short Service in the Shropshire Light Infantry on 4 June 1889 at Shrewsbury. He stated that he was previously a member of the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion of the Shropshire Light infantry and had been born in Wallasey, Seacombe, Cheshire the eldest son of Thomas and Martha Evans. Thomas Evans was a shoemaker by trade.
Edgar Job Evans had a stable and steady career during his 20-plus years with the light infantry. After being posted as a private with the 2nd Battalion of the King's (Shropshire) Light Infantry on 4 December 1889 he received his first good conduct pay on 7 June 1891. The only negative mark in his service records was when he is shown forfeiting that same good conduct pay on 7 August 1892 although no reason for the forfeiture is given.
Transferring to the 1st Battalion, his good conduct pay was restored exactly one year later.
Evans was appointed lance corporal on 17 August 1892 and promoted to corporal on 8 January 1895. Later that same year on 26 December he was appointed lance sergeant. On 17 October 1896, he was permitted to extend his service to complete 12 years with the colours at Fort William, Calcutta, India. About one year later on 12 November 1897. Evans was promoted sergeant.
On 3 August 1899 at Poona, Evans re-engaged with his battalion to complete 21 years of service. Edgar Job Evans was promoted colour sergeant on 17 December 1901. Evans transferred to the Permanent Staff of the 4th Battalion, the King's (Shropshire) Light Infantry on 22 May 1903.
He seems to have been briefly posted back with the 1st Battalion on 1 August 1908 and then returning to the 4th Battalion on 8 February 1909 as a company sergeant major. Evans completed his 21 years with the colours on 6 June 1910 with the rank of colour sergeant which was the last rank he held while with the regulars.
Evans home and overseas deployments were:
Home: 7 June 1889 - 5 November 1891
Egypt: 6 November 1891 - 28 November 1891
Hong Kong: 29 November 1891 - 21 December 1894
India: 22 December 1894 - 17 May 1903
Home: 18 May 1903 - 6 June 1910
Evans was stationed in Hong Kong when the colony was stricken by an epidemic of bubonic plague in May 1894. It is possible that Evans was awarded the Hong Kong Plague Medal that was presented to some 300 members of the King's (Shropshire) Light Infantry who assisted the colony's civil authorities during the crisis. Since this medal was issued by colonial civil authorities, and not sanctioned by the crown, it is possible that this recognition - if it was awarded to Evans - might not be mentioned in his army service records. No complete roll for the Hong Kong Plague Medal was ever compiled. Aside from this possibility, Sergeant Edgar Job Evans saw no active service in the field during his tenure with the KSLI.
Edgar Job Evans married Miss Mary Jane Ince at Shrewsbury on 8 July 1889. Their marriage produced at least six children: Rhoda Beatrice born on 9 September 1889 just a month after her parent's marriage, Martha Elizabeth born on 5 August 1897, Martha Jane born on 2 September 1898, Francis Edgar Job born on 24 March 1901, Agnes Maude born on 29 November 1894 and Florence May born on 2 June 1907.
At the time of his discharge, his character was mentioned as being "very good" with the additional comment that Evans: "Is a very good clerk and would make a good steward or caretaker of a club..". Perhaps Evans had asked for that endorsement with his future in mind or perhaps that endorsement put an idea into his head - either way he stated that he intended to reside at the Union Jack Club on Waterloo Road in London after discharge and may have taken employment there.
On 12 October 1912 Edgar Job Evans - now living at Oswestry - was appointed postman without competition.
Evans, like so many other retired soldiers, was recalled to duty with the outbreak of the First World War and was appointed temporary lieutenant in the 11th (Reserve) Battalion, the South Staffordshire Regiment (Supplement to the London Gazette, 19 November 1914) which formed at Jersey in October 1914. Evans was promoted temporary captain with the same battalion on 28th November 1914. Evans transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment as temporary captain on 28 September 1916.
All of Evans World War One overseas service took place with this battalion beginning on 5 March 1917 while it was deployed for garrison duty in India where it was part of the Allahabad Brigade, 8th Division at Lucknow, and latter with the Lucknow Brigade, 8th Division. On 16 June 1918 Temporary Captain Evans transferred to an unspecified battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. Evans was reconfirmed with the rank of temporary captain on 28 January 1919.
For his overseas service during World War One, Edgar Job Evans received the British War and Victory Medals. His medal index card lists his place of residence as Oswestry House, Whittington Road, Oswestry, Shropshire.
Evans returned to his job as a letter carrier after the war and his life took a sad and bizarre turn in 1928 when he was arrested for mishandling the mail. The Yorkshire Post for December 22 of that year records his arrest and trial for two counts of willfully delaying letters, one count of secreting eight letters, and two counts of fraudulently reusing canceled stamps. Evans plead not guilty on all counts.
During pretrial questioning, Evans threw himself on the courtroom floor in feigned unconsciousness. An attempt to put an end to the charade by reminding Evens that he was "an officer and a gentleman" proved fruitless and he continued the act for 20 minutes. His behavior was blamed on having suffered sunstroke while serving in India which left him "excitable" and not the same man he had been before. Sunstroke notwithstanding, Evans was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to six weeks hard labor on each count. The sentences ran concurrently.
Edgar Job Evans died the Eastbourne, Sussex in March 1958.
Clifton & Co. - Photographer