Sergeant 7346 Henry Evans


Henry Evans was born to Albert and Ellen Evans in 1883 at Bethnal Green, London.

Albert was a porter in nearby Spitalfields Market and he and Ellen had 6 boys and 3 girls meaning that conditions would have been cramped in their house at Gibraltar Buildings.

Henry was christened as Harry but commonly called Henry  left school and gained employment as a cycle enameller but when he reached the age of 18, on 22nd September1902 he decided to supplement his income by travelling to Stratford and joining the 4th Battalion of the Essex Regiment who were part of the Territorial Army. This meant that he was able to continue living at home and working normally but paid extra for weekly training and a two weeklong summer camp.

Clearly he enjoyed to Army life as 49 days later on 24 November 1902 he enlisted on a 6 year term with the Essex Regiment and was immediately posted to the Depot at Warley for training.

On 8 April 1903 , after training he was allocated to the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment and shortly afterwards served overseas at Malta with the battalion. although on 5th September 1905 he returned to the Depot and on 25 November 1905 left active duty and was placed on the reserve making him liable for recall in the event of a war.

Henry returned to the East End and obtained a join with Trumans Brewery in Brick Lane and started his own family by marrying and having two children.

On 5 August 1914 with the declaration of war, Henry was recalled by Essex Regiment to Warley and mobilised for duty at Warley Depot ,being allocated to the reserve 3rd Battalion and then on 28 June 1916 posted to the 2nd Battalion for service in France and Belgium. Before he could take up his new posting it was cancelled and he was posted to the 10th Battalion what at the time were more in need of manpower and so with a draft of 52 other ranks he joined the 10th Essex at Grovetown Camp in the Somme.

Almost immediately Henry was promoted to Lance Corporal and two months later to Corporal with promotions to Sgt on 9 May 1917 and so he became a valuable member of the 10th Battalion.


His bravery in action on 10 March 1917 at Irles is mentioned in the book " With the 10th Essex in France"- "During the first 15 minutes we were met with considerable resistance but action of leaders like Culver who with a handful of men rushed a most venomous machine gun and men like Sergeant Sanders, Corporal Evans and Privates Surridge and Aldridge, who performed similar acts promptly solved all manner of disputes". Not surprisingly Henry was promoted to Sergeant shortly after the action at Irles.

On 14 October 1917 the Battalion were in the line at Bulow Farm, Poelcapelle near Ypres when Henry suffered a gunshot wound breaking the Tibia and Fibula on his left leg. He was treated at the 4th General Hospital at Dannies near Etaples and then returned to the UK for convalescence before returning to duty at the Warley Depot on 6 January 1918  and being discharged, with a silver war badge to mark his life changing injury, on 12 December 1918 after 16 years 19 days of service.

Back on civy street  Henry continues his relationship with comrades from the 10th Essex and regularly visited Thomas Banks  DSO , MC who  joined the 10th Essex as a Second Lieutenant and finished as its Lt Colonel although he was Henrys Officer during many hectic days in the trenches.

The photographs and many of the personal details were supplied by Larry Evans who is the proud grandson of this brave Essex man.