Topic: Walter Charles Evans
Walter Charles Evans (Service no. 8/1232) was a First World War soldier with ties to Heathcote Valley
Walter Charles Evans was born on the first of February 1885 to Richard Robert and Christine Evans of Kowai Bush in Springfield, Canterbury. Walter’s mother passed away aged 30 at Christchurch hospital, when Walter was just seven years old. She left behind two sons and two daughters.
Walters exact ties to Heathcote valley are unclear but a Richard Evans is recorded as owning seven acres of land in Heathcote valley at the foot of the hills from 1853-1864. Presumably Walter and his family maintained connections there.
At the time of the First World War, Walter was living in Martin Street in Wellington. On his service record he is described as having dark brown hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. He was five foot, nine inches tall and, at one stage worked as a labourer in Marlborough. He identified as Anglican (Church of England).
Walter enlisted on August the 10th 1914. He was assigned to the Otago infantry as a private and embarked to Egypt on the 29th of January 1915. Just over four months later, Walter left Alexandria for the Dardanelles.
On the sixth of August 1915, Walter was reported missing and was believed to be killed in action during a night attack in Gallipoli. Walter was just 30 years old. He had been serving under Brigadier-General Johnston as a part of an attack to take the Sari Bair Ridge. Walter was involved in one of the more effective assaults New Zealand took part in during Gallipoli, Bauchop’s Hill. The hill was taken methodically with not a bullet wasted according to witnesses, and mainly bayonets used, but losses were severe with Walter and Captain Bauchop himself amongst the casualties.
Walter’s body was never found, but his name is on the Chunuk Bair Memorial to the Missing, and on the Kowai Bush and Springfield War Memorials. As Walter was unmarried, his 1914-15 service star was sent to his father, Richard
Sadly, Richard and Christine’s other son, Percy Evans, was also a casualty of the First World War.
- Walter's personnel Record. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- Online Cenotaph record for Walter Evans. Auckland War Memorial Museum