The War Graves of Ystradgynlais

Edgar Evans

Edgar Evans was a commando fighting in Burma against the Japanese and was killed in action in May 1944.

The information on Edgar Evans has been compiled from a number of sources, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and from the South Wales Voice newspaper, where several articles reference Corporal Evans, including a letter from a superior officer, outlining the circumstances of his death. Photographs include one from the newspaper, and a close-up of his remembrance grave in the cemetery of St. David's Church, Abercrave.

Also included, by kind permission of Edgar Evans' niece, Mrs Pat Edwards, is a letter from Edgar's brother Jim Evans about Edgar's service during the war.

NameEdgar Evans
Date of Death25th May 1944
Place of DeathBurma
Age at Death22
Unit and RegimentCameronians (Scottish Rifles), 1st Bn.
Service Number5259578
Remembrance Grave  St. David's Church, Abercrave  
Local Memorials Ystradgynlais War Memorial
MemorialRangoon Memorial, Burma
NotesSon of George Alfred and Rhoda Evans
of 32, Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais, Glamorgan

Edgar Evans

To the left is a photograph of Corporal Evans, taken from the South Wales Voice newspaper, .

To the left is a close-up of the remembrance grave of Corporal Evans, in the cemetery of Saint David's Church, Abercrave. You can click on it to see it full-size.
Memory of
George Alfred Evans
Beloved Husband of Rhoda
Died March 7 1962 Aged 84 Years
Also of the Above Named
Who Died Oct 23 1963 Aged 83 Years

Also Edgar Their Son
Killed in Burma 1944
Worthy of Remembrance

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 24th March 1945 :-

In our issue of July 1st, 1944, was recorded the news of the death in action in Burma of Corporal Edgar Evans, son of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Evans of 32, Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais. Now Mr. and Mrs. Evans have received a letter from Major N.J.C. Maclean, giving details of how their son met his death.
Writing under the date, February 25th, 1945, Major Maclean says:-

"I am terribly sorry that you have had no letter from anyone in this unit concerning your son's death, so I'll supply you with what details I can. On the day your son was killed this battalion with three other units were in a road-block, named "Blackpool", on the main Jap line of communications between Mogaung and Katha, about 70 miles behind the enemy lines. We had held this block for three weeks but unfortunately, mainly due to bad weather, aircraft could not get over to reinforce our ammunition and food supplies. Our airstrip had been captured by the enemy two days before so that nothing could be flown into us.
"Meanwhile, a new Jap division which had been sent up to reinforce the forces fighting the Chinese was turned on to the task of eliminating us. These forces had broken into our perimeter and with their superior number and greater superiority in artillery, we were in danger of annihilation. Early the next morning, the Japs put in their final attack and as we were the unit holding that sector, I'm afraid we suffered rather heavily, as we had to cover the first part of the withdrawal of the brigade. Your son at that time was in our No 11 platoon, which was not then engaged but the enemy managed to get a footing on a small hill feature on our right flank which completely dominated our position and this platoon had to be moved to hold the enemy there, as we still had not been given the order to withdraw.
In their new position they were overlooked by the Japs, who were directly above them and fought a magnificent action there, which in no small way was largely responsible for the comparatively smooth evacuation of the entire brigade, when we eventually withdrew.
"Unfortunately, they suffered very heavy casualties, only one NCO coming out alive and he was rather badly wounded. Your son throughout the campaign was a first class soldier and led his section in a most creditable fashion and was popular with both officers and men. He was killed by a grenade, which burst almost on top of him. I hope that this will provide you with the necessary details. My deepest sympathy to you in your great loss. Yours faithfully, N J C Maclean, Major."

The above is the newspaper article outlining the circumstances of Edgar Evans' death. It is one of several articles about Corporal Evans in the "South Wales Voice" which began with good news, in 1943 that after months with news about him he was safe. Two post-war Roll of Honour entries, for both May 1945 and May 1946, include memorial verse from his parents, and other relatives. These articles are reproduced in full below.

From the South Wales Voice, 12th June 1943

  Our photograph is of Private Edgar Evans, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Evans of 32, Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais, who is serving with the Commandos. Private Evans is a brother of Mr. Jim Evans, miners' agent, Abercrave.
  Joining the Worcester Regiment in the early part of the war Private Evans volunteered, after four months, for service with the Special Services Regiment, as the Commandos were then called. He was drafted to the 4th Command and saw service with them for nearly two years until he sustained a leg injury during a raid at Boulogne. On recovery, he was posted to the Worcester Regiment and placed in charge of 18 men. These he trained on Commando lines and with their leader they have been drafted overseas for special duties.
  Mr. and Mrs. Evans have just received news that he is safe and well in India: this was a great relief to them as they had heard nothing of him for 6 months.

From the South Wales Voice, 26th May 1945

In loving memory of Corporal Edgar Evans, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Evans and brother of Harry 32, Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais, who was killed in action while fighting 70 miles inside the enemy lines on the Burma front, on May 25th 1944. Corporal Evans who was 24 years of age, was attached to the S.S.(*)

Dear son! We shall mourn for thee
Though we have not thy grave;
Our dirge shall e'er re-echoed be
By the long aerial wave;
In Burma far henceforth shall be
A consecrated spot;
A voice from thence comes o'er the sea,
And says - "Forget him not";
For freedom of his native land
He died in foreign parts;
But forever he will live
Within our broken hearts.

   - From Mam, Dad and brother Harry

Proud remembrance of Edgar, our dear brother and uncle, killed in Burma, May 25 1944, son of Mr and Mrs G Evans, Oddfellow Street, Ystradgynlais.

Fold him, O Father, in Thine arms,
And let him henceforth be
A messenger of love between
Our human hearts and Thee

   - Sadly missed by Fan, Ted, Victor and Shirley.

In loving memory of our dear brother, Cpl Edgar Evans, who was killed in action in Burma on May 25 1944

Just a token true and tender
Just to show we still remember.

   - From Alf, Gertie and family, 25 Isyrhos, Abercrave.

In affectionate memory of Edgar Evans, 32 Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais, killed in Burma, May 25 1944

   - His brother Jim, and May

Webmaster's Note:
* Special Service = the Chindits, under Major Orde Wingate

From the South Wales Voice, 25th May 1946

In loving memory of our dear beloved son, Corporal Edgar Evans, who was killed in action while fighting with the Chindits, 70 miles inside the enemy lines on 25th May 1944.

A worthy son with a heart of gold,
The dearest son this world could hold;
His memory is our greatest treasure,
For in our hearts he will live forever.

Always remembered by Mam, Dad and brother Harry of 32, Oddfellows Street, Ystradgynlais


  Miners Agent
  Jim Evans
  19th March 1945

Dear Will,
The above was my brother, he was killed in Burma on May 25th 1944, when serving with the above Regt. The kid joined up in 1941, and served a few years with the 4th Commando Unit at Troon, Scotland. He took part in a number of raids and remained with them until they were disbanded at the end of 1943. He was then attached to the Scottish Cameronians with whom he remained until his death. In a letter received from his Major, last week, it seems as if he was 70 miles behind the Japanese lines and they had been without food or ammunition supplies for over three weeks as the Japs had captured their air strip and the weather was too bad for supplies to be flown to them. They decided to withdraw and the kid was left with the 11th Battalion, to cover the retreat. The Major states that only one N.C.O. came out alive and he was rather badly wounded. The kid was killed by a hand grenade, exploding almost on top of him.
Edgar was married at Troon on 24th March 1942, to a girl from Luton with the maiden name of Ella Mills...


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