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Pte Evan Harte Davies died in war service 14th October 1918

Evan Harte Davies

We remember the last OW to die in the Great War and be commemorated on the School Roll of Honour. The Wells Journal of October 18th 1918 recorded the sad death of Evan Harte Davies (OW 1912);

THE LATE MR. E. H. DAVIES. – Sincere sympathy will be extended to Mrs. Evan Davies, Portway, the Commandant of the Cedars Red Cross Hospital, in the bereavement she has sustained in the death of her eldest son, Evan Harte Davies. Mr. Davies was in Canada when war broke out, and returned to England, joining the “Bristol’s Own” in November, 1914. He served in that regiment until March, 1915, when he was discharged owing to heart trouble. He then went in for munition work in Bristol, and in a short time was appointed Government examiner in the National Factory. Afterwards he was sent to Southampton, where he worked hard until October 4th, when he was taken ill with influenza. Double pneumonia followed, and from this his death resulted. Mr. Davies was only 24 years of age, and was greatly beloved by all who worked for him.

Evan was only five when his father (a solicitor) died; his mother was evidently a lady of considerable spirit to bring up Evan and his younger brother. She had to pursue a career - as an insurance agent - and in 1915 took charge of the Cedars Hospital until the final year of the war.

Evan was a winning sportsman at Wells and after leaving went to Sussex to study fruit farming before going to Canada. After his return, in September 1914 he joined a Field Ambulance Unit of the RAMC but within two months requested a transfer to the 12th ‘Bristol’s Own’ Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment which had recently been formed.

Because of his weak heart he was discharged in 1915 and he continued his war service in munitions production. When he fell ill three years later, his aunt Gertrude (who lived with his mother) went to Southampton and was at his bedside when he died – how sad his mother must have felt not to have been there instead. Perhaps it was she who made sure that her son was included in the Wells Roll of Honour when this was set up in 1919. She lived to see her Cedars Hospital become part of the school in 1926.

We will remember them.

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