Herbert Atkinson Evans

Herbert Atkinson Evans was born in the parish of Millom in Cumberland at the end of 1894. His birth was registered in the first quarter of 1895 at Bootle, in Cumberland. He was the son of Arthur E. Evans (born Shropshire) and his wife Sarah Ann (nee Atkinson) who was born in Millom.

Herbert had older siblings: Edward (born 1887), Edith (born 1888), John Frederick (born 1890) and Agnes Ann (born 1891). They lived at Kirksanton Crossing, Tarn Head, Millom.
Sadly, in 1896, Arthur Evans died aged 31 years (at Millom). He had been employed as a platelayer, employed to lay and maintain railway track. Sarah Ann was left with five children aged nine years and under.

On 22nd June 1899, Arthur’s widow Sarah Ann married his younger brother George Evans, who had lived with them for some years. Herbert thus became George’s stepson as well as being his nephew. Sarah Ann would have three children by George: George Ernest (born 1899), Percy Swainson (born 1901) and Sarah Jane (born 1903).

In 1901 Herbert was living with his mother and his siblings John Frederick (11), Agnes Ann (10) and George Ernest (2) in School Ellis, near Millom. His mother was working as a charwoman out of the home, but George was working as a cattleman at Whicham Hall, Bootle, in Cumberland.
At some time in the next decade, he moved to work in Rawtenstall in Lancashire, as did Agnes Ann. He was employed in 1911 as a farm labourer with William Spence (a farmer) and family at 1, Spring Hill, Cloughfold, in Rawtenstall.

By 1915, George and Sarah Ann Evans had moved to Hatton with Herbert and the three youngest children. Agnes Ann had also moved to the area to work in service.

Herbert enlisted as a Private with the 3 /4 Battalion of the South Lancs Regiment in May 1915, giving his address as Poplar Row, New Houses, Hatton, the home of his mother and stepfather. He was given the service number 3767. At this time he was employed as a coal carter. However he was assessed as medically unfit, as he had suffered from epilepsy since he was a child and after tests for attacks that he was suffering, he was discharged from war service in the December.

He enlisted again in February 1916, with 194 Company of the Machine Gun Corps and was assigned the service number 31354 and the rank of Driver. He spent some time at Belton Park, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, which was used as a training centre for that regiment. He sailed from Southampton to Le Havre in December 1916, but his epilepsy caused him to be sent back to England a month later. By the August of 1917 he was confirmed as not fit for service and was discharged. He was always deemed to be of good character. He did ask to be considered for re-enlistment, but was refused. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.

Herbert married Edith E. (Eliza) Lowe in early 1918 at Warrington. Edith was the widow of a Harry Lowe, whom she had married in 1913. Her maiden name was Searle and she was from the Ringway area of Altrincham.

In 1939 they were living in Moorside in Knutsford and Herbert was employed as a labourer for Cheshire County Council. His date of birth was given as 22nd November 1896. This date may be an error. They had three named children: Edith (born 1920), Lily (born 1921) and Kathleen (born 1929). There was possibly one more child born later, whose record was closed.

Herbert Atkinson Evans died on 9th November 1953, in the Bucklow registration district, of which Knutsford was a part. Edith died nearly 30 years later. He was 58 years of age. They were both buried in Knutsford Cemetery at Tabley Hill.