Serjeant, 25178, Robert Stovell Evans (18) – Killed in Action

70 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, 16th November 1916

Serjeant Robert Stovell Evans – Son of Robert and Isabel Evans, of 10, Marina Crescent, Herne Bay, Kent. One of the first Serjeant Pilots in the R.F.C. Copyright: © IWM – HU 121824

Synopsis of Life and Military Service

Robert Stovell Evans was born in Brondesbury, London on 30 January 1898. His parents were cousins – his father was a science teacher, Robert Cecil Turle Evans (who subsequently became a medical practitioner), and his mother was Isabella Turle. His parents were fairly well off, as the 1901 census shows that they had two domestic servants.

He was obviously very keen to be a pilot as he took private flying lessons, receiving his flying certificate at Hall School, Hendon on 9 February 1916.

He joined the Royal Flying Corps at South Farnborough on 16 March 1916 where he was appointed as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class. His flying qualifications could not be ignored however and he was appointed a first class flyer on 14 September 1916 and promoted to Sergeant – one of the first Sergeants to be allowed to be pilots. He saw service with 45 Squadron on Sopwith 1 ½  Strutters based at Fienvillers in the Pas de Calais region of France and was then posted to 70 (or LXX) Squadron flying the same aircraft. Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter’s were two seater aircraft and were the first British aircraft to be fitted with a synchronised machines gun.

Death

On 16 November 1916, Robert took off from Fienvillers with Second Lieutenant Leicester Frederick Struben as his observer. They never returned. Roberts records show him initially as missing and appear only to have been confirmed as killed in March 1917. His body was buried in a small French cemetery and was subsequently re-interred in Bancourt Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter two seat fighter-reconnaissance biplane. Built by Mann, Egerton & Co Ltd (Type D). Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: Q 67969

Family

Robert Stovell Evans was born in Brondesbury, London on 30 January 1898. His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – Robert Cecil Turle Evans, born c.1872 at St Johns Wood, London, d. c.1912.
  • Mother – Isabella Caroline Turle or Evans, born c.1872 at St Johns Wood, London.
  • Sister – Isabel Elizabeth, born c.1897 at Brondesbury, London.
  • Sister – Grace Catherine, born c.1901 at St Pancras, London.
  • Brother – John Tinle, born c.1902 at St Pancras, London.
  • Brother – Quentin Frederick, born c.1905 at St Pancras, London.
  • Brother – James Charles Gochegan, born c.1907 at South Tottenham, London.
  • Brother – Evan, born c.1910 at Herne Bay, Kent.
  • Sister – Florence Priscilla Hope, born 30 January 1912, died vc.1985

At the time of the 1911 census, there were two female domestic servant registered at the house and one female Nurse / Nanny.

Addresses

  • 1901: 9 Heathcote Street, London.
  • 1911: Sandringham Marine Crescent, Herne Bay, Kent.

Medals

Robert Stovell Evans was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Memorials

There is no apparent memorial to Robert Stovell Evans.

Conflicting Information

There is some confusion as to whether John’s middle name is  ‘Stovell”, ‘Stonell’ or ‘Stowell’

Links to Additional Information

References

  •  1901 England, Wales and Scotland Census.
  •  1911 England and Wales Census.
  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • RAF Story Vault.
  • National Archives: Medal Index Roll.

Groups

Contributors:-

  • Trevor Torkington
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