Tag Archives: John Evans

Lois Evans, Edgar Evans’ widow

28 Nov

Plans for the Edgar Evans sculpture are going apace. The South Wales Evening Post of 23rd November shows Edgar’s grandson, John holding a scale model. The sculptor, Roger Andrews, says he aims to combine accuracy with a vivid impression of Edgar’s character.

The campaign now has the backing of Swansea Council and the British Antarctic Heritage Trust.An Edgar Evans education programme is planned -this would have pleased him, he was intelligent and a keen reader.

What would Lois have made of this? I think she would have been proud and delighted- vindication at last! She suffered greatly after Edgar’s death. Not only had she lost her husband and father of her three children, but also, she had to endure the published implications in some papers, that Edgar critically held the British party up and was the indirect cause of the deaths of Scott (who he much admired) plus the rest of the Polar party. Her mother in law, Sarah, admitted this to a local reporter. The suggestion that Edgar failed because he had not had the education to equip him for the tedium of the homeward journey must have been a humiliating body blow.

In 1913 Lois, robustly loyal to her man, had a beautiful memorial erected for Edgar in the little church in Rhossili, a testament of her courage and determination, but there was no national memorial erected in Wales; it may have been feared that the rumours had substance- It is remarkable that, 100 years after Edgar’s death, there is this move to celebrate this ‘son of Gower’.

Ironically, Lois benefited financially in her widowhood. The Admiralty treated Edgar’s demise as if he had been killed in action and she received government and Admiralty pensions of £91 each year, a lump sum of £96, plus income from a fund raised by voluntary subscription and his Expedition salary of £44. She professed herself satisfied, Interestingly, Kathleen Scott received a lump sum nearly thirty times as much, plus comparably large pensions, trust funds etc


Memorial plea for Scott’s mate

10 Apr

There is a piece in ‘This is South Wales’ published yesterday:


It draws attention to the increasing interest in a memorial for Edgar in South Wales.  None was erected after his death, both for financial  reasons and the insidious implications in some national newspapers, that Edgar was somehow responsible for the deaths of the whole party.

I hope that this interest will be maintained. Edgar’s grandson, John Evans,  is a keen instigator.

A  ‘comment ‘ by Dai_Chotomy who writes under the heading of ‘please explain mate’  says that ‘an egotistical snob (like Scott), would not have befriended a low born Welsh Man. Also that Edgar was not a Mate in the Naval meaning (he was, in fact a Chief Petty Officer).  Although  it is probably true that Scott would not have counted Edgar as his personal friend, he certainly admired Edgar and looked on him with affection — he had after all, spent 62 days with Edgar and Lashley when on the ‘Discovery Expedition’ they travelled far onto the Plateau. Scott regularly said how much he owed to Edgar, — the sledges, the ski shoes, the sledge fittings, Edgar’s good humour and fund of jokes.  Scott truly appreciated Edgar and with  very good reason.

A service to commemorate the life of Edgar Evans at St Mary’s Church, Central Swansea

24 Feb

This was a wonderful occasion. The great and the good of Wales and beyond gathered to give proper recognition to Edgar Evans’s contribution to Scott’s expeditions, exactly 100 years after his death. The service was attended by the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan and other dignitaries. The navy was well represented. Edgar’s grandson, John Evans, read from Scott’s journal and made a plea for a statute for his grandfather to be erected in Swansea, Edgar’s granddaughter was also present. The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon made an excellent address stressing Edgar’s virtues, the Archdeacon of the Gower led the Intercessions. Naval Cadets marched up and down the aisle, a Petty Officer Cadet read the Naval Prayer.

The whole service was much appreciated by those of us who have come to admire Edgar.

You can read a report of the service on the BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17071873