Topic: Walter Evans

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action during fighting at Gallipoli.

Evans, W

Private Walter Evans – 8/1332 

Walter was born 1 February 1889 in Springfield. He was the son of Richard Robert and Christine Evans of Kowai Bush. Walter was 5ft 9in tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair.

He enlisted at Wellington on the 10 August 1914, his last employer having been Mr Forsyth, in Malborough. His last New Zealand address was given as 13 Martin St, Wellington.  He was assigned to the Otago Infantry, 2nd Reinforcements on 14 December 1914 and embarked on the same day.  Walter was killed in action, aged 26, on Gallipoli during a night attack as part of the August Offensive to take the heights of the Sari Bair Ridge around the Anzac position.  Chanuk Bair was one of these ridges. Walter was in the Right Assaulting Column under Brigadier-General Johnston. He was amongst those killed in the assault on what was known as Bauchop’s Hill, one of the most successful New Zealand actions on Gallipoli. However his body was not found and his name is recorded on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing. In New Zealand Walter is remembered on the Kowai Bush and Springfield War Memorials.

Cemetery locale history:The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea. The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac. On 6 August, further landings were made at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and the climax of the campaign came in early August when simultaneous assaults were launched on all three fronts. Chunuk Bair was one of the main objectives in the Battle of Sari Bair, fought 6-10 August 1915. The attack was to be carried out by two columns of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, starting from the outposts on the shore and proceeding up the Sazli Belt Dere and the Chailak Dere. Meanwhile the New Zealand Mounted Rifles were to clear the foothills. The New Zealand Infantry reached Rhododendron Spur, where they were joined by the 10th Gurkha Rifles, from further north, and reinforced by the 8th Welsh, the 7th Gloucesters, the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and the Maori Contingent. The Wellington Infantry and some of the Gloucesters and Welsh reached the summit, and were later joined by men of the Auckland Infantry and Mounted Rifles. These troops, after repulsing incessant Turkish attacks, were reinforced by the Otago Battalion and the Wellington Mounted Rifles. The 6th Gurkhas and the 6th South Lancashire Regiment came in on the left. The 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment relieved the force at Chunuk Bair on the evening of 9 August, supported later by part of the 5th Wilts, but on the morning of the 10th, the position was taken by a determined and overwhelming counter-attack, carried out by a Turkish Army Corps led by Mustapha Kemal Pasha. The loss of Chunuk Bair marked the end of the effort to reach the central foothills of the peninsula and on this sector of the front, the line remained unaltered until the evacuation in December 1915. The CHUNUK BAIR (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL is one of four memorials erected to commemorate New Zealand soldiers who died on the Gallipoli peninsula and whose graves are not known. This memorial relates to the Battle of Sari Bair and in other operations in this sector. It bears more than 850 names. CHUNUK BAIR CEMETERY was made after the Armistice on the site where the Turks had buried some of those Commonwealth soldiers who were killed on 6-8 August. It contains 632 Commonwealth burials, only ten of which are identified.

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Walter Evans

First Names:Walter
Last Name:Evans
Date of Birth:1 February 1889
Place of Birth:Springfield
Date of Death:6 August 1915
Place of Death:Gallipoli, Turkey
Memorial or Cemetery:Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing, Gallipoli
Age at death:26
User Name:Selwyn Library
Other names known by:Birth record Walter Charley
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:219
Regiment or Service:Otago Infantry Regiment
Enlistment details:10 August 1914
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Richard and Christine (nee Petrie) Evans, of Kowai Bush, Canterbury.
Service Number:8/1332
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:14 December 1914
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Theatres of War:Gallipoli
Cause of Death:Killed in action