Major Faithful Sidney Evans D.S.O.

Faithful Sidney Evans, baptised 24th July, 1887 at St Peter's, Formby, Lancashire was the son of Thomas Faithful Vois Evans and Emma Leonora Bew, who married in 1880. His father was a Cotton Broker in Liverpool and the family lived in Formby.

In 1891 he was living with his parents at 2, Church Road, Formby.

By 1901, the family had moved to Green Lane, Formby and now, Faithful Sidney was 13yrs old and had a younger brother, Edward, who was born abt. 1896.

He joined a cotton brokers in 1902.

He first served in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment. When the Volunteer Force was disbanded and the Territorial Force was formed in 1908, F.S. Evans served in the 6th (Rifle) Battalion.

He was commissioned into the 9th Bn. King's Liverpool Regiment, as Second Lieutenant, on 6th March, 1909 and promoted Lieutenant on 6th April, 1911.

In 1911, according to the Census of that year, he was still living with his parents at Green Lane, Formby. His brother, now aged 16yrs, has his name recorded as Reginald Edward.

F.S. Evans was a Lieutenant in 'E' Coy in 1914 prior to the outbreak of the War (8 Coy system).

After 3 months training at Tunbridge Wells, F.S. Evans and the 9th King's deployed to France on 12/03/15.

He fought at the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May, 1915.

The following extract is taken from an appendix to the War Diary after the Battle of Loos - 25th-29th September, 1915:

"THE 9th KING'S and the part they played in the GREAT ADVANCE

The recent big advance on the Western Front had long been in the minds of those who were to take an active part in it and the chances of its immediate success and its effects on the War generally were the subjects of great deliberation. The 9th Battalion THE KING's (Liverpool Regiment) T.F. under the command of Lieut. Colonel F.W. RAMSAY, 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment had for three weeks immediately preceding the advance undergone a vigorous training some distance behind the line with a result that the Battalion was in a very fine condition to undertake the arduous task that would be given to them in the near future. That they would have an important part allotted to them was only to be expected, and at the same time hoped for as they had already established for themselves a very high name for general proficiency and good work in their Brigade. It is only two months ago that in competition with regular Battalions of the Brigade in a Horse Show they were able to take with credit a lion's share of the rewards, while at other sports they are always reckoned a tough proposition to their opponents.

"On the night of 24th September, the Battalion left its reserve billets which it had occupied during the last stages of the preparations for the attack and took up it position in the trenches allotted to it. The weather conditions were extremely bad and a continual deluge of rain quickly churned the trenches into a quagmire, but even this was not calculated to dampen the spirits of the men in the trenches who had braced themselves for a mighty effort and were only conscious of the work to be done and the fact that the Germans would be in retreat on the morrow.

"It was known that the 9th King's were to advance in co-operation with the London Scottish, the two Battalions constituting a force known as "Green's Force". This fact alone was sufficient to brace the boys of the 9th for any eventualities in view of the fact that they were to work with a Territorial Battalion that had already created for itself a name. The time for the assault was not communicated to the Battalion until one hour before it was to take place. Our artillery had for the past three days bombarded the enemy's lines continuously and the bombardment was renewed on the morning of the 25th at daybreak becoming very intense. At 8-am the 9th King's moved forward towards the first line of British Trenches which had just been vacated by the remaining Battalions of their Brigade, who had now moved forward to the attack on the German Front Line. The enemy were keeping up a hot fire on our attacking force and at this stage in the advance we sustained our first casualties, Major J.W.B. HUNT, 2nd in Command being wounded about 8-30am. Our communication trenches and front line were during the whole of this time being heavily shelled and all movements were carried out over the open the ground being perfectly flat and affording no cover to the attacking force. At 9-am the Battalion after moving over the open occupied a position immediately behind the old firing line where they remained until 10-am. Several casualties had occurred in the Battalion and Companies were now reformed and the position taken up in the open, between the old firing line and the new support trench, ready for the attack. At 12-15pm, the Battalion received orders to advance and attack the German front line, a distance of 600 yards from the British front line. Led by Colonel RAMSAY, whose great fortitude and brilliant work had already inspired all of the Officers and men, the Battalion pushed on eagerly and at 12-30pm, the two leading Companies had jumped the front British line and were moving in splendid order towards the German lines. During the whole time that the Battalion were advancing, the enemy maintained a heavy Machine Gun fire on our lines, inflicting many losses in both officers and men, amongst the number being Major F.S. EVANS and Capt. H.W. HOLROYD, commanding 'C' and 'A' Companies, respectively, and Capt. And Adjutant P.G.A. LEDERER, all of whom received leg wounds. The latter officer is very well known in Liverpool Banking circles as the Assistant Manager of the London, City and Midland Bank Ltd., 4 & 6 Dale Street, Liverpool, and has done very fine work since his appointment as Adjutant of the 9th King's on 10th May last. In the face of a very hot fire from the enemy the progress at this stage of the advance was not so pronounced, but at 2-0pm our Machine Guns were brought to play on the enemy's front and this had the effect of reducing considerably the German fire. Our losses had now become very severe but in spite of this the Battalion continued its advance in short rushes and by crawling through the grass and at 3-30pm they had succeeded in establishing themselves in one line within one hundred yards of the German trenches. The London Scottish now came up to their support on the left rear. At 3-55pm the German's surrendered to the King's who had stuck to their work with great tenacity and were rewarded with the capture of some 300 to 400 prisoners, Colonel RAMSAY who had led his men with great dash and spirit, receiving the token of submission from the now shrinking Huns who had once more shown their fear and dread of the British bayonet. The prisoners were quickly sent to the rear and the Battalion again reformed with orders to advance on the remaining lines of German trenches and at 4-30pm, the Battalion, its strength then being 5 officers and 120 men took up a position on the …….. Road. This position was maintained until 4am on the morning of the 26th when orders were received to retire on the first line of German trenches, the Brigade having been relieved and here the battalion remained during the whole of the day and the following night. On the morning of the 27th we were again withdrawn to the original British line where we remained until the early morning of the 29th. The 25th September will ever be remembered in the 9th Battalion "THE KING'S" as a day of achievements. On this day another testimony was given to justify the good name that the Battalion has always enjoyed under the Command of Colonel RAMSAY.

His DSO (London Gazette 4th Nov., 1915) was awarded for his part in this battle, when he was wounded in the legs. His MID was gazetted 01/01/16

"For conspicuous gallantry on September 25th, 1915, in the attack at Le Rutoire. He commanded his company with great skill and dash, and his cheerfulness and disregard of danger had a marked effect on his men, who were attacking for the first time over open ground. He was wounded in the attack."

The Liverpool Express dated 5th November, 1915 carried the following article:


Another chapter of thrilling deeds, the splendour of which cannot be realised in the staccato, unemotional language of the official narrator, is today added to the tragic and glorious history of the war.. Thirty six names have been placed on the lengthening list of the Distinguished Service Order, and a large number of Military Crosses have also been awarded. Several local officers have been honoured. As usual Lancashire Territorial have been represented in the fighting, and the D.S.O. has been conferred upon Lieutenant (Temporary Major) Sidney Evans, of the 1/9th Battalion King's Liverpools, he having the distinction of being the first Liverpool Territorial officer to gain this coveted award. In a fierce attack under withering fire near Le Rutiore he led his company with great skill and dash, and his cheerfulness and complete unconsciousness of fear had a wonderful effect on the spirits of his sorely pressed men. He was wounded."

Another contemporary newspaper article, which also carried his photograph described:

"Major Evans, though not yet 30 years of age, has had a lengthy experience in the Territorials, having served with the old 2nd Liverpool Regiment, and later obtained a commission in th e9th King's, subsequently being promoted Captain, and recently he was appointed Major. The gallant officer, who resides at Piercefield Road, Frshfield, has been in business with Messrs. Davies, Benachi, and Co. cotton brokers, Water Street, since 1902."

In his book "The Story of The King's (Liverpool Regiment)", published at the end of 1915, T.R. Threlfall says:

"During the battle, Major F.S. Evans won the D.S.O. - the first Liverpool Territorial officer to secure that distinction. Although severely wounded he encouraged his men to the last and did much to enable them to win their way through."

Due to his wounds, Major Evans was evacuated to England and during his recuperation he married Helen Gill Hayward on 30th November, 1915 at St. Peter's, Formby - the same church that he had been christened in 28 years earlier. At that time, Major Evans' home address was given as 'Homewood' Formby whilst his wife had lived at 'Shire Oaks', Formby. His father-in-law was John Hutton Hayward, an Inspector of Income Tax.

London Gazette 05/06/17 - "Liverpool Regt. - Capt. (temp. Maj.) F. S. Evans, D.S.O., relinquishes the temp. rank of Maj. 6th June 1917".

After the war he worked for the cotton brokers Alex. Eccles & co. of Old Hall Street, Liverpool.. Whilst working for them he devoted much of his time to helping ex-soldiers to find jobs, as chairman of the Forces Employment Association.

In 1920 he gave his business address as Orleans House, Edmund Street, Liverpool and by 1921 this was "c/o Alexander Eccles, Lombard Chambers, Liverpool"

During the 1930s he spent some time on business in Egypt, looking after his company's interests there.

Before retiring, Major Evans moved to 37, Elm Road North, Prenton, Birkenhead.

As he got older his war wounds to his legs caused him some trouble. He was admitted to hospital where died on 2nd February, 1951.

In his will he left £3,631.

Extract taken from the "White Horse" Magazine of 1951, reporting the death of Major Evans:


"I still see him in my mind's eye in his office in Harley Buildings, with all the bustle of a Liverpool Cotton Broker's staff around him. Under such circumstances one would conclude that this was not the time, or place, to talk over Territorial affairs or the welfare of ex-Servicemen. Yet in that inner chamber he would put aside his papers and ring through to his secretary to be assured he would not be disturbed. "His Christian name was Faithful and such was his approach to life generally. His loyalty to the 9th Battalion; to his fellow officers; to the men under his command; the many causes he served; all these were indelibly stamped with his great personality - loyal - constant - true. He disliked the perfidious and the false. "For thirty years he served the ex-servicemen of Merseyside as Chairman of the Regular Forces Employment Association. He sought out employers of labour, influenced his friends, and, with that thoroughness which was so evident in his make-up, he built a strong and active association around him. We, in out turn, were proud of the honour of serving under him. "Major Evans endeared himself to all with whom he came into contact and in his last days, he recorded his wishes for the promotion of a fuller plan of action to further the work he had so much at heart. "In his passing we have lost a colleague of whom it might be said, "Semper fidelis."