Soldier Spotlight: Private Cecil Evans

Image: Notes from Cecil’s military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 101112
Rank: Private
Branch: 31st Battalion

Cecil was born in Ottawa, Ontario on June 28, 1894. He came to the Peace Country with his stepfather in 1910, and two years later in 1912, at the age of 18, filed on his own homestead at SW20-71-2-W6. Cecil also began working as Bezanson’s first official postmaster in 1914. He enlisted in July of 1915, and departed for France on June 29, 1916. On September 22, 1916, Cecil was declared missing in action, and on July 6, 1917, for official purposes, presumed to have died. However, his comrade Jimmie Scott confirmed that he had in fact been killed in action on September 15, 1916; he had not been with Cecil at the time but had spoken with two of the men who had found Cecil’s body and buried him. One of those men was Frederick Robert Smith, who wrote to his wife that Cecil had died like a hero. He was killed in the advance from Pozieres to Courcelette during the Somme Offensive. No trace of his body or grave had been found as of May of 1924.

Sources: Pioneers of the Peace p. 215, 246

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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