British soldier so brave ‘it was a shame to kill him’

John Llewellyn Evans was shot dead as he led a raid on Vimy Ridge amid a barrage of poison gas
John Llewellyn Evans was shot dead as he led a raid on Vimy Ridge amid a barrage of poison gas

The young Welshman was the bravest soldier the Germans had seen. But his courage went unrecognised because his commanding officers were dead.

Now his great-great-nephew, a lieutenant in the Welsh Guards, has discovered the remarkable story of John Llewellyn Evans after a two-year quest to learn the details of his death in the First World War.

The 23-year-old officer’s bravery leading his men on a doomed raid on enemy lines emerged only when his body was recovered during a truce. He had reached the third line of enemy trenches in a precursor to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which is being commemorated in France this weekend — but was then shot dead.

Read my article in full on The Times web site (subscription required)

About Tim Ripley 37 Articles
Tim Ripley has been writing on defence issues since 1990, for a wide range of British and international publications. He has reported from conflict zones in the Balkans and Middle East, as well as major defence and aerospace industry exhibitions around the world. Recent assignments include the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia, the Farnborough, Paris, Dubai and Singapore Airshows, NATO Headquarters in Brussels, The Hague war crimes tribunal and the Pentagon in Washington DC. His news reporting and features have appeared in the mainstream news media (The Sunday Telegraph, The Economist, The Scotsman) as well as specialist defence publications (Jane's Defence Weekly, Jane's Intelligence Review, Jane's Sentinel, Air Forces Monthly, Air International, Defence Helicopter, Unmanned Vehicles, Flight International, Flight Daily News, World Air Power Journal, International Air Power Review)

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