Albert is seated in the front row of this photo, third from the left. Although he was christened ALBERT EVANS, he was always known as MICK.
He was the third child of Frederick and Rose Evans. MICK was always close to his older brother, FRED. Mick was the quiet one of the pair, whilst Fred was the trouble-maker and the leader. On one occasion the two of them dived from the metal roof girders in the PRINCE OF WALES SWIMMING BATHS in KENTISH TOWN and were both banned from the baths thereafter (or at least until the supervisor had cooled down).
Both of them worked at the Bus depot in HARMOOD STREET, Kentish Town.
The brothers joined the Army during the First World War. At some point (the story is that they actually came back from France but this isn’t certain) they were granted a week’s leave and came home to Kentish Town. At the end of their leave, Fred declared he was going to have another week. Mick returned to his unit and to France.
MICK was riding on a horse drawn gun carriage when it was hit. He lost both his legs. A friend carried him back to a field hospital where he died on 8th August 1916. When the news reached ROSE she apparently went crazy, smashing up things in the house and threatening to sue the War Office.
The sign behind Mick reads ‘62ND BRIGADE R.F.A. ‘C’ BATTERY’ however the War Graves Commission shows that when he died he was a Gunner attached to ‘B’ BATTERY 167TH BRIGADE. He is buried in DERNANCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY, which ironically enough is near a place called ALBERT.
FRED was eventually picked up and charged. He was posted to MESOPOTAMIA where he helped with the mule trains. As Field Punishment for failing to return from leave on time, he was lashed to a gun wheel in the sun for five days.
MICK was twenty when he died. FRED lived to his nineties. There’s probably a moral in there somewhere.
For many years the Bus Garage in Harmood Street had a memorial to their war dead outside the depot, which included Mick’s name (as Albert). The area is now redeveloped and the whereabouts of the memorial is unknown.
(All that is actually left of Mick is one very small, tattered, picture. Our thanks to Neil at www.image-restore.co.uk for bringing him back. I’ve posted the original photo below so you can see what he had to work with.)