Michael David Agnew Evans : 1920 – 1942

Rodwell Manor is marked with a red dot

Eldest son of the Evans family of Rodwell Manor, West Lambrook, killed in Syria

Michael David Agnew Evans : Lieutenant 219282 Royal Horse Guards, 1st Household Cavalry

Michael David Agnew Evans was born in 1920 in Farthingstone, Northamptonshire. His name is recorded on the Roll of Honour in the church in that village.

His family later came to live at Rodwell Manor, West Lambrook, Somerset.

His parents were Major General Roger Evans M.C. – seen here in uniform at the Ascot Horse Show 9.6.44 – and Enid Jocelyn Evans. Enid died at age 22 in 1921, when Michael was still a baby.

His father remarried in 1931 to Eileen Stanton and they had three more children – Anthony b.1932, William b.1939 and Stephen b.1941.

The family were well-off, as can be seen here in the 1939 Register, by the number of servants they had when living in the Manor House, Amesbury.

Michael was given the middle name Agnew after his grandfather, Philip Leslie Agnew. He left Michael a large legacy in his will when Michael was still a school boy at Eton, as the newspaper article outlines – from the Aberdeen Press and Journal 25 April 1938.

Michael served with the First Household Cavalry. In December 1942 the Battalion Diary records that the Regiment had moved from Cairo to Raqqa in Syria “as a reserve for internal security, and to show the Flag and if necessary carry out counter-contraband measures”.

On 27th December : ” A party of officers were sent out to recce the ground about 40 miles NE of Raqqa and to shoot any gazelle en route. 17 were shot. Lieut M.D.A.Evans who was taking part was accidentally shot through the shoulder blade and died 20 minutes afterwards from internal haemorrhage. The accident occurred when Trooper Coddington accidentally discharged his rifle.”

Michael had married Elizabeth Taylor in London in 1940. They had no children. He was 22 years old when he died. His family commemorated his life in a stained glass window in Farthingstone Parish Church, in the village where he was born.

The inscription reads :

“In loving memory of Michael David Agnew Evans, Lieut. Royal Horse Guards, killed on active service in the Middle East, December 27th 1942 aged 22 years. Buried in French military cemetery Aleppe, Syria.

Also of Arthur Haynes, killed on active service, Syracuse, July 14th 1945. RIP “

Michael is buried in Aleppo War Cemetery, Syria, Grave No.Plot 2.A.1. He is also commemorated on the War Memorials in the Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi, where his father and step-mother had lived at Rodwell Manor for a number of years. They later moved near to Ilminster and became involved in many local organisations. In 1955 his father was appointed High Sheriff of Somerset.