Phyllis Marten Evans

Fiffy Evans in 1915

Fiffy Evans in 1915

Phyllis Marten Evans was born on 5 Feb 1895 in Hagley Worcestershire the youngest daughter of Henry and Florence Evans (nee Marten) of the Lawn, Hagley. She was known as Fiffy. In early photos she appears to be a somewhat diffident child and maybe lacked the more outgoing personalities of her elder siblings Molly and Wilmot

She was confirmed on 19 Mar 1912 at Malvern Priory Church – her ‘Holy Communion’ Book signed by a Florence Hudson has survived. It is inscribed “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”

She came to nursing and caring in the first World War and spent her life as a volunteer nurse and serial carer. From 1916 to 1923 she was probably also preoccupied by care of her ageing father and ailing mother. Her work in the Studley Court Hospital (1915-1919) where her sister and her neighbour Mary Downing had worked is recorded as 3000 hours General Housework. Her sister was away in France for much of this time as a nurse behind the front lines. Fiffy never married. In 1944 she was awarded the Voluntary Medical Service Medal, earnt for over fifteen years of public service.

Fiffy Evans in 1914 right front

Fiffy Evans in 1914 (right front)

She visited the monuments of World War 1 in the early 20’s to see the memorial for her brother Wilmot, killed on the Somme on 1 July 1916.

Three of her diaries from the years 1924 to 1926 survive.

After the death of her parents, she moved as a companion with her Aunt Nettie to Stoke-by-Clare in Suffolk. Her diaries show that by 1926 she was a tireless companion for her Aunt there and was also actively involved in the local Girl Guides. She recounts her frequent trips to Cambridge, Edgbaston and London. Nettie died in 1927. It seems that she stayed on in Suffolk. She appears at some time to have worked for and lived with a disabled ex-serviceman “in Stoke”, according to Pamela Downing. However, she eventually returned to Cheltenham by the beginning of the Second World War. Nettie’s son Major H Howard Lewis (Hal) continued to live in Cheltenham through to the 1950’s.

Her nursing record shows that she worked in Cheltenham from 1939 to 1945, first caring for evacuees at the Red Cross Hospital, then at the Maternity hospital and finally at the Priory Nursing home.

There is reason to believe she was at some time hard up as she sold her portion of the Evans Silver passed to her in 1923. Her Nursing medal surfaced in an auction at Bonhams in 2012.

Her address in the Upton visitor’s book was 8 Queen’s Parade, Cheltenham (1939-1957) and thereafter (1957-1959) Elmfield Hotel, Parabola Road, Cheltenham

Her address at her death on 16 Oct 1970 was Hatherley House, Cheltenham. She died intestate and probate was granted to her eldest niece Pamela Morgan on 14 Dec 1970, her sister Molly Downing having renounced letters of administration. Her estate was valued at £1004 net.

Fiffy Evans on Parade circa 1946 (presumably second from left)

Fiffy Evans on Parade circa 1946 (presumably second from left)

Last updated on 23 March 2023 by JJ Morgan