South Staffordshire Regiment in Jersey, 1915

Lieutenant Wilmot Evans was seriously wounded on 16 May 1915 and was sent with his fellow officers to convalesce and then to partake in forming the regiment in Jersey where the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment was stationed for mobilisation since 1914.

The photo below taken in Jersey in Aug 1915 identifies all his comrades. They all are South Staffordshires from the 1st and the 2nd Battalions. Most of them were wounded on the same day during the Battle of Festubert (15–25 May 1915) when both battalions were engaged in the actions side by side. Lieutenant J.S. Townshend was wounded in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10–13 Mar 1915).

Wounded officers of the South Staffordshire Regiment, Jersey, 1915. Wilmot Evans is sitting second on the right

Wounded officers of the South Staffordshire Regiment, Jersey, 1915. Wilmot Evans is sitting second on the right

Back row:

  • 2nd Lieutenant Vincent James Hallam, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May
  • 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Patrick Prior, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May
  • Lieutenant Ladas Lewis Hassell, 1st/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May
  • Second Lieutenant Warwick Hall, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May

Front Row:

  • Lieutenant John Sydney Townshend MC, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 10 March
  • Captain Robert Francis Brydges Naylor, 2nd/South Staffordshire, invalided home Dec
  • Captain Hubert Hart Sabben, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May
  • Lieutenant Charles Wilmot Evans MC, 1st/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May
  • Lieutenant Albert Garnett Thomas, 2nd/South Staffordshire, wounded 16 May

Lieutenants C.W. Evans and J.S. Townshend were awarded the Military Cross and promoted to be Captains both on the same day. Most likely they also received their medals on the same day when Wilmot went to London “to see the King” on 12 Aug 1915.

We have three of Wilmot’s letters sent from Jersey – two addressed to Mary Downing dated 4 Aug 1915 and 29 Dec 1915 and one to his aunt Nettie Lewis dated 29 Mar 1916.

In Apr 1916 Wilmot returned to France where he joined the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in their preparation for taking part in the great battles of the Somme which began on 1 Jul 1916.

Sources