Who's Who - Edward Evans

Edward Evans Edward Ratcliffe Evans (1881-1957) achieved a heroic popular reputation both within the Royal Navy and among the general public following an action undertaken while serving with the Royal Navy in 1917 in which he led a successful attack upon six German destroyers which resulted in the sinking of three.

Evans was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1897 and was Second-in-Command of Scott's Antarctic Expedition of 1909.  Following Captain Robert Scott's death in 1913 Evans gained renown for safely bringing the expedition's survivors home to England.

When war broke out in August 1914 Evans held the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy and served aboard HMS Broke in the Dover Patrol (the latter overseen by Reginald Bacon).

It was while serving aboard HMS Broke that Evans mounted a remarkable attack upon six German destroyers on 20 April 1917.  Along with HMS Swift Evans engaged the German destroyers in darkness off the Dutch coast.  During the encounter he sunk one destroyer by ramming it and another following hand-to-hand fighting on the deck of HMS Broke.  A third was additionally sunk - the remaining three German destroyers were then driven off.

'Evans of the Broke', as he became best known, was subsequently promoted to Captain and awarded the DSO.  He died in 1957.

"Suicide Ditch" was a term used by British soldiers to refer to the front-line trench.

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