Private Norman Edward Evison – Missing in Action

Norman Edward Evison is the second oldest child, and first-born son, of Francis (Frank) Evison and Charlotte Hill.

He was born on 30 Oct 1895 in Delaware, Middlesex County (Ontario).

Birth - Norman Edward Evison

In 1901, Norman was living in Delaware with his parents, his younger brother, Richard, and his sisters, Hannah and Charlotte.

1901 census - Norman Evison and Family

In 1911, Norman was 15 years old — and, by then, the Evison family had moved to Komoka, Lobo Township (Ontario).  Norman’s oldest sister, Hannah, married– but his younger siblings, Richard (age 13) and Ellen (also known as Charlotte: age 10), were still living at home.

1911 Census - Norman Evison

According to Norman’s biography in Delaware and Westminster Township: Together in History, he moved out to Alberta and farmed there until he returned to Ontario to join the army when WWI started.

Attestation Papers - Norman Evison Page One

Attestation Papers - Norman Evison Page TwoOn 11 Mar 1916 in Strathroy (Ontario), Norman enlisted in the Overseas Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).

He was assigned to the 135th Battalion–the same battalion as his father, brother and brother-in-law, George Tunks.

Norman was 5′ 5″, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.

Norman Edward Evison

22-year-old Private Norman Edward Evison was reported missing after the Battle of the Scarpe — which took place from 26-30 Aug 1918 near Arras, France.  At the time of the battle, Norman was assigned to the 19th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario).

Norman was subsequently reported as “killed in action”.  He died  on 27 Aug 1918.

Canada: Commonweath War Graves Register – N E Evison   Norman Edward Evison  Canada War Graves Register - Norman Edward Evison

Norman Edward Evison is buried in Section II. A. 9. of the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery.   The Cemetery is on the main road between the two villages of Vis-en-Artois and Haucourt in France — about a 2 hour drive north of Paris, near the Belgium border.

Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery

Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, France
From Google Maps: 50.24574,2.94982

SO 3043 Private
N.E. Evison
19th BN. Canadian Inf.

27th August 1918 Age 22
Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

Headstone - Norman Edward Evison

Norman is commemorated on Page 405 of the Book of Remembrance which contains the names of Canadians who were killed in active service during wartime.  The seven Books of Remembrance are housed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in West Block, House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa (Ontario).

Book of Remembrance - Norman Edward Evison

I found the War Diaries for the 19th Battalion.  The diaries for the Battle of the Scarpe are in Appendix 6.  Appendix 6, Page 8 describes in detail what happened on the day that Norman died (27 Aug 1918).  This is my version of what happened from reading this and other accounts of that day:

The orders received were to move forward with the first objective being the River Sensee and the second, Cagnicourt.  The 19th Battalion was to attack on the right and the 18th on the left, with the 20th in support and the 21st in reserve.  Zero hour was 10 a.m.

The Battalion made a successful advance to their first objective (River Sensee), causing many enemy casualties and capturing more than 3,00o prisoners.  Just beyond the first objective, the Battalion encountered stiff resistance from the Germans.

Total casualties reported on the 26-28 of August were 5,701 soldiers, including 254 officers.

There are also handwritten accounts by individual soldiers included in Appendix 6.  This is just one of them.  There are more handwritten accounts here.

August 1918, Appendix 6, Pages 25-26:

War Diary - 19th Battalion (26-28 Aug 1918), Page One

War Diary - 19th Battalion (26-28 Aug 1918), Page Two

Map - The Battle of Arras

Canadian troops take cover in a ditch alongside the road from Arras to Cambrai.
They faced a series of well-protected enemy defences
whose efficiency was enhanced by the region’s topographical features.
On their left ran the Scarpe River

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5 Responses to Private Norman Edward Evison – Missing in Action

  1. JSD says:

    Thank you so much for all the extra information that you’ve provided for Norman. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, JSD 🙂 Feel free to copy/download and share with family any of the information in the blog. If you click on each picture, it will take you to a larger version and/or the source(s).

      • JSD says:

        I’ve got the pictures of Norman…I had put them on the site where you found them. But I had never seen the grave marker nor the certificates regarding his death. Thanks again…and you are doing your family a huge service.

      • I wondered who put the photos of Norman on the site. Thanks so much for doing that!! My goal in writing the blog is to leave a legacy for future generations to discover 🙂

      • JSD says:

        Exactly!!! Brilliant minds think alike!

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