This actually originates through the line of the Williams family, who owned a large tannery business in Cardiff - it is not known how they became hereditary freemen. In 1818, Gilbert's great grandfather, The Rev James Evans (1782 - 1862) (MA Oxon), who looked after seven parishes in the Cardiff area, married Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Charles Williams (hereditary Freeman of the City of Cardiff) and his wife, Anne.
Since the hereditary entitlement passed through the male line, James was entitled to this by marrying Elizabeth. He duly accepted the entitlement and this has been passed through the Evans family ever since. The entitlement was taken up by Gilbert's grandfather, his father and himself, then subsequently by both his sons and his four grandsons. Unlike when it first originated, there now exist no privileges associated with the title, neither is there a ceremony nor certificate issued when granted.
During his time in Monmouth, Gilbert became very friendly with Lord Raglan who took him under his wing. Gilbert was an Aide-de-Camp to him on several occasions when Lord Raglan was Lt. Governor of the Isle of Man.
Gilbert also ran a trout farm in Fernside on the river Monow with a friend from the militia, becoming an expert in trout breeding and writing articles on the subject in The Field magazine.
It was also at this time in 1902 that Gilbert met and became friends with Colonel Camborne Paynter who had joined the Monmouthshire Militia from the Iniskillen Dragoons. In 1909 it was Paynter who asked Gilbert to go to Cornwall and look after the Boskenna Estate, which is when the background to the Summer in February story starts.
Gilbert's Military Career and Qualifications to 1909
1901 - Commissioned to Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (RMRE) Militia. Hythe Certificate as Instructor of musketry and Machine Gun (awarded the distinction of Hythe Marksman).
1902 - Attached to the 57th Field Company Royal Engineers and then to 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, serving in the Boer War.
1903 - Chatham Surveying Qualification and re-joined the RMRE Militia.
1904 - Chatham Military Engineering Qualification with honours.
1906 - Attached to 23rd Field Company Royal Engineers.
1907 - Promoted to Captain.
1908 - Appointed to regular commission.
1909 - Aide-de-Camp to Lord Raglan, Lt. Governor of the Isle of Man. Becomes a Hereditary Freeman of the City of Cardiff.
Gilbert's family - early years (click on thumbnails).
Charles Gilbert Evans was born in Cardiff on 2nd April, 1883 at 2 St. Andrew's Place. He came from a family of minor Welsh gentry who had owned land in and around the Cardiff area since about 1700.
Gilbert's father, Charles (1854 - 1907), was the only son of the Reverend James Evans (1820 - 1896) (MA Trinity College Oxford) Vicar of Costessy, Norfolk between 1845 and 1896. Charles married Florence (the irony of the name!), the daughter of Dr. Henry Paine, Medical Officer for Health, Cardiff. Charles became a partner in Spencer, Evans & Co in 1872 (now Adams, Black & Co), appointed Clerk to Llandaff magistrates in 1895. He was president elect of the Cardiff Law Society at the time of his death.
Gilbert had four siblings; his sister Maud being the eldest followed by Gilbert, Lionel and Basil (who tragically died young of an insect bite). He was educated at Rugby School where he played in the first XV. When he left Rugby in 1901, he was immediately commissioned into the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers militia. In 1908, some militias were incorporated into the regular army - officers were given the option of regular commissions on the reserve, which Gilbert accepted.
Gilbert at twenty-six.