Left: Alfred Munnings by Harold Knight. This portrait was discovered behind a painting by Dame Laura Knight entitled "Carnaval".

A Daily Telegraph article about this painting can be found on the "Article " link below as well as more information on the SiF story.

Joan Evans

When widowed in 1966, Joan remained in their home for the next couple of years before moving to Oakhill Cottage, the adjoining house to Oakhill where Laura and Harold Knight used to live many years previously.

She knew about Gilbert's love of Florence, but being twenty-two years younger than her husband, she clearly accepted that as part of his past.

The picture to the left is the one she kept of Gilbert, looking across the clifftops in Lamorna to the sea, on her bedside cabinet until the day she died in a retirement home in Penzance in March 1989.

Both Gilbert and Joan are buried together, sharing the same headstone hewn from Cornish granite at Zennor Church (below), just a few miles north of Lamorna on the north coast.

L to R: Anne-Marie, Laurence, Rory, Treve, Leila, Dan Stevens, Christine, David, Richard and Hugh. Jill and her daughter, Christine, were also at this event. Gilbert (grandson), Sebnem, Lewis and Leonard were unable to attend (click left below).



Gilbert was referred to as "Fuffer" by his grandchildren; so named in an initial attempt by his first grandchild, Richard, to say the word grandfather.  Joan was also thus named "Muffer". The names stuck and they are still referred to as Fuffer and Muffer today! A legacy from the oldest son of the oldest son of the oldest son!


Evans family at Summer in February

Many of the Evans family attended a special screening at The Curzon Theatre in Mayfair. At the party afterwards, they met several of the cast including Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper. The picture below shows them with Dan Stevens, whose performance of Gilbert was widely praised. 

David Evans had met Dan prior to the filming to talk about Gilbert and give Dan an insight into his father, Gilbert Evans. David was particularly moved by Dan's accurate portrayal.


Gilbert's death

Gilbert died in Penzance Hospital on 6th January, 1966 at the age of eighty-two. He was survived by Joan, his two sons, John and David, and three grandchildren, Richard (1957), Treve (1960) and Christine (1962-2014) by John and Jill. David met and married Christine (nee Johnson) after Gilbert's death - they had two children, Gilbert (1968) and Hugh (1970).

Gilbert's descendants now also include five great grandchildren - Leila (1990). Laurence (1991) and Rory (1994) by Treve and Anne-Marie (nee McCue); also Lewis (1998) and Leonard (2004) by Gilbert and Sebnem (nee Kovanlikaya). The picture below shows Gilbert at the age of eighty.

Gilbert aged forty-five.


A.J.Munnings and Gilbert meet again

Alfred Munnings did return to Lamorna with his second wife, Violet (nee McBride), in 1949. Munnings was invited to unveil a relief of Stanhope Forbes on the wall of Newlyn Gallery. Gilbert and Joan were invited to join them at the Birches for dinner. This was the last time these great, erstwhile friends, Alfred and Gilbert, met.


Gilbert's work in Lamorna

On his return to Lamorna with Joan and then having started a family, Gilbert practised as a land agent in west Cornwall for a number of minor landed estates. From 1940 to 1958 he was I/C Special Constables for the Penwith district of Cornwall. He was also a Director of Cardiff & Provincial Properties.

Gilbert was a Fellow of two professional societies:

Royal Geographic Society 1930

Land Agents' Society 1947


                                                                   Above: Gilbert holds his first child, John "Tim".

  Below: Gilbert and Joan's wedding day - Gilbert was nearly forty-nine when he married.

Gilbert's family life

During his time in Nigeria, Gilbert met Miss Joan Mason (1905-1989), second daughter of Charles Robert Mason of Hampton-on-Thames. Joan was a  Sister Tutor, teaching young African midwives. She was twenty-two years younger than Gilbert. They married on 11th March, 1932. 

They came to live in Lamorna in the house that is now called Tregurnow Cliff above the village and the cove.

They had two sons - John "Tim" (1934-2005) and David (1938).


Gilbert in Nigeria

Gilbert left Florence and his friends in Lamorna for the colonial service in Nigeria in April 1914. He spent the rest of his active working life mostly in Nigeria but saw action during the First World War in the Cameroons (where he was wounded at Mora in January 1915) and in East Africa.

Gilbert's military service 1914-1933

1914-1915 Attached to the West African Frontier Force, Cameroons.

1917-1918 Attached to the West African Frontier Force - German East Africa.

1918 Commanded 2nd Battalion, West African Service Brigade during the Egba Rebellion.

He was eventually to retire from the army in the Rank of Major in 1933.

Gilbert's colonial service in Nigeria 1914-1933

Senior Surveyor 1914-1927

Assistant Surveyor General 1927-1930

Deputy Surveyor General 1930-1933

Acting Surveyor General April-October 1931

Gilbert was invalided out of the Colonial Service in 1933 with a leg thrombosis when he was about to be appointed Surveyor General.


An aerial view of Lamorna.

Please click to enlarge.

1920: Gilbert's record breaking catch of a Niger perch. It weighed 106 pounds!