Albert EVANS
Rank: Private
Number: 12255
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 27 November 1918
Age: 25
Cemetery: Basra War Cemetery, Iraq

He was one of the two sons of WH and Mrs I Evans, 65 Cambridge Street, Stockport. He enlisted in September 1914 and saw action at Gallipoli. In 1916, the Battalion transferred to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

Mesopotamia was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire and an ally of Germany. Then as now, Britain relied heavily on oil from the area. When war broke out in August 1914, British troops were quickly sent to the area to protect its interests by occupying the oilfields and pipeline near Basra. 

Conditions for the men were appalling. Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common); arid desert and regular flooding; flies, mosquitoes and other vermin: all led to very high levels of sickness and death through disease. Under these conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital.

Albert is understood to have contracted smallpox. He was evacuated to hospital in Jubbulpore, India, where he recovered. He returned to duty in Mesopotamia serving at the main headquarters for this theatre of war. The local newspaper reported that he was attached to the "DAGS Office". This is may refer to the Deputy Adjutant General or, perhaps more likely, it is a typographical error and should be the "DADS Office " - Deputy Assistant Director Supplies.

Albert is understood to have contracted smallpox for a second time and, on 19 November 1918, he was admitted to the Basra Isolation Hospital. His officer subsequently wrote to Mrs Evans "He had been in hospital suffering from influenza but when he returned to duty, he seemed to be quite fit and well again and it was a great shock to me when I heard he had been admitted to hospital suffering from smallpox."

Albert's brother, William, served with the Army service Corps and is believed to have survived the War.

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