REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH No. 59 COMMEMORATES CAPTAIN ARTHUR BASIL GEORGE BIGGERTON-EVANS (HOSTEL 1907-1912) WHO DIED ON 17TH DECEMBER 1919.
A B G Biggerton-Evans, known as Basil, lived in St Davids in Pembrokeshire, where his father was a minor Canon at the Cathedral. He arrived at the Hostel (now known as Donaldson’s House) in April 1907 at the age of 14.
Basil was a scholar and a successful athlete; he played hockey and cricket and rugby football for the 1st XV. He was also an organist and took part in musical performances and the annual ‘theatricals’. In the summer of 1910, a local paper reported his brave act of rescuing a young boy from drowning at Caerfi Bay near St Davids.
He gained a place at Keble College, Oxford to read Classics, matriculating in the Michaelmas Term 1913. At the start of his second year in autumn 1914, Basil volunteered for service. He was commissioned after six weeks of intensive training and joined the South Wales Borderers. He went with the 4th Battalion to Gallipolli, where he was wounded. After recovering at home, he was sent to Ypres in March 1916 and fought at Mametz Wood and in the Battle of the Somme.
At the age of 26 he was posted to Salonika and was selected to join the British Military Mission in Greece and Bulgaria. He was a linguist, able to speak seven languages, and was given responsibility for the repatriation of Greek Prisoners of War. For this dedicated work, he was made a Chevalier of the Greek Order of George I by the King of the Hellenes in August 1919.
Captain A B G Biggerton-Evans was due to return home in December 1919 but unexpectedly died on a train journey while still on active service in Bulgaria. He is buried in Plovdiv Central Cemetery. He is remembered on the Gladestry War Memorial and at the Llandrindod Wells County War Memorial Hospital. He is also remembered on the War Memorial at Keble College, Oxford as well as on the Christ College War Memorial.
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