Edmund Thomas Bevan was born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, in November 1867, the son of blacksmith George Bevan and his wife, Mary Ann.
Unfortunately, little documentation remains on Edmund’s early life; after his baptism record, the next evidence for him comes in the form of his military service record, twenty years later.
Looking for a life of adventure, Edmund gave up his labouring job and joined the Somerset Light Infantry. His enlistment papers confirm the date – 12th May 1887 – and showed that he stood at 5ft 4ins (1.62m) tall and weighed in at 120lbs (54.4kg). The papers also note that had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and a fresh complexion. He also had a scar above his right eye.
Private Bevan joined up for twelve years’ service. He spent his first four years at bases in Essex and Hampshire, before being sent to Gibraltar in November 1891. He returned home after two years, and spent his remaining time in the army in his home county, Somerset. Noted that he had shown a very good character, he was discharged to the reserve brigade on 11th May 1899 in Taunton.
Sadly – tantalisingly – Edmund’s trail goes cold again at this point. When hostilities were declared in August 1914, it seems likely that he was brought out of reserve, but given his age at this point – he was 46 – he was assigned to the territorial force. As a Private in the 125th Coy of the Royal Defence Corps, he would have had civil protection in the London area, although again, specific details are not known.
The next confirmation of Private Bevan’s life is his gravestone. This confirms that he passed away 19th July 1917, at the age of 49. While no cause of death is evident, his pension record sheds a little more light onto his life in the early years of the twentieth century.
Edmund had married a woman called Martha, and the couple had gone on to have a child. Martha passed away in September 1913 and, according to the pension record, Edmund passed guardianship on to his brother Henry.
Edmund Thomas Bevan was laid to rest in the Milton Road Cemetery in his home town of Weston-super-Mare.