Mrs E.G. Evans

Edith Gwendoline Evans
Mrs Edith Gwendoline Evans[1]
It is quite likely this is Edith Gwendoline Evans née Rees, 58, (1874-1936) the widow of Henry Evans, Welsh professor of music, and an accomplished violinist herself. Both born in Dowlais, Glam, they were married in 1899 in Brecon and had two sons, the eldest of which, Horace, became a distinguished doctor (and Baron Merthyr Tydfil), their second son an Indian civil servant. Henry died in 1914 at the age of 41, leaving Edith to bring up their two sons, then 11 and 9.


As with others on this table there is little to suggest other than a snug table of four in conversation.


Reflecting on the glories of Wales?


Edith Gwendoline Rees was born in Dowlais, Glamorganshire, in late 1874, to Catherine Eleanor Jenkins and Richard Posthumous Rees, both chemists, her father also Mayor of Merthyr in 1918. In 1899 she married her contemporary (born 1873) Henry Evans, Welsh professor of music, in Brecon. Edith was herself an accomplished violinist. They had two sons, the eldest of which, Horace, (born 1903) became a distinguished doctor and physician to King George VI (and Queen Mary), later becoming Baron Merthyr Tydfil. He was also Royal Physician to Queen Elizabeth II Their second son Hubert, born 1905, became an Indian civil servant went on to become British Ambassador to Nicaragua (1952-54) and South Korea (1957-1961).

Edith was also the Mrs E.G. Evans supporting the church in Prescot, NE of Liverpool, (see link) though at the time (1891) we would not expect her to use her own initials – though perhaps later in reference to her gift there her own initials were used.[2]

Henry Evans died on 23rd July 1914 at the age of 41, leaving Edith to bring up their two sons (at the time 11 and 9). At the time they were living in Liverpool – subsequently she moved to London and lived in a number of apartments in central London.


We have no further information as of now. Edith died on 23rd December 1936 at the age of 62, at the time (named Edith Gwendoline) living at 3 Whitehall Court, Westminster.[3]

She was buried in Toxteth, Liverpool, Lady Gladstone attending the funeral. Edith’s strong suits (but not really trump cards) are being Welsh, having the right initials, having a distinguished husband and living in London at the time.

puzzle-piece2-50There is an intriguing but less likely alternative, the wife of Edwin Evans, 1870-1945, the music critic was writing a lot for Time and Tide at this time. He comes well documented in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Musical Times and other biographies but the sole mark against him is the absence of a middle name/initial G and so far the guest list has been meticulously accurate. Furthermore Mrs Edwin Evans would have been her most appellation if she had been there, as he was still living. He also attended the Time and Tide reception on 12th March 1931 at Boulestin’s.[4]


[1] Photograph kindly provided by Mrs. Evans’ family 

[2] The Unofficial Prescotian Archives, accessed 4.3.2019

[3] The ODNB for her husband and son both incorrectly give her year of death as 1930, which would rule her out of the dinner. We have suggested the correction to ODNB. But the probate looks conclusive, widow, with probate to Horace Evans, surgeon, in 1936.  

[4] The Times, 13.3.1931 

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