George Frederick Bevins was born in Sparkhill, Birmingham on 11th June 1896. His father, Henry Sharpe Bevins (1863-1920), was a builder and contractor, born in Birmingham. His mother, Emily (née Payne) was born in Monkspath (according to the 1891 census) or Hockley Heath (according to the 1901 census). The couple had married in 1888 and went on to have nine children, of whom one had died by 1911, and three sons died in the war.
Of their surviving children, it appears that five out of six sons are known to have served in the First World War (Alfred Henry, Albert Edward, George Frederick, Horace William and Reginald Sharpe). Alfred and Reginald both survived – Albert, George and Horace were all killed. The sixth and youngest son, Jack Ralph, was too young to serve, having been born in 1909. However, he died on 31st December 1939, aged 30.
The children’s father, Henry Sharpe Bevins, known as Harry, died in 1920. His wife, Emily, died in 1943, aged 78, having seen five of her nine children predecease her. At the time of her death, she was living at 790 Warwick Road, Solihull, having previously lived at Jessedene, Stratford Road, Hall Green from at least 1911 until at least 1931, according to the entries for Reginald and Jack in Solihull School’s magazine, the Shenstonian. Emily’s two surviving sons, Alfred and Reginald were executors of her will, and were described in the probate register as both being nurserymen.
It seems that the youngest three sons – Horace, Reginald and Jack – all attended Solihull School, although there’s no evidence that the older boys, Alfred, Albert and George did. Horace appears on the school’s war memorial, and Reginald is included in the school’s roll of honour, which also lists those who served and returned.
George Bevins is listed in the order of service for a memorial service at St Patrick’s Church, Salter Street, which was held on 3rd September 1916. The order of service says he was born on 11th June 1896 and was killed at Gallipoli on 25th June 1916. Although his name was included in the order of service, it does not actually appear on the war memorial in the church, and it’s not known what his connection was with the parish.
His service record is available on Find My Past (free of charge from library computers) and gives his trade as nurseryman when he enlisted in Birmingham on 29th August 1914, joining the Deal Battalion of the Royal Marine Light Infantry. He embarked with the Mediterranean Expedition Force on 28th February 1915 and served until he was “Discharged Dead” on 25th June.
If you know any more about George Bevins and his connection with Salter Street, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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