- Name: Arthur EVANS
- D.O.B: 8th Apr, 1891
- D.O.A: 2nd Sep, 1918
- D.O.D: 31st Oct, 1936
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Lance Sergeant, 6th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment, 33rd Brigade, 11th Division
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
The Drocourt-Quéant Line, France 2-4 September 1918
2-4 September 1918
The First World War 1918
On 2 September 1918 the Allies attacked and broke through the Drocourt-Quéant Line, the German defensive position east of Arras stretching from Drocourt, just south-east of Lens, in the north, to Quéant, north-east of Bapaume and west of Cambrai, in the south. 11th Division of XXII Corps was south of the River Scarpe and moved south-eastwards from near Hamblain-les-Prés. It was in a reconnaissance across the River Cojeul, southwest of Étaing, during which a German machine-gun post was also knocked-out, that Lance Sergeant A W Evans, 6th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment, distinguished himself. On 11th Division’s flank to the south, 4th Canadian Division advanced north of the Arras to Cambrai road and 75th Battalion 1st Central Ontario Regiment and 87th Battalion Quebec Regiment took part in the attack on German positions near Dury. Captain B S Hutcheson, Canadian Army Medical Corps, attached to 75th Battalion, and Private J F Young, 87th Battalion, a stretcher-bearer, showed conspicuous bravery under fire in this sector. 1st Canadian Division advanced south of the Arras to Cambrai road. 10th Battalion Alberta Regiment captured Villers-lès-Cagnicourt, just south of the road. Sergeant A G Knight exhibited great gallantry during this action. 16th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment met heavy machine-gun fire near Cagnicourt, just to the south, and Lieutenant Colonel C W Peck distinguished himself by his steadfastness in overcoming this resistance. Lance Corporal W H Metcalf, of the same battalion, led a tank to attack the enemy during this action. Private W L Rayfield, 7th Battalion The British Columbia Regiment, also showed conspicuous bravery in the fighting near Cagnicourt. To the south of the Canadians, XVII Corps manned the line. 1st Battalion The Royal Munster Fusiliers took part in the advance east of Riencourt-lès-Cagnicourt. It was in the fighting here that Company Sergeant Major M Doyle distinguished himself by his gallantry. South-east of Riencourt and Quéant, 63rd Royal Naval Division pushed forwards and Commander D M W Beak (see 21-25 August 1918 above) and Chief Petty Officer G Prowse were awarded the VC for their part in the fighting at Pronville.
For most conspicuous bravery and initiative when with a daylight patrol sent out to reconnoitre and to gain touch with a neighbouring division. When on the west bank of a river an enemy machine-gun post was sighted on the east bank. The river being too deep to ford, Sjt. Simpson volunteered to swim across, and having done so crept up alone in rear of the machine-gun post. He shot the sentry and also a second enemy who ran out; he then turned out and caused four more enemy to surrender. A crossing over the river was subsequently found, and the officer and one man of his patrol joined him, and reconnaissance was continued along the river bank. After proceeding some distance machine-gun and rifle fire was opened on the patrol and the officer was wounded. In spite of the fact that no cover was available, Sjt. Simpson succeeded in covering the withdrawal of the wounded officer under most dangerous and difficult conditions and under heavy fire. The success of the patrol, which cleared up a machine-gun post on the flank of the attacking troops of a neighbouring division and obtained an identification, was greatly due to the very gallant conduct of Sjt. Simpson. Corrections. The notification of the award of the Victoria Cross to No. 41788 Cpl. (L./Sjt.) Walter Simpson, 6th Bn., Linc. Regt., as announced in the London Gazette dated 3rd October, 1918, should be read as awarded to No. 41788 Cpl. (L./Sjt.) Arthur Evans, 6th Bn., Linc. Regt., the latter being the correct Christian and Surname of this N.C.O., which he has been permitted to re-assume.