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Thomas John Carey EVANS (later CAREY-EVANS) (1884-1947)

Biographical Details

Thomas John Carey Evans (1884-1947) married Olwen Lloyd George, the daughter of the Prime Minister.

Thomas John Carey Evans was born on 16th June 1884 at Blaenau Festiniog, Merionethshire, the fourth of nine children of Robert Davies Evans, a doctor, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann (née Jones).

Thomas trained as a doctor at Cardiff, Glasgow, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Vienna.  After qualifying, he spent some time assisting his father at Festiniog.  Later he became house surgeon to the Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool.  While there, in 1907 he was appointed out of 63 candidates as one of 12 medical officers required to serve the Crown in India.

During World War I, Captain Evans served as a surgeon with the Indian Army at Gallipoli, in Egypt, and in Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Military Cross on 3rd June 1916.

Captain Evans was engaged to Olwen Lloyd George.  Mela Brown Constable was “mad with jealousy” when she discovered that the fiancé of the Prime Minister’s daughter’s had been allowed to come home from Mesopotamia in order to get married, as she told her own fiancé on 1st May 1917.  She incorrectly described him as being a member of the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) when in fact he was a member of the IMS (Indian Medical Service).  A letter of 12th June 1917 revealed that Captain Evans’ boat had been torpedoed on the way home.  He was safe, but they were not sure when he would arrive home.  He obviously did reach home in time as he and Olwen were married on 19th June 1917 in a Baptist chapel described in the newspapers as “so tiny that it might easily fit into many a Mayfair drawing-room”.  The service was in Welsh.

Thomas Evans, who later became known as Thomas Carey Evans, remained in India until 1925, becoming surgeon to the Viceroy in 1921.  They had four children.  His granddaughter is the Canadian historian, Margaret MacMillan, and his great-grandson is the TV presenter and historian Dan Snow.

Thomas Carey Evans was knighted in 1924.  The entry in The London Gazette for 3rd June 1924 said:  “Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas John Carey Evans, MC, Indian Medical Service, Surgeon to His Excellency The Viceroy.”

Sir Thomas Carey Evans returned to England in 1926 and took a post as surgeon in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.  From 1932-1945 he was medical superintendent at Hammersmith Hospital where, during the Second World War, he helped in the hospital's Home Guard detachment.  In his latter years he farmed at Criccieth.

Sir Thomas Carey Evans died on 25th August 1947, aged 63.  He left the bulk of his estate to his wife “to whom I owe an unpayable debt for my blissful married existence”.

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