b. 23/06/1878 Staines, Middlesex d. 14/01/1920 Aden, Yemen.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 08/11/1916 Archangel, Russia.
George Parker Bevan was born in 1878 in Staines, the second son of sixteen children. A long and highly successful military career saw him, amongst other achievements, awarded the D.S.O. for his involvement in the evacuation of Gallipoli. He rose through the ranks of the Royal Navy, and was appointed PTMO to the staff of the Governor-General of the Province of Archangel in Northern Russia.
Bevan was recalled to London in February 1918, and appointed Naval Assistant Director of Transports. In January 1920, he was due to travel to Aden to take up a post as senior Naval Officer in the Persian Gulf. He had, however, been suffering from severe headaches for some time, and had been instructed by his doctor to rest. Duty prevailed, and he sailed anyway.
Upon arrival, despite feeling unwell, he went immediately ashore to greet the Governor. As the two men shook hands, Bevan removed his hat, fell to the ground and died. George Parker Bevan died of a brain tumour, and is buried at Maala Cemetary in Yemen.
‘For gallantry in saving life at sea. On the 8th November, 1916, a series of explosions and fires occurred at Bakaritsa, Port of Archangel, on merchant ships and on the wharves. The S.S. Baron Driesen had blown up at 1pm and part of the S.S. Earl of Forfar forty minutes later and fresh explosions were expected every instant. It was thought that all their crews had either escaped or been killed or rescued, but after dark cries of distress were heard from the Earl of Forfar. The ship was a mass of flame at the time, and burning embers from the fire which was raging on shore were continually showered over her. She had a cargo of explosives on board and was abreast of the main conflagration. The flames were blown towards her by the wind, and the remaining portion of the ship was expected to be blown up at any moment. Captain Bevan, however, on hearing the cries proceeded on board, accompanied by Lieutenant-Commander MacMahon, and, hearing moans from under the smouldering debris of the forecastle, cleared away the wreckage and extricated the mate, who had an arm and a leg and his collarbone broken, and passed him into a tug. Captain Bevan displayed the utmost gallantry and disregard of his personal safety.’
BURIAL LOCATION: MAALA CEMETERY, ADEN, YEMEN.
PLOT 1, ROW G GRAVE 18.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD. SOLD AT AUCTION IN SEPTEMBER 2016.
Steve Rogers – George Bevan DSO AM Grave.