100 Years Ago: Soldiers Attend Churches, Memorial Service for Leslie Evans

The Intelligencer April 3, 1916 (page 2)

“Soldiers Attend Divine Service. The 155th Overseas Battalion, C.E.F.,  yesterday morning under the command of Col. Adams, Commanding Officer, attended divine service at Holloway Street Methodist Church. There was a good turnout and the church was filled with soldiers and attendants of the church.

The pastor Rev. J.N. Clarry, B.D., officiated and preached an appropriate discourse. …  The hymns were in keeping with the service and the selection by the fine band of the battalion, under the able leadership of Bandmaster Hinchey, were much appreciated, and rendered in a manner which showed careful preparation.

The 80th Battalion, under the command of Col. W.G. Ketcheson, on Sunday morning attended divine service at St. Thomas Anglican church. The turnout was a most creditable one, all officers and men being out on parade. The fine band under the able leadership of Lieut. Stares played to and from the church.

Rev. Canon Beamish, rector of St. Thomas’ church, preached, and his discourse was in keeping with the occasion. Special music was rendered by the choir, and Prof. Wheatley, organist, gave instrumental selections of a high order.”

The Intelligencer April 3, 1916 (page 2)

“At St. Thomas’ Anglican Church last evening a memorial service was held for the late Corporal Leslie Evans, who recently died in France as the result of wounds received while on active service at the front. Deceased was a member of St. Thomas’ Church, having been confirmed on Whitsunday, May 31st, 1914, and while here was a devout communicant of the church.

A large congregation was present at the service, which was conducted by the Rector, Rev. Canon Beamish. During the service appropriate hymns were sung and prayers for the dead were recited. The Rector preached a sermon which was in every respect worthy of the occasion. …

Tonight we commemorate the passing of one who was known as a modest youth, who was sweet and pure, one of nature’s gentlemen. In this church he was confirmed by the Bishop and prepared for the final summons. He has sacrificed his life for his King and country.

The Rector stated that one hundred and forty-two from the congregation had enlisted for active service, and three had lost their lives, namely, H. Ablard, Reservist Coburn and Corporal Evans. We commend their souls to God’s keeping, assured of a joyful resurrection in paradise and life everlasting. During the service, Prof. Wheatley rendered suitable selections upon the organ.”

[Note: Corporal Leslie Farmston Evans died on March 16, 1916. He is commemorated on Page 83 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]