School ties provided a link between Nicole Patrick and Major Alexander Arthur Evans DSC MC.

When Nicole, of Launceston Grammar, was selected for the Frank MacDonald MM Memorial Study Tour, she decided to research Alexander Evans, as he was Launceston Grammar alumnus.

Mr Evans was no stranger to war when he enlisted for World War One. He had previously served in the South African War with the 2nd Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen from March 1901 to May 1902 and was wounded, mentioned in dispatches and promoted from private to sergeant.


When war began in 1914 Evans was appointed as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Artillery Brigade and embarked in October with the first contingent. He was promoted lieutenant in February 1915 and reached Gallipoli on 25 April, though his battery's guns were not taken ashore until early May. While serving at Gallipoli he was awarded the Military Cross for  conspicuous gallantry under exceptionally trying circumstances on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his ‘tireless work and valor’ on the Western Front.

The soldiers' voice

Major Evans became the Mayor of Launceston in 1925, and entered parliament in 1936 and remained a member of the Legislative Council for Launceston until 1942. He referred to himself as 'the soldiers' voice'.

Major Evans died in Hobart on the 3 June 1955.

Although Major Evans did not die during the war, Nicole felt it was important to paying tribute  as "every man who made it back alive had a part of their soul destroyed during battle, seeing the horrors of war".

During the Frank MacDonald Memorial Study Tour, Nicole presented a Launceston Grammar school tie to the memory of Major Alexander Arthur Evans DSC MC. (PDF, 1.33MB)

Essay competition

For the Frank MacDonald MM Memorial Prize essay competition, Nicole Patrick, wrote an essay which assessed this topic.

1917: the worst year of a hideous war (for Australia and Australians) wrote Max Blenkin, defence correspondent Australian Associated Press, 14 December 2016. How accurate do you think this statement is?