EVANS. John, Able Seaman 61451
"South Africa 1877 - 1879 with bar 1879 to H.M.S. “Shah” (398 bars to Ship)
Born, Liverpool, Lancashire on 10th March 1852. Trade given as Sea.
Joined the Navy at H.M.S. Eagle in Birkenhead on 31st July 1868 Signing for a 10 year engagement to start from 10th March 1870 and was given the Continuous Service No. 6563 B.
Joined HMS Achilles (a broadside ironclad of 1863), the guardship at Portland, as a Boy 2 class 31st June 1868.
5th August 1869 Boy 1st class,
16th August 1871 Promoted Ordinary 2nd class Seaman,
1871 16th August Joined HMS Magpie a Plover class Gunboat of 1861 (Commanded by Commander Frederick Proby Doughty).
1871 August – in the Persian Gulf
1871 August to November – spent in the Persian Gulf at Bahrain, Muscat and Bushire – reportedly the crew suffered badly from health problems during this time, with heat stroke; both the First Lieutenant and the Medical Officer died.
1871 December, Thought to have moved to Bombay and then may have been deployed to E Africa in early 1872.
1872 July was spent at the Seychelles
1872 August to October – at Zanzibar / area; captured three Arab slaving dhows during this time
1872 October to December – Was spent in the Mozambique area
1872 December - At the Seychelles
1873 3rd January – arrived Bombay from the Seychelles
1873 January to February – Refitting at Bombay
1873 23rd February – Left Bombay sailing for the Persian Gulf
1873 March to May – Policing duties in the Persian Gulf
1873 31st May – Sailed from Muscat for East Africa
1873 June – On passage for East Africa; captured an Arab slaving dhow en route
1873 2nd July - Arrived at Zanzibar
1873 August – At Mahe (Seychelles)
1873 29th August – Departed the Seychelles for Ceylon
1873 September and October - Spent at Trincomalee or Bombay
1873 December and January 1874 – Visited the Andaman Islands and Rangoon
1874 7th February – arrived at Calcutta
1874 March – Spent at Bombay Changing Crews?
16th February 1871 Promoted to Ordinary Seaman
14th March 1874, Six weeks on HMS Euphrates a troopship of 1866 (his return from India?), followed by nine weeks on HMS Duke of Wellington the Portsmouth Base/Flag ship until 8th July 1874.
Joined HMS Hector 9th July 1874 a broadside ironclad of 1862, part of the Southern Reserve Fleet?
1874 July Commanded by Captain J H I Alexander,Hector was in Southampton Water, acting as a Coastguard depot
1874 July to April 1875 – In dock at Portsmouth for repair & refitting
1875 April – Captain Anthony Hoskins assumes command
1875 May and June – Undergoing post-refit trials off Portsmouth
1875 July – Resumed her station in Southampton Water
1875 July – Acting as guardship off Osborne House IOW
1875 August – with other ships of Channel Fleet, cruising to Ireland visiting Belfast, Dublin and Cork.
1875 September – Captain Edward Madden assumes command
1875 October to February 1876 – Back on duty in Southampton water.
1876 February – At Portland
1876 March – Back at Southampton water
1875 April – Spent at Portsmouth, docked for cleaning
1876 May and June – Joined Channel Fleet for its cruise to Vigo and Madeira
1876 July – Back in Southampton Water
1876 July – Acting as guardship off Osborne House IOW
22nd July 1876 back to HMS Duke of Wellington.
Joined HMS Shah 14th August 1876 a newly commissioned unarmoured iron hulled, wooden sheathed frigate of 1873 (Commanded by Captain Richard Bradshaw). She was only in service for three years, as the flagship of the British Pacific Station under Admiral de Horsey. She fought an action, the Battle of Pacocha, in company with the corvette HMS Amethyst on 29 May 1877 with the Peruvian armoured turret ship Huáscar which had been taken over by rebels opposed to the Peruvian Government and it was feared, could be used to attack British shipping. The armoured Huáscar proved virtually impenetrable to the British guns but the two British ships had to keep clear of the Huáscar’s turret guns. In the course of the action HMS Shah fired the navy's first torpedo in action against the rebel Peruvian ironclad Huascar but It proved to be too slow to hit the target.
HMS Shah whilst returning from the Pacific in 1879 called in at St. Helena. It was here that her crew learnt of the defeat at Isandhlwana and taking on board troops from the garrison (one company of the 88th foot the Connaught Rangers and a field artillery battalion) provided by the island's Governor, she sailed for the Cape Colony Arriving on 7th March 1879, she disembarked 16 officers and 378 men of her crew at Durban, led by Commander John Brackenbury to join the newly formed Naval Brigade. On 18th March 1879, the force heading to relieve Eshowe was joined by 10 officers and 218 seamen from HMS Boadicea, led by Commander Francis Romilly (The Boadiceas landing had been delayed by an outbreak of smallpox onboard their ship as she lay off Durban). They fought at the Battle of Gingindhlovo on 2nd April where the Royal Navy and their guns held the corners of the British square. After the relief of Eshowe on 4th April, Commander (Acting Captain) Campbell was placed in command of the whole Naval Brigade numbering over 800 officers, seamen and marines. With much of the fighting already over, the detachment from HMS Tenedos re-embarked on 8th May. HMS Active's and HMS Shah's contingents re-embarked on 21st July. The men of the Boadicea were the last company of the Naval Brigade to return to their ship, doing so on 31st July 1879.
3rd September 1879 Promoted to Leading Seaman 3rd September 1879
Returned to N. (North or Naval?) Barracks 1st November 1879
Joined HMS Penelope Harwich coast guard ship 10th January 1880
13th March 1880 10years Contracted service expired and did not sign on to extend his time so was discharged to shore"