Born on 29 April 1910 Thomas Glyn Evans lived a mile away from my home. An ex-soldier – he served for three years in the South Wales Borderers – ex-coal miner and ex-dairyman, Tom made his own way to London in December 1936, arrived in Spain on 6 January 1937 and enlisted on 10 January 1937.
Through his bravery and skill Tom became Section Leader of No. 1 Company at Jarama. Furthermore, he attended Officer Training School and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. Later, he became commander of the Major Attlee Company (British Battalion, International Brigades).
Fortunately, Tom escaped major wounds, although he was hospitalised at Benicassim and Valls with a poisoned leg.
Tom was widely respected for his ability. Indeed, Jim Brewer, a Welsh volunteer who served under him, said, “Militarily, Tom was the outstanding Welshman in Spain.”
Tom was also praised at Tortosa where he led a group of men who directed rifle fire at tanks, buying time for their colleagues and delaying the fascist advance.
Interviewed on 26 January 1970, Thomas Glyn Evans said, “We were supposed to bridge the gap after the insurgents had broken through the Franco-Belgian lines at Jarama. Only Overton was in charge. Afterwards, only forty left, without coats, water, food. All debating, gibbering and leaving for Barcelona. Jock Cunningham railed them. I was afraid, to be honest with you. We were allowed to rest for a week. Then Arthur Horner came out there. He told them that the people back home were backing them up. I didn’t regret going to Spain. In those days I didn’t give a rap for nobody. I’m a fatalist. If it’s there, it’s there. The War should have ended at Brunete if enough arms were available. We lost a lot of good men.”
Thomas Glyn Evans was repatriated on 1 August 1938.