Evans, Herbert Ernest Raymond


27135   Sapper  

13th Railway Construction Company NZEF


Military Record

Enlisted 20.6.1940 and was posted to 13th Railway Construction Company which departed for overseas with 3rd Echelon on 23.8.1940. The company disembarked at Port Twefik on 29.9.1940 and moved to Maadi before moving to Qasaba 15 miles from Matruh by November and construction of line extension commenced in mid December.

The Company was relocated to Geneifa on 5.2.1941. Major line construction followed.

By mid September the Company was at Mohalafa with orders to complete 64.5 miles of line by 25 October. Despite hold ups related to materials the first train was on the line by 15 November. The next major construction was Capuzzo to Belhamed some 72 miles commenced on 10.5.1942 but Company was moved back to Qasaba on 27.5.1942 to await outcome of El Alamein. On 1.6.1942 the Company moved to Belhamed to complete the final 10.6 miles of the line before returning to Qasaba. On 25.6.1942 the Company commenced the move to Khalde near Beirut arriving on 2.7.1942. On 2.7.1942 it commenced to complete the Sidon-Beirut Section and Marshalling yard.

By May 1943 the Company was still crushing ballast to complete the Beirut to Tripoli line but on 13.5.1943 there occurred the surrender of the enemy in North Africa. On 1.6.1943 the whole of the Haifa-Beirut-Tripoli line was opened for daylight operations.

A decision was taken to send troops from the first three Echelons back to NZ for three months leave. The first group of troops departed the Middle East in June 1943.

Evans returned to New Zealand and as there was a greater demand for railway workers in NZ than Egypt Evans was discharged on 26.2.1944.


No - NZEF   27135

Rank -  Sapper

Enlist Date -   20 June 1940

Place -

Other Details –

Units Served 

N Z E F 13th Railway Construction Company

Locations Served

1940 - New Zealand

Enlisted   20.6

Posted to newly formed 13th Railway Construction Company

Trained at Hopu Hopu Camp, Ngaruawahia, north of Hamilton

Entrained at Auckland for Wellington   22.8

Embarked at Wellington on “Empress of Japan”   23.8

“Empress of Japan” departed NZ with 2nd Echelon, NZEF    27.8

Evans disembarked with Company at Bombay   15.9

Evans embarked from Bombay on “Orion” for Egypt   19.9 

1940 - Middle East

Disembarked with Company at Twefik    29.9

Company on disembarking moved to Maadi Camp outside Cairo

Specialised training undertaken, including weaponry

Company at Qasaba undertaking track maintenance   21.10

Men at each station and spare engine crews at danger or regular target areas

Company commenced extensions to line in mid- December

1941 - Middle East

Company re-located to Geneifa    05.2

Major line construction followed

Company at Mohalafa ordered to quickly complete 64.5 mile (104Km) line 15.9

Line was completed     15.11

1942 - Middle East

Company commenced major construction line Capuzzo to Belhamed   10.5

Company withdrawn to Qasaba to await El Alamein Battle outcome   01.6

Company commenced move to Kalde near Beirut    25.6

Company commenced completion of Sidon to Beirut section / marshalling yards   02.7

1943 - Middle East

Company still on Beirut to Tripoli line   May

Allied troops accept surrender in North Africa   13.5

Some NZ troops sent home on 3 months leave June

Evans departed with first group

1943 - New Zealand

Disembarked at Wellington from "Nieuw Amsterdam"  12.7

1944 - New Zealand

Decision taken, railway workers in greater demand in NZ than overseas

Evans discharged    26.2


    1939/45 Star

    Africa Star

    British War Medal 1939/45

    NZ War Service Medal

Involvement with other Islanders

There were no other Islanders in Railway units

His brother G C Evans served in the Norfolk Island Infantry Detachment

Discharge Details

Discharged on 26 February 1944

Personal Details

Birth Date - 2 January 1912

Location - Norfolk Island

Parentage - George Roland Sinclair Evans and Jane Amy (nee Adams) Evans who were married at Norfolk Island on 28 April 1903

Marital Status - married on March 10, 1944 in New Zealand

Partner - Doris Charlotte Cochrane

Children -  Charles Forrest Evans (1944)

                   Brian Dudley Evans (1948)

                   Janette Faye Evans (1949)

                   Raymond Peter Evans (1956)

Life Post Discharge -

Death Date - Died in Auckland, NZ, on 8 April, 1975