Major Evan Robert Hanbury was born on 5 May 1887, the son of Evan Hanbury and his wife of Braunston Manor. He was educated at Oakham School, Cheam, Eton, and New College, Oxford, where he graduated with Honours. He joined the family brewing firm of Truman, Hanbury, and Buxton and became a director. Already commissioned in the Leicestershire Yeomanry, he joined the Regiment when war broke out in August 1914. In 1916 he was wounded at Ypres, and was sent home to England to recover. Returning to France, he was attached to the 14th Division with the Machine Gun Corps. Major Hanbury was reported "wounded and missing" near Hamel on the Somme on 23 March 1918 on the second day of the big German Spring Offensive although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records his death as being on 24 March. He was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch of 18 April 1918. George Phillips wrote in Rutland and the Great War: "Alike at work or play, at school or college, in business or the Army, Major Hanbury displayed a spirit of indomitable vigour and energy, which made him prominent in every enterprise he joined. He was also endowed with a degree of courage which amounted almost to a reckless indifference to danger. From Cheam, where he was captain of the football team, his headmaster writes: 'He was always a boy of great courage and as straight as a die. I had the highest opinion of him.' Similarly, his house master at Eton said: 'He was always remarkable for his vitality and vigour. His originality and love of fun and absolute fearlessness made him lots of friends. His good abilities took him up the school quickly, and he was in the 'First Hundred' some time before he left Eton. He was a dashing, if somewhat unorthodox batsman, a fine football player, and junior keeper of the School Fires.' He early distinguished himself as a horseman. Inheriting a love of fox hunting from his father, who was for many years Master of the Cottesmore Hounds, he became Master of the Drag at Oxford, and he was well known as one of the boldest riders to hounds in Leicestershire. He gained many successes on the steeplechase course; at Oxford he carried off the Billington Cup and the Inter-University Challenge Cup in 1907; later, he rode often at the Melton Hunt Races, and gained, amongst other successes, the coveted Ladies' Purse in 1909, the Melton and Oakham Town Purse' (1911), and the Tally Ho Steeplechase (1912), the last two on his father's good horse Tipperary. Such are some of the qualities which he devoted to his country's service in her hour of need, and they endeared him alike to his brother officers and his men. Others, of a more intimate kind, have enshrined him in the memory of his own family and of many life-long friends." Evan Hanbury married Olive, the daughter of Captain Jacobson of Oakham in 1912, and left a son. He is remembered on four war memorials, on panel 6 of the Pozieres Memorial in France, in Oakham Castle, Oakham School Chapel and in his home village of Braunston. Evan is also remembered on a family memorial in Braunston churchyard.
Do you know something about Evan Robert that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.