People: Joseph Edward Evans

Name Evans, Joseph Edward
Place of work Greenwich

Employment dates
24 May 1897 – 3 January 1913 (RGO7/5)

Posts 1897, May 24

Supernumerary Computer

1904, Oct 6

Established Computer (post renamed in 1912 as Junior Assistant)

Subsequent posts
1913, Jan 4

Second Assistant Astronomer at Colombo Observatory, Ceylon. Acting Superintendent 1915–1919, while Superintendent on war related duties. Promoted at some point to First Assistant. Retired 1925 due to ill health

Born 1881, Jul 4 (India)
Died 1964, Apr 8 (Norwich, following a cycling accident)

Family Links Brother of Benjamin Davies Evans (Supernumerary/Established Computer)
Cousin of WG Davies (Supernumerary Computer)

Known addresses

Queen’s House, Royal Hospital School, Greenwich (RGO7/28)

Evans arrived at the Observatory as a boy computer. Unlike his younger brother Benjamin, he never gained an observing certificate which would have entitled him to extra pay. His father was Joseph Edward Evans (Snr), Headmaster of the Royal Hospital School (retired 1920). Evans together with William Burkett was appointed Established Computer in October 1904 in place of Bischlanger who had died and Rendell who had resigned to take up the post of First Assistant at the Natal Observatory. In his role as Established Computer, Evans worked under Henry Hollis, carrying out the measurements and reductions for the astrographic plates.

He resigned his post to work for AJ Bamford who had recently been promoted to the post of Superintendent of the Colombo Observatory in Ceylon (established 1907) on the retirement of Barnard. He was replaced at Greenwich by Frank Jefferies.

In his personal life, he married Caroline Eugenie Litton (Jessie) in Greenwich on 18 July 1908 and went on to have three children, two of whom, Edward and Peter were born in Colombo in 1917 and 1918. He was retired on the grounds of ‘delusional insanity’, the diagnosis of WT Prout of Harley Street, who recommended that he ‘should be compulsorily, if not voluntarily, placed in an institution for treatment’. (RGO7/5). In June 1925, he was awarded a small pension of £16.1s.9d. together with a lump sum of £43.19s.5d. (RGO7/5). Fearing for the education of Edward and Peter, Caroline appealed to Dyson for his help in securing them a free place at Christ’s Hospital School. The records in the Observatory archives (RGO7/5) show that a place was secured for Edward in 1925. There is however no information on the outcome of Peter’s application the following year.


Family History links

Joseph Edward Evans ( Stapley Family History)