The funeral of RSM William Eurwyn Evans (Sledge)

A very sad day indeed. When I joined the Prince of Wales Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in Berlin in 1975 the first person I had any real interaction with was CQMS Bill Evans, who I later discovered was known pretty much universally within the regiment as “Sledge”.

He was a remarkable man, every inch a Guardsman and an exceptionally good No8 in his playing days and coach when he was getting a little older. In everything he did he was the epitome of the term “Hard but Fair”.

He was equally at home on the drill square as well as in the field, he was a frightening figure in South Armagh in 1979/80 as he was out on patrol with his non regulation body armour, his SLR on his arm and a very non regulation magnum pistol on his hip. He led the machine gunners in the Falkland Conflict in 1982.

He left the army with the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.

Even though the funeral was a sad occasion, it showed some measure of the man that a very large number of people were there, it was good to catch up with many old faces, many I had not seen since the early 80s. Everyone had their own “Sledge” anecdote but all had one thing in common, he was a man that had influenced their lives for the better, and whether that had been as a result of his strict discipline, his genuine (but often well hidden) care or his sparkling sense of humour all agreed that we were better for having known him and that he will not be forgotten.