John was the son of Stephen Bowle Evans and Katharine Mary Cecily Lawrence. He was born in Simonstown, South Africa and had a sister born the following year.

Stephen Bowle Evans came from Cheltenham and was a Commander in the Royal Navy. He contracted influenza during the 1918 epidemic and died of pneumonia on 16 October 1918. He is buried in the Dido Valley Cemetery, Simonstown.

One of the first submariners, he was in command of the Naval Yard in Simonstown, for some years.

Katharine Lawrence was the elder daughter of the Reverend Anthony Lawrence of Whittington, Andoversford near Cheltenham. The Lawrence family had owned Sandywell Park and Whittington Court for many generations. After the death of her husband, she returned to Whittington and on inheriting the properties in 1920, sold a major part of the estate and moved into Whittington Court, and added her own surname to that of her husband.

John was educated at Eastbourne College and matriculated in 1933. He graduated with a 3rd in German and French in 1936.

On 28 August 1936, he was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Artillery from the General List TA. He died on 22 July 1942 and is buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery Plot XII. J. 23.

The notice of his death in The Times on 31 July 1942 stated that he died of wounds having rejoined his unit after escaping from the Germans. Indian papers were asked to copy.

There is a memorial to him in St. Peter’s Church, Leckhampton.

His mother and, later, his sister, Miss Stephanie Evans-Lawrence, deposited the archives of the family and their properties in the Gloucestershire Record Office.