Bernard Evans (architect)
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Bernard Evans Architect

Sir Bernard Evans
Bernard Evans 022912.jpg
Lt Col Bernard Evans in January 1942
Born(1905-05-13)13 May 1905
Manchester, England
Died19 February 1988(1988-02-19) (aged 82)
Toorak, Australia
Service/branchAustralian Army
Years of service1924-1945
Commands held24th Brigade (1942-43)
2/23rd Battalion (1940-42)
57th/60th Infantry Battalion (1939-40)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Bachelor
Distinguished Service Order
Efficiency Decoration
Mentioned in Despatches (3)
Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity
Other workArchitect
Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Brigadier Sir Bernard Evans, DSO, ED (13 May 1905 - 19 February 1981)[1] was an Australian army officer, architect, builder and Lord Mayor of Melbourne (1959-1961).[2]

Early years

Evans was born in Manchester, England on 13 May 1905.[3] In 1913 his family emigrated to Melbourne, initially living in St Kilda, and subsequently in Hampton. After completing his secondary schooling, he studied architectural drawing at night, and then worked as a designer and builder. He was commissioned in the cadets in 1923, and the Militia in 1924.[2]

Builder and designer

In 1928 Evans established Hampton Timber & Hardware Pty Ltd and the Premier Building Co Pty Ltd, and on 21 September 1929 he married Dorothy May Ellis. By the late 1920s he had begun building speculative villas, and in the 1930s he was commissioned to design and oversee the building of houses and hospitals.

In 1934 he became a major in the 46th Battalion.

In 1937 he sold his business interests and travelled with his family to London. While in Britain he was accepted into the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors.

On return to Australia in 1939, he was appointed lieutenant colonel commanding the 57th/60th Infantry Battalion, and in 1940 registered as an architect in Victoria.[2]

Second World War

On 1 July 1940 he was appointed to the Second Australian Imperial Force and ordered to form and command the 2/23rd Battalion, "Albury's Own".

Tobruk, (April-October 1941).

El Alamein, 1 November 1942, command of the 24th Brigade as a temporary brigadier.

New Guinea, 1943.

Land Headquarters Tactical School (School of Tactics and Military Intelligence), Beenleigh, Queensland.

On 23 October 1945 he transferred to the Reserve as an honorary brigadier.[2]

Military appointments

Cadet Service: Cdt 2lieutenant 30 Jun 23 Cdt lieutenant 31 Dec 23; Occupation: Architect[4]

From To Rank Role Unit[4][5][6]
13 May 1905 Born, Manchester UK
17 Dec 1924 Lieutenant Commissioned - 46th Battalion
23 Mar 1929 Captain
24 Aug 1934 Major
15-Dec-1939 30-Jun-1940 Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Officer 57/60 Infantry Battalion
01-Jul-1940 31-Oct-1942 Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Officer 2/23 Infantry Battalion[7]
26 Dec 1941 Mention in Despatches (Feb-Jul 41)
30 Dec 1941 Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
30 Jun 1942 Mention in Despatches (Jul-Oct 41)
01-Nov-1942 10-Nov-1943 Brigadier Officer Commanding 24 Australian Infantry Brigade (North Africa & New Guinea)
5 Nov 1942 Colonel
17 Nov 1943 Chief Instructor School of Tactics and Military Intelligence
1943 1945 Commandant School of Tactics and Military Intelligence
31 May 1944 Mention in Despatches (South-west Pacific Area 1 Apr-30 Sep 43)
7 Jun 1944 ED
23 Oct 1945 Retired - Reserve of Officers colonel (H/BRIG)


On retirement from the military, he formed Bernard Evans & Associates, which became one of Victoria's largest architectural firms.[2]

Lord Mayor of Melbourne

He served as the Melbourne city councillor for Gipps ward (1949-73), and during this period served two terms as Lord Mayor.[2]

Honours and awards

There is a plaque at St Matthews Church, 520 Kiewa Street, Albury commemorating Evans and his formation of the 2/23rd Battalion.[7][8]

Evans was appointed/awarded:

Knight-Bachelor.ribbon.png Knight Bachelor (1 January 1962)[9]
Dso-ribbon.png Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) (30 December 1941)[10]
Efficiency Decoration (ED) (1944)
OSSIbis3.png Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della solidarietà italiana (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity) (1971)

He was Mentioned in Despatches three times.[11][12][13]

DSO Citation:
'The untiring energy and enthusiasm of this commanding officer, his solid leadership and total disregard of personal danger has been the main factor to the successes which have attended the activities of 2/23 Aust. Inf. Bn. With the exception of very brief periods in reserve positions this Bn has been in the FDLs of Tobruk since early in April and during that period Lt-Col. Evans has personally planned and supervisedd the numerous enterprisess designed to ensure the defence of his sector and inflict losses in men, material and morale on the enemy. His personality and unceasing interest in his men as been an inspiration to all ranks.'[4]


  1. ^ B Evans,
  2. ^ a b c d e f David Dunstan 'Evans, Sir Bernard (1905-1981)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007
  3. ^ Australia in the war of 1939-1945, Australian War Memorial, pg 163.
  4. ^ a b c VX47819 Bernard Evans, DSO,
  5. ^ Appointments,
  6. ^ Brigadier Sir Bernard Evans,
  7. ^ a b Brigadier Sir Bernard Evans D.S.O., E.D., C.A.V.,
  8. ^ Evans memorial plaque,
    In memory of Brigadier Sir Bernard Evans D.S.O., E.D., C.A.V. 1905 ~ 1981
    who raised 2/23RD BATTALION A.I.F. "ALBURY'S OWN" 1940. Tobruk, El Alamein.
    Commander 24th Brigade. El Alamein, Lae, Finschhafen.
    Commandant Australian Senior Tactical School, Beenleigh, Queensland.
    Lord Mayor of Melbourne 1959-1961.
  9. ^ Knight Bachelor, 1 January 1962, It's an Honour.
  10. ^ DSO, 30 December 1941, It's an Honour.
  11. ^ M.I.D. 1941,
  12. ^ M.I.D. 1942
  13. ^ M.I.D. 1944,

External links

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