Snowy Evans
Willy John "Snowstain" Evans (–1925) was a Lewis machine gunner in the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. A 2002 documentary produced by Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

 credited him with firing the shot that killed Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen , also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service during World War I...

 ("The Red Baron"), near Vaux-sur-Somme
Vaux-sur-Somme is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France. It is best known as the death place of flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron during World War I, in mysterious circumstances. Richthofen was shot down here in 1918 by Captain Arthur Brown,...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 on 21 April 1918. However, most sources attribute the feat to Sergeant Cedric Popkin
Cedric Popkin
Cedric Bassett Popkin is considered the person most likely to have killed German ace Manfred von Richthofen — also known as the "Red Baron" — on 21 April 1918. Popkin was an anti-aircraft machine gunner with the First Australian Imperial Force , during World War I.Popkin was born in...

 of the 24th Machine Gun Company. Other sources have suggested that Gunner Robert Buie, also of the 53rd Battery, fired the fatal shot, but there is now little support for this theory.

Snowy Evans was working in Hughenden, Queensland
Hughenden, Queensland
Hughenden is a town in Queensland, Australia situated on the banks of the Flinders River. It was named after Hughenden Manor, the home of former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. At the 2006 census, Hughenden had a population of 1,154.-History:...

 as a shearer
Sheep shearer
A sheep shearer is a worker who uses -blade or machine shears to remove wool from domestic sheep during crutching or shearing.-History:...

, when he joined the Australian Imperial Force
Australian Imperial Force
The Australian Imperial Force was the name given to all-volunteer Australian Army forces dispatched to fight overseas during World War I and World War II.* First Australian Imperial Force * Second Australian Imperial Force...

 on 5 November 1914. His father, who had an address on the North Shore
North Shore (Sydney)
The North Shore is an informal term used to describe the primarily residential area of northern metropolitan Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The term usually refers to the suburbs located on the north shore of Sydney Harbour between Middle Harbour and the Lane Cove River, up to...

 of Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, was recorded as his next of kin. On 8 December 1914, as Trooper
Trooper (rank)
Trooper from the French "troupier" is the equivalent rank to private in a regiment with a cavalry tradition in the British Army and many other Commonwealth armies, including those of Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Today, most cavalry units operate in the armoured role, equipped...

 Evans (Service Number 598), he was assigned to "C" Squadron of the 5th Light Horse Regiment (5th LHR). Evans left Australia with his unit on HMAT Persic, which sailed from Sydney on 21 December 1914. The 5th LHR fought, without its horses, at the Gallipoli campaign
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 during 1915.

Evans was transferred to the Royal Australian Artillery on 27 March 1916, and went to the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

. In 1918, he held the rank of Gunner
Gunner (rank)
Gunner is a rank equivalent to Private in the British Army Royal Artillery and the artillery corps of other Commonwealth armies. The next highest rank is usually Lance-Bombardier, although in the Royal Canadian Artillery it is Bombardier....

, and was a member of the 53rd Battery, 14th Field Artillery Brigade. He and Buie were both recommended for the Meritorious Service Medal 2 days after Richthofen's death. Evans returned to Australia on 3 December 1918. According to the documentary he was a drifter and died childless in 1925. There are no known photographs of him.
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