When Gilbert Evans died in 1966 his son David found an old trunk in his father's attic. The trunk contained letters, photographs, a scrapbook and, most importantly, some little black diaries. The family were dumbstruck by the revelations that unfolded as they turned the pages.
However it was another thirty years until a chance meeting with the novelist Jonathan Smith resulted in this extraordinary story being memorably told.
Captain Gilbert Evans had fought as a young man in the Boer War. Seeking a quiet life for a while he became a land agent in Lamorna, a secluded cove on the south coast of Cornwall. Far from a quiet life, however, Gilbert found himself part of an extraordinary community of artists and models dominated by Alfred Munnings and Laura Knight, two larger-than-life characters who were making their names on the national stage.
Then, one rainy night, at a wild party given by Munnings at his studio, there is a knock on the door. Gilbert Evans opens it. A beautiful and enigmatic woman enters, and their lives are changed for ever.
Apart Films is indebted to David Evans for sharing with us his family archive.