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Need info on Richard & Henry Owen from Talwrn Anglesey


widavies
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Hi

Two of my relatives are listed on the Talwrn War Memorial in Anglesey. They are Richard Owen died 1916, and Henry Owen Died 1917, the former served with the RWF, but I'm not sure about the regiment that my great grandfather Henry Owen served in. If anybody can help then I would be most appreciative.

Regards

Will Davies

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Hi Will, A quick look at Ancestry reveals well over 100 entries for each name in MICs and service records and there are several of that name who died in 1916 and 17. To help narrow the search, do you have any other info such as a middle name or initial? If you can narrow it down at all, i will have another look for you

J

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Hi Will, A quick look at Ancestry reveals well over 100 entries for each name in MICs and service records and there are several of that name who died in 1916 and 17. To help narrow the search, do you have any other info such as a middle name or initial? If you can narrow it down at all, i will have another look for you

J

There are no initials, the names are short and sweet. I think Henry Owen my great grandfather was a sapper and Richard Owen was in the RWF.

Regards

Will Davies

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Will,

Please can you just confirm Richard's details.

I think there may be a mistake on the memorial, and Richard died at the beginning of 1917?

How about these two:

Richard Owen

Birth Place: Llangefni, Anglesey

Residence: Llangefni, Anglesey

Death Date: 27 Jan 1917

Rank: Private

Regiment: South Wales Borderers

Battalion: 2nd Battalion.

Number: 44108

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Aldershot

Comments: Formerly 43764, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

OWEN, RICHARD

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: South Wales Borderers

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 27/01/1917

Service No: 44108

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Henry Owen

Birth Place: Llangefni, Anglesey

Residence: Exeter

Death Date: 11 Feb 1917

Enlistment Location: Llangerfui, Anglesey

Rank: SPR.

Regiment: Corps of Royal Engineers

Number: 175870

Type of Casualty: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: Aldershot

Comments: Formerly 12698, Devon Regt. (254Th Tunn. Coy., R.E.

OWEN, HENRY

Initials: H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 254th Tunnelling Coy.

Age: 34

Date of Death: 11/02/1917

Service No: 175870

Additional information: Son of Evan and Mary Owen, of Nythglyd, Llanddyfnan; husband of Catherine Owen, of Bryn Golau, Llanddyfnan, Anglesey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. B. 37.

Cemetery: BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY

Llangefni is only a stone's throw from Talwrn. Do Henry's next of kin ring any bells?

Best wishes.

Andy.

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Will,

Please can you just confirm Richard's details. Is he the Richard Owen commemorated on the Helles Memorial? This may help us to track Harry down.

If Richard is who I suspect he was then is this man related?

William Owen

Birth Place: Llansadwrn, Anglesey

Residence: Beaumaris, Anglesey

Death Date: 26 Sep 1917

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Battalion: 8th Battalion.

Number: 49843

Type of Casualty: Died

Best wishes.

Andy.

They are related, as I think Richard was a cousin to my Great grandfather. Apparently there were a lot of relatives residing around Talwrn, Llangefni, Menai and Beaumaris at the time, any more than this I couldn't say.

I remember that my great uncle once took me to Talwrn cenotaph when I was very young and we looked at the memorial and he commented that Henry was his father ( my great grandfather) and that Richard was his nephew. It's all hazy as it was so long ago. WW1 was never a topic much discussed by my mothers side of the family, possibly because of the the loss to the family.

Regards

Will Davies

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Hi Will,

Have a look at post #4 again - I completely edited it while you were replying.

The Richard Own I was thinking of who died in 1916 was:

OWEN, RICHARD

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 8th Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 07/01/1916

Service No: 25067

Additional information: Son of Zachariah and Margaret Owen, of Tynewydd, Llansadwrn, Menai Bridge, Anglesey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 77 to 80.

Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

Andy.

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Will,

Please can you just confirm Richard's details.

I think there may be a mistake on the memorial, and Richard died at the beginning of 1917?

How about these two:

Richard Owen

Birth Place: Llangefni, Anglesey

Residence: Llangefni, Anglesey

Death Date: 27 Jan 1917

Rank: Private

Regiment: South Wales Borderers

Battalion: 2nd Battalion.

Number: 44108

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Aldershot

Comments: Formerly 43764, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

OWEN, RICHARD

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: South Wales Borderers

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 27/01/1917

Service No: 44108

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Henry Owen

Birth Place: Llangefni, Anglesey

Residence: Exeter

Death Date: 11 Feb 1917

Enlistment Location: Llangerfui, Anglesey

Rank: SPR.

Regiment: Corps of Royal Engineers

Number: 175870

Type of Casualty: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: Aldershot

Comments: Formerly 12698, Devon Regt. (254Th Tunn. Coy., R.E.

OWEN, HENRY

Initials: H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 254th Tunnelling Coy.

Age: 34

Date of Death: 11/02/1917

Service No: 175870

Additional information: Son of Evan and Mary Owen, of Nythglyd, Llanddyfnan; husband of Catherine Owen, of Bryn Golau, Llanddyfnan, Anglesey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. B. 37.

Cemetery: BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY

Llangefni is only a stone's throw from Talwrn. Do Henry's next of kin ring any bells?

Best wishes.

Hi Andy,

As all the older relatives are now dead, the only name that rings a bell was Evan as my great uncles were named Evan Owen and Henry Owen. We also had a great Aunty Maggie. Sorry that's all I know, except that My Great uncle Harry (Henry) Owen, once told me that the two names on the Talwrn cenotaph were family.

Regards

Will Davies

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Hi Will,

Have a look at post #4 again - I completely edited it while you were replying.

The Richard Own I was thinking of who died in 1916 was:

OWEN, RICHARD

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Unit Text: 8th Bn.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 07/01/1916

Service No: 25067

Additional information: Son of Zachariah and Margaret Owen, of Tynewydd, Llansadwrn, Menai Bridge, Anglesey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 77 to 80.

Memorial: HELLES MEMORIAL

Andy.

Hi Andy,

Yes this could be Richard Owen as he was definitely in the RWF and was killed in France.

Thanks

Will Davies

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Hi Andy,

Yes this could be Richard Owen as he was definitely in the RWF and was killed in France.

Thanks

Will Davies

Attached is a picture of the war memorial from Talwrn. it clearly states both were killed in France.

Regards

Will Davies

post-51029-1258037725.jpg

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Hi Andy,

Yes this could be Richard Owen as he was definitely in the RWF and was killed in France.

Thanks

Will Davies

Not him, I'm afraid. The Helles Memorial is at Gallipoli.

Andy.

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As all the older relatives are now dead, the only name that rings a bell was Evan as my great uncles were named Evan Owen and Henry Owen. We also had a great Aunty Maggie. Sorry that's all I know, except that My Great uncle Harry (Henry) Owen, once told me that the two names on the Talwrn cenotaph were family.

What was your grandfather's name?

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What was your grandfather's name?

Sorry they were from my Grandmothers side of the family and her name was Lena Davies (nee Owen).

Regards

Will Davies

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I wish I could add something but I can't. However, bizarrely, my wife comes from Talwrn and my mother-in-law lives there. We visit quite regularly, so if you'd like any additional photo's of the memorial or graves in a local cemetery just get in touch.

Oh, forgot to add. We have a member who is the expert on Anglesey's war dead. I'm sure he'll spot this but I'll alert him anyway.

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It seems as if my great Granfathers records are as follows which ties in with the memoroial:-

OWEN, HENRY

Initials: H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 254th Tunnelling Coy.

Age: 34

Date of Death: 11/02/1917

Service No: 175870

Additional information: Son of Evan and Mary Owen, of Nythglyd, Llanddyfnan; husband of Catherine Owen, of Bryn Golau, Llanddyfnan, Anglesey.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. B. 37.

Cemetery: BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY

Richard Owen is a bit of a mystery. Killed in France according to the Talwrn memorial and all the records of possible RWF contenders do not seem to not fit this fact. Maybe there is some disinformation in the records.

Will Davies

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S'mai Wil I & hello folks,

sorry, I've been engaged elsewhere since the evening of 9th November and only logged on tonight.

HENRY OWEN, Bryn Goleu - believe it or not, only one casualty of this name from Anglesey on my current list, the Sapper 175870, DOW 11 Feb 1917 and buried at Bethune, details as above. This accounts for one of them: as to being family, note what was said in the CWGC entry about Henry's parents living at Nythglyd / Nyth Clyd, the address of Richard below.

RICHARD OWEN, Nyth Clyd - rather more of these (9+ on the Roll): he is unfortunately one of those men whom I have been unable to pin down any further than the information given on the War Memorial. He might have been transferred from the RWF to another outfit, just as Henry moved from the Devons to the RE.

I can at least tell you that they were both members of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel at Talwrn (Capel Y Talwrn; aka Capel Nyth Clyd / Capel Mawr), which sent 15 men to the Forces in WW1 of whom five died. It is possible that the Chapel - still apparently open- contains a memorial which may give further details, but I have yet to visit it.

Talwrn is a village in Llanddyfnan parish, and the relevant panel of the North Wales Heroes' Memorial Arch in Bangor, Gwynedd includes H and R Owen (also a W.Owen, whom again I have no other details for).

That's not much of an advance on what you had before (so much for being "the" expert!).

Curiously, the only other Anglesey casualty buried at Bethune Town Cemetery is an Owen Pritchard from Rhostrehwfa near Llangefni, who was attached from 17th RWF to Henry's 254th Tunnelling Coy. RE and who had died just over 2 months earlier. They are buried in adjacent rows.

Clive

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S'mai Wil I & hello folks,

sorry, I've been engaged elsewhere since the evening of 9th November and only logged on tonight.

HENRY OWEN, Bryn Goleu - believe it or not, only one casualty of this name from Anglesey on my current list, the Sapper 175870, DOW 11 Feb 1917 and buried at Bethune, details as above. This accounts for one of them: as to being family, note what was said in the CWGC entry about Henry's parents living at Nythglyd / Nyth Clyd, the address of Richard below.

RICHARD OWEN, Nyth Clyd - rather more of these (9+ on the Roll): he is unfortunately one of those men whom I have been unable to pin down any further than the information given on the War Memorial. He might have been transferred from the RWF to another outfit, just as Henry moved from the Devons to the RE.

I can at least tell you that they were both members of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel at Talwrn (Capel Y Talwrn; aka Capel Nyth Clyd / Capel Mawr), which sent 15 men to the Forces in WW1 of whom five died. It is possible that the Chapel - still apparently open- contains a memorial which may give further details, but I have yet to visit it.

Talwrn is a village in Llanddyfnan parish, and the relevant panel of the North Wales Heroes' Memorial Arch in Bangor, Gwynedd includes H and R Owen (also a W.Owen, whom again I have no other details for).

That's not much of an advance on what you had before (so much for being "the" expert!).

Curiously, the only other Anglesey casualty buried at Bethune Town Cemetery is an Owen Pritchard from Rhostrehwfa near Llangefni, who was attached from 17th RWF to Henry's 254th Tunnelling Coy. RE and who had died just over 2 months earlier. They are buried in adjacent rows.

Clive

Thanks Clive, that has helped, now I need to research the 254th Tunneling Co.

Regards

Will Davies

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Thanks Clive, that has helped, now I need to research the 254th Tunneling Co.

Regards

Will Davies

Hi Clive,

Look at the listings below:-

How about these two:

Richard Owen

Birth Place: Llangefni, Anglesey

Residence: Llangefni, Anglesey

Death Date: 27 Jan 1917

Rank: Private

Regiment: South Wales Borderers

Battalion: 2nd Battalion.

Number: 44108

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Aldershot

Comments: Formerly 43764, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

OWEN, RICHARD

Initials: R

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: South Wales Borderers

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Date of Death: 27/01/1917

Service No: 44108

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A.

Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Note in bold the figures and service numbers are the same, so infact they are the same persons. The only difference is the unboldened stuff. This ties in with the information passed down to me that Richard was in the RWF at some point. What is the reference to Aldershot mean though if KIA???

Regards

Will Davies

post-51029-1258117017.jpg

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Hi Will,

The reference to Aldershot is an artefact arising from the way Ancestry have uploaded Soldiers Died (although I have no idea how it was created). It should say France and Flanders (I normally edit it out when I post SD data but forgot to do it on this occasion). Note "Residence" should also be edited to say "Enlisted" - another artefact.

Tried to trace your family tree last night to prove that it is the Henry Owen of the RE's but my broadband was so slow (!!!!) I just gave up. I will try again, because if I can then I should be able to go back and work out where Richard was born and hopefully positively identify him. But, as you know Owen is a common name and there is quite a bit of scope for going off in the wrong direction !!!!

Was your grandmother, Lena, born around 1905?

Best wishes.

Andy.

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Hi Will,

The reference to Aldershot is an artefact arising from the way Ancestry have uploaded Soldiers Died (although I have no idea how it was created). It should say France and Flanders (I normally edit it out when I post SD data but forgot to do it on this occasion).

Tried to trace your family tree last night to prove that it is the Henry Owen of the RE's but my broadband was so slow (!!!!) I just gave up. I will try again, because if I can then I should be able to go back and work out where Richard was born and hopefully positively identify him. But, as you know Owen is a common name and there is quite a bit of scope for going off in the wrong direction !!!!

Was your grandmother, Lena, born around 1905?

Best wishes.

Andy.

Hi Andy,

Yes my grandmother was Lena and she was born around then as she was a child during WW1

Regards

Will Davies

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Good stuff. I thought it was her, and I think I've found her and at least one brother (Evan) together on the 1911 Census - but until I can download the page to check i can't be certain as Henry/Catherine do not appear to be listed at the same address. When I can get finally get my subscription account topped up online I'll download the page; they may have been staying with relatives on the census night.

Andy.

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Do you know, by the way, that Henry Owen's Service Records have survived and are available online? His children are listed as Lavinia, Evan and Henry.

I think that more or less proves it is him. :)

Do you want me to email them to you?

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Good stuff. I thought it was her, and I think I've found her and at least one brother (Evan) together on the 1911 Census - but until I can download the page to check i can't be certain as Henry/Catherine do not appear to be listed at the same address. When I can get finally get my subscription account topped up online I'll download the page; they may have been staying with relatives on the census night.

Andy.

There was a rumour that my Grand father Henry had left his then wife ( not talked about in the family), it all fits. Evan was his oldest son.

Regards

Will Davies

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Will I,

success! Thanks to member hywyn who spotted Richard Owen's service papers in the series released just a few days ago (nice timing, Ancestry!).

The papers are part of the series WO 363 which were bombed in 1940, and in the case of Richard Owen's they look it: though nearly all the information was legible. This is a digest of the contents (plus a bit of background):

RICHARD OWEN, born Anglesey, enlisted at Pontypridd Glamorgan on 5 September 1914 aged 39 years 150 days. He was a miner by trade, and gave his next of kin as Mr Evan Owen of Nythclyd, Llanddyfnan nr. Llangefni, Anglesey. A single man, he gave his religious denomination as Church of England (not the Welsh Presbyterians, who claimed him at Talwrn Chapel!).

He had previously served with the 4th RWF, but I am uncertain whether he meant the old 4th (Militia) battalion or the new 4th (Denbighshire) Territorials. In either event he was mobilized at Shrewsbury on 8 August 1914, and referred to his previous service as "Completion of engagement". So he'd either completed his 3 year stint in the 4th (TF), or had signed on years earlier for the 4th (Militia) which was absorbed into 3rd (Special Reserve) RWF in ?1908. Opinions on this point welcomed; but whatever his previous service he was now signing on as a 1-year (or Duration of War) Special Reservist.

He was medically examined on enlistment, being 5 feet 4 and a quarter inches in height, with a 37-inch (max.) chest, blue eyes, brown hair, and tattoos on both forearms!

He was appointed Private 6026 in the 3rd (SR) RWF, and on 23 November 1914 posted as a reinforcement to the 1st RWF in France. The unit had been badly mauled at the 1st Battle of Ypres in October, and didn't recover its strength in men until maybe February 1915. it was in the 22nd Brigade, 7th Division. He took part in the usual routines of trench warfare that winter and spring.

Early in 1915 the battalion moved to the Richebourg-Givenchy-Neuve Chapelle sector. It was marginally involved in the actions at Neuve Chapelle 10-13 March, and Aubers Ridge on 9 May. On 15 May however the battle of Festubert began, and the 1st RWF were given a difficult position to attack from. On 16 May they attacked across only 120 yards of No Mans Land but were machine-gunned and suffered very heavy losses, though they took various enemy trenches. these they held until relieved on 18 May.

They had started with 25 Officers and 806 Other Ranks, and only 6 Officers and 247 ORs remained unwounded. Before they vacated the position it is recorded they recovered the bodies of 6 Officers and about 100 ORs from No Mans Land. The unit remained in the sector until June, but without any further notable fighting.

Richard Owen's papers state that he was killed in action "date and place not stated...Buried in the Field": this was reported by the Brigade-Major of ?153rd Brigade on 28 May 1915. So that became the official "Assumed date of death". It may be that this formation recovered his body after the Festubert action, or that he was indeed killed elsewhere between 16 and 28 May (the 1st RWF War Diary might help here?). In fact, after the War his grave could not be located, so he is commemorated on Panels 13/14 of the Le Touret Memorial, France. I photographed this just a month ago, and will send you a picture of his name etc. via the email you provided.

In July 1920 his father received the 1914-15 Star, and at some point the British War and Victory Medals. A bronze Memorial Plaque and Scrolll would also have been received. His total service was 79 days in the UK, and 187 days in France (266 all told).

I'm pleased to have had him identified, as I can now not only put details to the otherwise almost anonymous Richard Owen of Nyth Clyd, but discover he is the same man on my Roll as 6026 Richard Owen RWF "born Anglesey" who enlisted in Glamorgan and had family somewhere in the Llangefni area. The Talwrn War Memorial is in error, however - he did die in 1915, not 1916. Hopefully hywyn or someone else can send you copies of his papers to read for yourself (technologically I'm not up to it).

Hwyl,

Clive

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Will I,

success! Thanks to member hywyn who spotted Richard Owen's service papers in the series released just a few days ago (nice timing, Ancestry!).

The papers are part of the series WO 363 which were bombed in 1940, and in the case of Richard Owen's they look it: though nearly all the information was legible. This is a digest of the contents (plus a bit of background):

RICHARD OWEN, born Anglesey, enlisted at Pontypridd Glamorgan on 5 September 1914 aged 39 years 150 days. He was a miner by trade, and gave his next of kin as Mr Evan Owen of Nythclyd, Llanddyfnan nr. Llangefni, Anglesey. A single man, he gave his religious denomination as Church of England (not the Welsh Presbyterians, who claimed him at Talwrn Chapel!).

He had previously served with the 4th RWF, but I am uncertain whether he meant the old 4th (Militia) battalion or the new 4th (Denbighshire) Territorials. In either event he was mobilized at Shrewsbury on 8 August 1914, and referred to his previous service as "Completion of engagement". So he'd either completed his 3 year stint in the 4th (TF), or had signed on years earlier for the 4th (Militia) which was absorbed into 3rd (Special Reserve) RWF in ?1908. Opinions on this point welcomed; but whatever his previous service he was now signing on as a 1-year (or Duration of War) Special Reservist.

He was medically examined on enlistment, being 5 feet 4 and a quarter inches in height, with a 37-inch (max.) chest, blue eyes, brown hair, and tattoos on both forearms!

He was appointed Private 6026 in the 3rd (SR) RWF, and on 23 November 1914 posted as a reinforcement to the 1st RWF in France. The unit had been badly mauled at the 1st Battle of Ypres in October, and didn't recover its strength in men until maybe February 1915. it was in the 22nd Brigade, 7th Division. He took part in the usual routines of trench warfare that winter and spring.

Early in 1915 the battalion moved to the Richebourg-Givenchy-Neuve Chapelle sector. It was marginally involved in the actions at Neuve Chapelle 10-13 March, and Aubers Ridge on 9 May. On 15 May however the battle of Festubert began, and the 1st RWF were given a difficult position to attack from. On 16 May they attacked across only 120 yards of No Mans Land but were machine-gunned and suffered very heavy losses, though they took various enemy trenches. these they held until relieved on 18 May.

They had started with 25 Officers and 806 Other Ranks, and only 6 Officers and 247 ORs remained unwounded. Before they vacated the position it is recorded they recovered the bodies of 6 Officers and about 100 ORs from No Mans Land. The unit remained in the sector until June, but without any further notable fighting.

Richard Owen's papers state that he was killed in action "date and place not stated...Buried in the Field": this was reported by the Brigade-Major of ?153rd Brigade on 28 May 1915. So that became the official "Assumed date of death". It may be that this formation recovered his body after the Festubert action, or that he was indeed killed elsewhere between 16 and 28 May (the 1st RWF War Diary might help here?). In fact, after the War his grave could not be located, so he is commemorated on Panels 13/14 of the Le Touret Memorial, France. I photographed this just a month ago, and will send you a picture of his name etc. via the email you provided.

In July 1920 his father received the 1914-15 Star, and at some point the British War and Victory Medals. A bronze Memorial Plaque and Scrolll would also have been received. His total service was 79 days in the UK, and 187 days in France (266 all told).

I'm pleased to have had him identified, as I can now not only put details to the otherwise almost anonymous Richard Owen of Nyth Clyd, but discover he is the same man on my Roll as 6026 Richard Owen RWF "born Anglesey" who enlisted in Glamorgan and had family somewhere in the Llangefni area. The Talwrn War Memorial is in error, however - he did die in 1915, not 1916. Hopefully hywyn or someone else can send you copies of his papers to read for yourself (technologically I'm not up to it).

Hwyl,

Clive

Hi Clive,

This is amazing news thanks and not only that it, appears that two of my relatives from both sides of my family were killed at or around the same date in the same battle. See below_

Joseph Davies KIA 16th May 1915. 1st Btn RWF. No 11069.

SDGW for Joseph shows born and reside Abergele, enlisted Rhyl. Killed in Action (as opposed to died of wounds or died) Battle of Festubert 1915.

I wonder if the knew each other??

Regards

Will Davies

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Will,

That's certainly an odd coincidence - one Special Reservist and the other a recalled Regular Reservist, from different families and areas of North Wales and yet unknowingly later to become related to you. And both apparently killed with the same battalion on the same day. If they were in the same company they might well have known each other, otherwise the relationship would be a bit vaguer (they didn't arrive in France at the same time, there were lots of reinforcements in the same boat as them trying to find their feet in a new unit, and over 800 men in the battalion).

I have been thinking about Richard, and am going to hazard that he was indeed a Festubert casualty of the period 16-18 May. His papers do not have the usual note of his being killed or missing in action - instead it is another formation, 153rd Brigade of the 51st (Highland) Division who find and identify the body, give it burial, and report the same to the authorities on 28 May. The 51st also took part in the Festubert & 2nd Givenchy fighting so were in the right area.

Somehow no note of his being a casualty of any sort had arrived until then. Whether the 1st RWF were in such a poor shape after the action that they didn't submit a comprehensive list of killed, wounded and missing I'm not sure - maybe the War Diary refers to this? I have come across casualties being reported (and it's usually the date of first report that's used, not the date the event occurred) quite a long time after an action, owing to disorganisation. How does the reporting of Joseph Davies' death compare? The RWF did recover 100-plus bodies before the 18 May, and maybe these were reported quicker than the remaining missing.

However, only one Identity Disc was issued to soldiers at that period of the War, and the main aim seems to have been to recover this item and/or a paybook as proof of death. The bodies were frequently left lying where found (if in an active No Mans Land), or given a hasty burial in say a shell hole, but the disc was taken back, rendering the corpse fairly anonymous. This meant that subsequently, when any temporary grave markers disappeared, there was no trace of the burials - and even if found again the bodies were often unidentifiable. So Richard's body despite being recorded as being buried couldn't be located/identified after the War, leading to his name being engraved at Le Touret. Joseph's likewise - if missing on his forms, he may never have been recovered as an identifiable body in the first place, his death being presumed at a later date to have taken place on 16 May.

I didn't take shots of all the RWF names at Le Touret, only the Anglesey ones, so wasn't looking for J.Davies then. You could however get pictures of the panel by starting a new thread (under Cemeteries & Memorials, or Photos Requested) asking for this - there are individuals and groups who undertake photography of the memorials on a large scale and are represented on this Forum.

Hwyl,

Clive

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