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Help in the ID of this Soldiers Unit and Service.


Glengarry1950
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Hello Troops,

I am looking to help a friend residing in New Zealand whose family fought and died in the British Army during WW1. He has spoken to his only surviving relative she is 95 and daughter of the soldiers in questions brother. The soldier in the attached photograph is David Owen from Widnes then in Lancashire, it is not known if he has any middle names or he goes by a middle name, his brother was Owen Owen and he never got over the death of his brother in WW1, the family believe he died from disease, but there was never any talk about it as it was to painful.

They are trying to find any scrap of information to fill the hole in the family's history, the photograph could suggest Artillery Driver, Mounted Infantry or Cavalry the answer I believe is in the cap badge, if it can be identified ?

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Kind regards

Hiram

post-105358-0-99884800-1406041352_thumb.

Edited by Glengarry1950
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Artillery - either RFA, RGA, RHA, etc:

http://www.desertrats.org.uk/Badges/Artillery/RAbadge.jpg

If you can get good close ups of the shoulder titles it may be possible to narrow it down even further.

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Very blurry Hiram. Can you get a better scan?

Rgds

Tim D

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Can you clarify, was it David or Owen Owen who died?

If it's David, there are surprisingly few with an Artillery Connection, only man I could find was this one http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/244389/OWEN,%20D but there is only an initial and there is no NOK, however, this is his MIC on the NA's and confirms him as David http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D4474391 it's somewhere to start.

Something to bear in mind is that the Badge may not be Artillery, only a better image would confirm that, also at any time after this photo was taken, he could have been transfered.

Sam

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Hi Sam,Tim and Andrew,

David died his brother Owen Owen survived, I tried searching for him through his brother on the census of 1901, as Owen Owen would be better to trace the family and David was believed to have been the older brother, his full name could be David Thomas Owen I have attached the census result. I will see if I can get a better photograph and close up's of the cap badge and shoulder titles.

Cheers

Hiram

Name:
Owen Owen

Age:
7
Estimated birth year:
abt 1894
Relation to Head:
Son
Gender:
Male
Father:
John Owen
Mother:
E A Owen
Birth Place:
Warrington, Lancashire, England
Civil Parish:
Warrington
Ecclesiastical parish:
St Anne
Town:
Warrington
County/Island:
Lancashire
Country:
England
Registration district:
Warrington
Sub-registration district:
Warrington
ED, institution, or vessel:
31Folio:
57
Page Number:
30
Household schedule number:
165
Household Members:
Name
Age
John Owen 35
E A Owen 42
Maggie Owen 14
Thomas Owen 10 ( This could be our Man)
Owen Owen 7
W H Clements 20
M J Clements 20
Thomas Owen 37
W H Clements 2
Harry Clements 4 Months
Thomas Dempsey 64


_________________

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Something to bear in mind is that the Badge may not be Artillery, only a better image would confirm that, also at any time after this photo was taken, he could have been transfered.

I would be happy to bet a small sum of money that it is artillery - even on that resolution the standard outline is very recognizable...

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I agree that the cap badge is Royal Artillery. Light reflection has distorted the badge, but the outline shape is still discernible.

He is a 'driver' and so probably either, RFA (statistically the most likely), or RHA.

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I agree that the cap badge is Royal Artillery. Light reflection has distorted the badge, but the outline shape is still discernible.

He is a 'driver' and so probably either, RFA (statistically the most likely), or RHA.

I agree it's almost certainly an Artillery badge, however I was making the point a better image would confirm it 100%.

The D. Owen who's CWGC entry I've highlighted above was a "Driver RFA" with the "6th Div Ammunition Column" which would tie in exactly with the dress of David in the photo, maybe someone could check SDGW and see what info is there?

Hiram

Do you know if David had married?

Sam

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I agree it's almost certainly an Artillery badge, however I was making the point a better image would confirm it 100%.

The D. Owen who's CWGC entry I've highlighted above was a "Driver RFA" with the "6th Div Ammunition Column" which would tie in exactly with the dress of David in the photo, maybe someone could check SDGW and see what info is there?

Hiram

Do you know if David had married?

Sam

I was not posting in contradiction of your comments Sam and agree that a better image would help a great deal, although in this case I think that the refraction of the light would merely be magnified.

It's great that you have been able to spot a D Owen who fits the bill of RFA driver and thus might conceivably be our subject.

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...................................

The D. Owen who's CWGC entry I've highlighted above was a "Driver RFA" with the "6th Div Ammunition Column" which would tie in exactly with the dress of David in the photo, maybe someone could check SDGW and see what info is there?

................

Sam

According to SDGW David Owen, Regimental Number: 136113, DVR. OF THE Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery was born in Swansea and enlisted in Swansea, Glam.

Died of Wounds on 23 Nov 1917. France and Flanders.

CGM

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Good one CGM

With him out of the picture the only D or David, Owen or Owens on CWGC who died serving with the RFA, RGA or RHA are this one David John Owen who's Parents lived in Glamorgan http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/260717/OWEN,%20DAVID%20JOHN this one Alfred David Owen born in Pontypridd http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2760100/OWEN,%20ALFRED%20DAVID

As I said in my post #4 there's also the possibility he transferred after the photo was taken, that's if it is David and not Owen.

Sam.

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Just had a look at the Census info in post #5 again, the OP said he was "David" but reckons he might be "Thomas" in the 1901 Census just because he has a brother called Owen, sorry but I can't see the leap of assumption there, also the OP said he was from "Widnes" but the Census is for "Warrington".

TBH, I reckon the OP needs to re-evaluate their info and do a bit more research on the family tree side of things before we look at the WW1 side.

Sam

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Sam,

I have taken on board what you said and I also was suspect of the census info and in light of that spent some time on Ancestry the other night and located what I believe is the right family, details below 1901 census, I have spoken to my friend and he always thought the family came from Widnes because that's what people said but he agrees this looks more than likely that they are Welsh and moved for employment. This also gives a proximate birth year 1885 which again is inline with what people thought 1885/86 for David. He agrees the photograph is poor but will try enlarging it and see what come out, I agree with Frogsmile there seems to be a reflection off the cap badge which may hamper our identification of it 100%.

Cheers

Hiram

Name:
David Owens
Age:
16
Estimated birth year:
abt 1885
Relation to Head:
Son
Gender:
Male
Father:
Owen Owens
Mother:
Hannah Owen
Birth Place:
Amlwch, Anglesey, Wales
Civil Parish:
Widnes
Ecclesiastical parish:
St Mary
Town:
Widnes
County/Island:
Lancashire
Country:
England
Street address:
( I cant read this on the census could be Inmill Street?)
Registration district:
Prescot
Sub-registration district:
Widnes
Household schedule number: 45
231 Household Members:
Name
Age
Owen Owens 57
Hannah Owens 47
Elizabeth Owens 23
David Owens 16 ( I believe this your great uncle)
Owen Owens 13 ( and this is his brother your mum talk's about)
Edited by Glengarry1950
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Hi,

Is this your man?

Gnr David Owen
Royal Field Artillery
Born : Not known.
Enlisted : Not known.
Resided : 48 Irwell Street, West Bank, Widnes.
Died from a heart condition in Widnes on 6th November, 1920. aged 36.
Buried at Widnes Cemetery, Plot 6U, Grave 2282.

David Owen died from a heart condition that he contracted whilst serving on
the Western Front, he also suffered from rheumatism from the effects of
frostbite during his army service. Described as “a man of quiet disposition”, he
had been discharged on medical grounds in September, 1919. Before he
enlisted, he worked at Gossage`s and had done so since leaving school.#
# WWN 1920.
******

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Hi,

Yes I would say it is, Thank you so much, were you able to find a service number for him ? and does his service records survive or MID card ?

Kind regards

Hiram

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Hi,

Is this your man?

Gnr David Owen

Royal Field Artillery

Born : Not known.

Enlisted : Not known.

Resided : 48 Irwell Street, West Bank, Widnes.

Died from a heart condition in Widnes on 6th November, 1920. aged 36.

Buried at Widnes Cemetery, Plot 6U, Grave 2282.

David Owen died from a heart condition that he contracted whilst serving on

the Western Front, he also suffered from rheumatism from the effects of

frostbite during his army service. Described as “a man of quiet disposition”, he

had been discharged on medical grounds in September, 1919. Before he

enlisted, he worked at Gossage`s and had done so since leaving school.#

# WWN 1920.

******

Hi

Where did your info come from? If this is correct, which I don't doubt then it's one for the "In From the Cold Project" as he's not listed on the CWGC site.

Sam

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Sam - thanks for the heads-up PM on this.

I agree that this guy doesnt appear to be CWGC commemorated, nor is he on In From the Cold Project's "outstanding" list. As such, he may be a candidate. You've asked jones75 for more information and that will be helpful in presenting a case. There are, however, some specifics that would be needed in terms of formal documentation:-

- there needs to be documentary evidence that he was a soldier and, in particular, his service number needs to be established if at all possible.

- there needs to be official documentary evidence that links the cause of his discharge to the cause of his death and, generally speaking, that there's a clear indication that the illness was caused/aggravated by service. I think that's where it becomes tricky - I cannot see a file in the Ancestry pension or service papers. Possibly the death certificate might suggest that he had been ill with the heart condition dating back to his army service time but that may not be enough for CWGC/NAM.

I am not saying that there is not a case to present, although I am saying I don't think I see one just yet. Let's hope the evidence can build up.

John

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Hi,

The info came from my research between 1995-1999 on the men commemorated on the Widnes War Memorial in Victoria park, Widnes.

The initials at the bottom of the text:"WWN 1920", indicate that it was from the microfiche archives of the Widnes Weekly News. If I remember rightly David Owen was one of the more difficult men to track down of the 818 men listed on the memorial. Hope it was of some use to you and the original member making the enquiry.

Harry

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Nice work Harry. Looks very promising.

Rgds

Tim D

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Blackblue,

Thank you. Glengarry1950, would you like a photo of the headstone, if he has one, I can't remember if he has one?

Harry

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Hi Harry,

Thank very much for your sterling work, yes a Photograph would be icing on the cake because before all this my friend, David Owen name sake and the great Nephew of out soldier, knew nothing other than family rumors so as you can appreciate any scrap of information will be gratefully received. In the mean time I have asked him to try and get me his DOB and his death certificate, I also failed to find any thing in Ancestry on him but there are a lot D or David Owen out there, we need more specifics.

kind regards

Hiram

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Can't see the WWN in the British Newspaper Archive. Might need a trip to the local archives Harry? Hard to tie down a man in the MICs.

I also see this man was 36. Might the above photo be too young? No obvious suitables in SWBs given this age and location.

Rgds

Tim D

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Tim D, The Widnes Weekly News archive is and was a very local paper specific to Widnes at the time of the Great War, all the details in the post re David Owen have been taken from that paper's archives. If I recall I could not find any reference to him in any other records at the time, but this was pre internet and online records.

Glengarry1950, I will try and get up to the cemetery this week, I have another request from another GWF member for a photo in the cemetery.

Do you have the original of the photo, if you do does it give the photographers name or studio?, the most popular one in Widnes at the time of the war was Lautenberg's studio.

Regards

Harry

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Glengarry1950,

Found the Owens family plot, have sent you a pm re the images, lots of details on the headstone, Owen Owens is mentioned and their parents as well.

You will also note the token of respect from his workmates at Gossages and sons in West Bank, Widnes.

Regards

Harry

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Hi Harry,

Thank you so very much for the photographs, I have sent them off to New Zealand your help is very much appreciated in this story, I have also asking about any naming on the original photograph. I have also sent him links to the Welsh offices in Anglesey so that he can apply for an extract of his birth certificate he is also applying for the death certificate in England, so its wait and see at the moment.

Kind regards

Hiram

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