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clive_hughes

John T.Owen, Nuneaton, Isle of Wight, Penzance

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clive_hughes

In the official casualty list Soldiers Died in the Great War there is an entry for a John Owen, Private 13076 in the 9th R.Warwickshire Regt., and who was killed in Mesopotamia on 5 April 1916.  It states he was born at Holyhead (Anglesey, hence my interest) and enlisted at Nuneaton, Warwickshire.  Other than his being recorded on the Basra Memorial, CWGC says nothing more.  He was not commemorated on his native Anglesey, unless he is the same John Owen (no address or unit stated) who appears as a casualty in the local book on Holyhead in the Great War.   

 

The name is very common in Holyhead & Anglesey, and no age is given, or other family members.  This also hinders a Census search.  Curiously, he did nominate as sole legatee a Miss Daisy Emily Laura Jolliffe of Station Road, Wootton, Isle of Wight.  This was just before he embarked for Gallipoli in October 1915.  Daisy Jolliffe, a gardener's daughter, seems to have lived nearly all her life at this address, from 1890 until her death in 1978.  How or why she came to be his heiress is a mystery.

 

Meanwhile, in Nuneaton a J.T.Owen appears on the town war memorial as one of the R.Warwicks. Regt. dead.  Comparison with SDGW data suggests he is indeed John Owen.  The Birmingham Daily Post   of 11 May 1916 lists 13076 Owen, J. of the R.Warwicks as among the recent fallen from the Midlands and gives his next of kin as resident Penzance!  This might or might not be an error.  However, the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society website goes further, and against his listing as one of the local war dead (they also assume him to be J.T.Owen) give an age of 45 and status as husband of "Mrs. Owen, Holyhead, Anglesey".   I think it likely these new facts might appear in a local, non-digitised newspaper of the period.  

 

Holyhead is not throwing up any likely family members or other background, even with a possible 1871 birthdate.  It's also worth considering that the nearest town was often used for SDGW listing, so he might have come from some other parish in the vicinity of Holyhead.  Can anyone with an interest in Nuneaton, or the Isle of Wight (or even Penzance) help to get this enquiry further, please?  

 

Clive

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