Owen, Thomas John

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Thomas John Owen

Second Lieutenant, 3rd (attached 8th) Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Died of wounds, 9 February 1917, aged 26
Buried at Shaikh Sa’ad Old Cemetery, Iraq (grave lost); memorial at Amara War Cemetery

CWGC registered (no family details)

Thomas John Owen was born in Llandudno on 16 May 1891. He was the son of John Owen, a grocer, and his wife Margaret who lived at “Anglesea Villa”, North Madoc Street. By 1911, John Owen had become a builder and the family lived at “Avallon”, Abbey Road, Llandudno. Thomas attended Lloyd Street School until December 1903 when he transferred to John Bright County School. The Census for 1911 records him as being an apprentice in Manchester at a drapery warehouse.

Thomas John Owen’s earliest known regimental number was 297. This may have been for a four-year engagement with the Territorial Force. This engagement had probably terminated because in September 1914, Thomas joined the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment (1st City) with the (unusual) regimental number of 6919 in the rank of private. Thomas also had a later regimental number of 24105 though its significance remains unclear though it may have been an administrative depot number issued by the MR in early 1915. On 13 June 1915, Thomas received a commission into the 17th (Service) Battalion (2nd North Wales) RWF which had formed at Llandudno on 2 January 1915. The 17th RWF landed in France in December 1915 though Thomas did not disembark with it for, according to his medal roll index card, the first theatre of war in which he entered was Mesopotamia on 1 September 1916. One record indicates that he was on the strength of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion RWF and attached to the 8th (Service) Battalion. The 8th (Service) Battalion had formed at Wrexham in August 1914 and had served in Gallipoli and Egypt before going to Mesopotamia.

Thomas John Owen was wounded in action during an offensive along the River Tigris. He died of his wounds on 19 February 1917 aged 26. He was buried at Shaikh Sa’ad Old Cemetery but because the graves there are lost, he is remembered on a memorial at the Amara War Cemetery.

Known memorials:

  • Amara War Cemetery
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Ysgol John Bright Roll of Honour
  • Siloh a Hyfrydle, Llandudno
  • Family plot, St. Tudno’s Churchyard

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