Owen, John Richard

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John Richard Owen (Owens)

20016, Private, 14th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 10 July 1916, aged c39
No known grave (Thièpval Memorial, Somme, France)

CWGC registered (no family details)

A soldier named John Richard Owens is commemorated on the Llandudno memorials. The Roll of Honour gives his rank as private and his regiment as the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Soldiers Died in the Great War does not mention any soldier with those precise details but does name a John Richard Owen (without the “s”) who was born at Llandudno. The Effects Register names his widow as “Mary A” and mentions that the couple had children.

John Richard Owen was the son of Edward Owen and Margaret Owen (née Williams). He was born circa 1877 at Llandudno. The Census of Wales for 1881 records the family living with John’s maternal grandmother at “Tanynant”, Cwlach Street, Llandudno; Edward Owen was recorded as a general labourer and John Richard (4) as a scholar. Ten years later, the family lived at the same address though Edward Owen was the head of the family and his occupation was given as a quarryman; John Richard’s (14) occupation was not given. On 1 November 1899, John Richard Owen married Mary Ann Thomason at St. George’s Parish Church, Llandudno; John gave his address as “Victoria Cottages”, Cwlach Street and his trade as a labourer. The Census of 1901 records John Richard Owen and his wife (as Ellen Owen) living at 2 Brooke Street (Cwlach Street). The couple’s two daughters were Margaret Elizabeth, born on 25 September 1901 and Alice Mehefin, born on 29 June 1908. The Census of 1911 records the family living at “Tanyfron”, Wyddfyd Road, Great Orme’s Head and indicated that the couple had had a third child who had died in infancy.

John Owen volunteered to join the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1914. He enlisted at Llandudno in November 1914 and was given the regimental number 20016. He joined the 14th (Service) Battalion that had formed at Llandudno on 2 November. The battalion moved to Winchester in August 1915 and disembarked at Le Havre on 2 December 1915.

Aged about 39, John Richard Owen was killed in action on 10 July 1916 during the attack on Mametz Wood during the Battle of Albert, a phase of the Battle of the Somme. He has no known grave.

Known memorials:

  • Thièpval Memorial, Somme, France
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour (as John Richard Owens)
  • Llandudno War Memorial (as John R Owens)
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno (as John R Owens)


Another private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, John Owen, is remembered on the Llandudno memorials. This soldier is almost certainly John Roberts Owen of the 8th RWF (qv).

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