Benjamin Owen, Age 44
Private, 6969, 11th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters
(Notts and Derby Regiment).
Although Benjamin had been born in Dawley and according to some records was resident in Ironbridge, he was actually living at 9 Church Lane, North Wingﬁeld, Derbyshire where he worked at the local Holmwood colliery as a miner at the time of his enlistment. Benjamin had married his wife Lucy in 1897 and between Oct 1900 and Feb 1915 they had a total of 11 children.
What his wife Lucy must have thought when told Benjamin had enlisted is unimaginable as Benjamin was quite old to be serving, however Benjamin had volunteered to serve enlisting shortly after the outbreak of hostilities.
Benjamin had served at the front for about 12 months when on the 30th July 1916 during the battle of the Somme he was killed in action by an exploding shell whilst in the front-line trenches. His wife received a letter from the Rev A. E. N. Hitchock, Chaplin to the forces stating;
“I am sorry to write to you of the death of your husband Pte Benjamin 0wen....I have known him since he came out with the battalion nearly a year ago. He was killed by a shell in the front-line trenches, and I was able yesterday to take a short service over his grave in the presence of the commanding officer and a few of his comrades. The battalion have set up a wooden cross as a mark of sympathy... I remember him telling me what a large family he had, tell them to be brave, as their father was, and grow up useful and happy to cheer up their mother in her great loss”. Benjamin’s grave was not located after the war and his name now appears on the Thiepval memorial on Pier/Face 10C - 10D.
Bebjamin was christened at Dawley on the 4th of May 1873, his father was also named Bebjamin and his mother’s name was Ann, in 1881 they were living at Portley, Dawley, on that census he was aged 7, he had two brothers Alfred aged 13 and George 5, in the 1891 census Bebjamin is living in Peckham, London, with his uncle Richard Parker, his brother George is also with him, in the first quarter of 1897 he married Lucy Holmes at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1901 Bebjamin and his wife Lucy are living at 21 Somerville Road, Deptford, London, with Son Stanley H Owen 2 and Lucy Owen 5 months, also Brother George, and who I think is his father Benjamin but he is listed as a Visitor? On this census Bebjamin is working as a Tram car conductor, by 1911 he his living at Church Row, North Wingfield, Chesterfield and the family has increased to 5 daughters and 4 sons, Bebjamin in now working as a Colliery Onsetter – Below.
WWI Medal Rolls Index Card
|Victory Medal||British War Medal||1914-15 Star Medal|