James Owen, Age 24
Private, 24065, 1st Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
James was the son of Mr & Mrs Owen (Amelia) of Brandlee and the step brother of Private Thomas Furber who had been killed in action early in 1917. James was married with a small child, his wife living at Brandlee with his mother. Before the war he had been employed at Day’s works and later at the Lightmoor brickworks.
The 1st Battalion KSLI were holding trenches South-South East of Loo’s after relieving the 2nd York/Lane’s on the 8th March 1917, when a couple of days later James was killed in action during the day-to-day life of holding the front line.
According to a letter received by the family from a Captain Corris of ‘B’ Company “Private James Owen was killed in action on Saturday night, 10th March shortly before midnight. Death was instantaneous and must have been painless. The fact that he was carrying out his duty at the time is the only consolation we can send you. His death is a real loss to his platoon and Company and we have lost a good soldier and a ‘good man’. He with two of his comrades in his platoon 'were killed by the same Trench mortar bomb — they were buried at 2 in the afternoon and the position of their graves carefully registered”.
James was buried by his comrades in Maroc British Cemetery at Grenay in grave 1.0.27 his two comrades who died alongside him are buried either side of him, Pte William Leake of Grinshill, Shrewsbury in grave 1.0.26 and Pte Thomas Edward Ryder (20) of Ross, Herefordshire in grave 1.0.28.
Photo courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project
James’s mother was Harriet, maiden name Adams, (Amelia was his step mother) James’s father was also called James, he married Harriet Adams on the 17th of November 1889, in the 1891 census they are living at Horsehay Road (Station Road), Harriet died, her death or burial was on 8th Feb 1898, in the 1901 census James’s fathers Marital Status was “Widow”, he remarried on the 2nd Mar 1902 to Amelia Furber who was a widow her maiden name was Clay, Amelia was brought up by her aunt and uncle Richard and Amelia Jones, she at some point was being called Amelia Jones and considered Richard Jones as her father, her first husband was James Furber who's burial was on the 22 Nov 1900 at Doseley Church.
James married Sarah Maria Furber (his step sister) in the second quarter of 1916, but they may have been living as a couple before then as their first child Harzel Fuber Owen was born on the 29th July 1914, their second child Sydney Owen was born on the 2nd March 1917.
WWI Medal Rolls Index Card
|Victory Medal||British War Medal|