James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Edwin Augustus Owen

Edwin Augustus Owen was the second child of Rev. Edwin James Owen and Jessie. Born in Llanfairfechan 16 December 1890 [Bangor 1891, 1st qt] and was three months old in the 1891 census. In 1901 he was being educated by a resident governess. He was still living with his parents in 1911 but on 13 February 1913, when he was purportedly twenty-one and a 'gardener', he sailed from London to Sydney, Australia, aboard the liner Orama, arriving on 27 March 1913. In 1914 when he married Winifred Nellie Gregory he was living in Adelaide, South Australia, and working as a ‘planter’. She had been born in Newport, Wales, in 1892, had lost her father when she was eight and had settled in Australia in 1912. Edwin and Nellie were divorced in 1925. She remarried twice, having two children by her third husband but I am told by one of her descendants that she was not a very loving mother and prone to 'inventing' personal details.

In Edwin's attestation papers to join the Australian Imperial Force on 13 November 1914 he stated he had been in a territorial force in another country. He was aged 23 years 11 months, 5ft 7 1/2ins tall, 10 stone, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. Several of his answers 'Yes' or 'No' were followed by an exclamation mark, suggesting a somewhat flippant attitude to the exercise. For unspecified reasons he was considered unfit for active service. The only entry in his record states that he was discharged from the 16th Battalion, then was written 'No trace'. On another scrap of paper was written 'No further trace'. Finally a paper headed 'PART 11 ORDERS', dated 15/5/18, indicated order number 21 was issued at Rouen.

Exactly when Edwin left Australia is uncertain but it would appear that, like his sister, Trixie, he went to live in the Malay Peninsular. It was from there that he returned to the United Kingdom in 1920, the passenger manifest stating that his place of previous permanent residence was the Federal Malay States (see map), where he was a planter. He may have been living with or near Trixie, though she and her family had sailed to London the year before with the stated intention of settling in Ireland. >>