(Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen (1898-1917)
(Herbert Ernest) Malcolm Owen, was born on 27 October 1898 [Bangor 1898, 4th qt]. He attended Ruthin Grammar School; he was there at the time of the 1911 census. The Denbighshire Free Press reported some of his sporting achievements at school during the glorious summer of 1914. In May he came 3rd in the ½ mile & 2nd in ¼ mile at its Annual Sports Day. He also played cricket for the school, in July taking five wickets against E Bevington’s XI and four against Llanychan. Dydd, 27 July 1917 reported that he enlisted in the army about two years later, joining the Gordon Highlanders, with whom he served in France, and then spending a short time in the Artists Rifles before being commissioned in the Flying Corps.He joined the Royal Flying Corps on Saturday, 10 March 1917 and was posted to Reading, gazetted a temporary Second Lieutenant on 30 May. Two days later he transferred to the Flying School at Hendon. It was at the Ruffy-Baumann School, Acton, in a Caudron biplane that he was awarded his Aviator’s Certificate on 16 June 1917. The photo (left) is taken from the book recording those who obtained their Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates and is dated June 1917. On 26 June, Malcolm went to 49 Squadron RFC at Carlton. Less than a month later, he was with 60 Squadron RFC when he was killed in an ‘aero accident’ at Scampton, Lincolnshire, on 18 July 1917. The above newspaper described what happened that Wednesday: Malcolm took off on a training flight and had got only about 50 feet off the ground when he realised there was a mechanical problem (aircraft were notoriously unreliable in those early years). The plane fell to Earth, bursting into flames on impact. The report suggested that Malcolm was knocked unconscious before being engulfed in flames. His friends were unable to free him from the wreckage and he burned to death.