James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Billy's letter

Billy's unopened letter to his father, which was amongst his possessions, was accepted as an informal will and, for this reason, a transcript of it was kept on file (the underlining is as in the transcript, which is undated). He wrote:

Dear Father,

I wish I could help you take care of the little boys. I hope there is enough money to pay all my bills at Cambridge; it was too much to take on for me to go up. I’m only sorry you’ve spent so much. Do not be sorry for me but glad that I have tried to uphold our name. Give my love to all of them and I hope I will be allowed to watch over you all and help you. I pray to God they may grow up pure and good. All money if any over I want you to share between them. I especially wish them to go on just as usual to cinemas, etc.

Thank you for all you’ve done, you’ve been a grand father to us all. I only wish I could help you in your old age. I will in spirit. When you feel fed up go to Uncle Arthur and talk with him. The thing I’m sorriest about is that this will cause you pain. I don’t mind otherwise. Don’t be sad. We will meet again at the end. God bless you and keep you.

Your son Billy

Billy was Mentioned in Dispatches and surely did "uphold our name". The little boys were his younger brothers six-year old Hugh and four-year old Edward. I suspect that it was his wish for the younger children to share "All money if any over" that prompted his father to write repeatedly to the War Office to try to resolve the issue of the money owed to his late son. He even wrote to his MP, asking for his help to obtain the gratuity that was outstanding and citing the case of 2nd Lt. L. R. Hughes, son of Arthur Hughes (a fellow solicitor and Town Clerk of Aberystwyth and probably the “Uncle Arthur” referred to in the letter). After a lengthy correspondence, the sum of £82-11s-1d was paid out.