James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Christmas Day 1937

At about 8 a.m. on Christmas morning in 1937 William went out to feed his two pigs as usual but he found they had escaped. A quick search proved fruitless so he went to the neighbouring farms of the Pomerys and Charles Calton Jnr., to ask if anyone had seen the animals and to warn them, as the boar could be dangerous. On his return he found the pigs in the potato patch at the bottom of the garden and he grabbed a thick stick to drive them back into their sty, warning May to keep away. The boar would not co-operate and suddenly turned on William, knocking him to the ground and attacking him. William managed to extricate himself and, clutching his lower abdomen, he staggered towards May, who had been watching the attack, unable to do anything to help. She heard him say, “The boar has killed me; run for your life to Mr. Calton” but she got no further than the front gate, where Charles Calton met her; he had been milking his cows and had come running when he heard her screams.

Charles went round to the back of the house where William was lying, bleeding profusely; he had been gored in his thigh and lower abdomen. Charles did what he could to bandage the wounds, carried William inside and laid him on the bed. He then went to Mrs Kathleen Pomery, two miles away, to get her to phone the doctor; she was in charge of the Group 114 Post Office and telephone. It was now about 9.30 a.m. and Dr. Evan-Williams refused to come out, insisting the patient be brought to the hospital in Denmark. When Kathleen told him that William would have bled to death by then, the doctor advised her to tear a sheet in half and bind the wounds tightly. He would later claim that he was afraid he would not be able to find the Pomery’s house which is where he thought the casualty was. Kathleen refuted this since their house was near the road and the doctor would have been able to get there in the time it took to sort out transport for William and to load him aboard.

Presumably both William and Charles Calton had ridden on horseback between properties as Charles then collected his truck on the way back to William with Kathleen’s husband. They made the truck as comfortable as possible but William was in agony as they bumped along the rough road to Denmark. Progress was necessarily slow and it was midday by the time they got to their destination, by which time the bandaging appeared to have stemmed the flow of blood. Following an immediate operation, William appeared to rally but his condition then deteriorated rapidly and “he died of shock and haemorrhage at 3 pm."