James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

(Richard) Owen Boxer (1921-2013)

Marjorie and Harold's son (Richard) Owen Boxer was born in Bristol on 6 November 1921. He attended Elmhurst Grammar School, Street, Somerset, and then Bristol University where he graduated in Civil Engineering; because of the war his degree had to be completed in two years, not three. He later became a Chartered Civil Engineer. In 1942 he volunteered to join The Royal Engineers, but was turned down on medical grounds. For forty-four years he was employed by Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners, Consulting Engineers, working in various parts of England and Scotland, together with a four year spell in Teheran. He was mainly involved in hydro-electric projects, such as the construction of the Pitlochry Dam, Perthshire, and road schemes, such as building the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh and developing portions of the A9 between Perth and Thurso.

Owen married Beatrice Lilian Francis (Betty) of 'Summerleaze', Batheaston, Bath, at St Michael's Church, Bath, on 4 March 1946. Betty had been born on 16 September 1920 in Charlton Hawthorne, Somerset [Wincanton]; her parents were market gardeners. For the early years of their marriage Owen and Betty lived at Ardlevale, Lower Oakfield, Pitlochry, Kinross and West Perthshire. The property was part of a significant Victorian villa built around 1887 (pictures of Ardlevale Cottage and a map showing its location can be seen here). However, they moved around with Owen's work - Pitlochry 1946-51, Contin, Ross-shire 1951-58, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire 1958-64 and Teheran 1960-64. Their only child, a daughter, was born on 12 November 1951, just after the move to Ross-shire and in the summer of 1963 Betty had to return to UK with her, as there was no secondary school provision in Teheran. They lived in Kilbarchan and, once Owen's work in developing the Teheran water supply had finished, he joined them a year later.

In the spring of 1965 the family moved to Edinburgh, where Owen worked on various road building developments, and it was here, in St Columba's Hospice, that Betty died on 25 May 2000. Eight years later Owen moved south to live in sheltered accommodation near his daughter and her family. He died in Coventry on 23 December 2013, aged 92.

There are living descendants and I am grateful to Owen and Betty's daughter for the personal recollections and additional information she has provided for this account.