James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Aftermath

Vernon had died on Monday, 29 November. The newspaper, Yr Udgorn, 8th December 1915, reported:

News reached Pwllheli yesterday announcing the death of Lieutenant Vernon E. Owen, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, aged twenty-two, from wounds in France. He was the only son of the Rev. T. E. Owen, rector of Aberdaron. Prior to the war he was a ministerial student at Bangor University.
He joined the army on the outbreak of war, and was promoted afterwards. A keen athlete, he was a member of the university football team. His cousin, Lieutenant Owen, son of Mr. W.P. Owen, solicitor, Aberystwyth, died of wounds in France a few weeks ago.

Etaples war cemetery The cousins had joined different regiments but they fought in the same campaign and died within weeks of each other, both from injuries received in actions near Festubert.

Eventually another telegram arrived on 7th February:

The Military Secretary presents his compliments to the Rev. T. E. Owen and begs to inform him that a report has been received from Army HQ in the Field which states that Second Lieutenant V. E. Owen, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was buried in Camiers Road Cemetery, Etaples Grave No A 31.

The Military Secretary ventures to send this information now, as the Rev. T.E. Owen may not have previously received it.

The service records state that small articles were handed to a relative of deceased by O.C. no. 1 Red Cross Hospital and Llan, 10 December 1915 reported that his father arrived in time to be with him when he died. I have visited his grave at Etaples. Like all military cemeteries it is beautifully kept. Etaples was the site of several field hospitals which is why so many British troops lie buried there in the countryside above the River Canche, overlooking a broad sweeping bay. Vernon’s grave is in the highest tier, looking across the sea towards the south coast of Britain Written on his gravestone are the words, CORONWYD TI N ARWR YN MORE DY DDYDD, a line from the poem ‘Y Milwr Na Ddychwel’ by John Ceiriog Hughes.