James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Deaths & a move south

John Tyson, a powerful, successful man, had little regard for the ability of his son William who was of a very different character and who never really settled to working in his father’s firm. William would be sent abroad as often as possible to get him out of the way; he spent some time in New York. When John Dawson Tyson died, aged seventy-seven, on 21 May 1906, probate for his estate of almost £67000 was granted to five people; they included his two younger sons but not William.

In 1911, Mary and her children were still in New Brighton, at 23 Warren Drive and living on 'private means', but William was one of two boarders at 'Strand House', Stroud, Bideford, Devon, the home of a physician and surgeon, Ellis Pearson, who had previously practiced in Birkenhead; the other 'visitor' was Helena Jane Cordelia Maynard. William and Helena may have been there for treatment; both were living on 'private means'. William was an alcoholic and suffered from throat cancer. He died, aged sixty, at Home Hospital, Exeter, on 28 April 1916. Due to wartime transport restrictions, he was buried there. I have Mary’s beautiful old leather-bound photograph album, which she gave to my mother. There are no photographs of William though there is one of his father. One of William's grandsons said his mother talked about John Tyson but rarely spoke of William. It was almost as if William had never existed. This item appeared the London Gazette. In mitigation, perhaps William never got over the traumas of his childhood; he was only ten when he lost his mother and whilst his elder half-sister, Esther, probably took over her mother's role, I believe she married less than four years later and died the following year.

Noel was then the only male left in the family but he was tragically killed in action on 25 September 1918, aged 21. Mary must have been devastated by the loss of her only son. She sold her interest in the Tyson family business and moved south. The correspondence between Mary and the War Office indicate that she was still at 'Wynnfield' early in December 1918 but she must have moved soon afterwards.