James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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(William) Noel Dawson Tyson (1896-1918)

(William) Noel Dawson Tyson (William) Noel Dawson Tyson was the only son of William and Mary Tyson (née Owen). He was born on 7 December 1896 and educated at the Leas School, Hoylake, and Birkenhead School (1911-14); the files of the Old Birkonian Society state that he 'was a member both of the Cricket XI and Football XV'. He was nearly nineteen when on 5 November 1915 at Lincoln’s Inn he joined 2 Company the Inns of Court OTC, based at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Noel was then 5 ft 8 ins tall, weighed just over 9 stone and had good eyesight but he was deaf in one ear; his medical records mention a scar on his mastoid, probably the result of ear surgery.

[The cavalry and infantry of the Inns of Court Training Corps came to the Berkhamsted in September 1914 - the cavalry had only one horse at the time! About 14,000 men passed through its OTC, mainly men with law court connections and most gained commissions.]

By May 1916 Noel was a Private, had gained a stone in weight and, despite his hearing deficiency, had applied for a temporary commission in any Cheshire infantry regiment. He gave his occupation as Apprentice to Average Adjuster. On 18 December 1916, shortly after his nineteenth birthday he was assigned to the 3rd (SR) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, at Birkenhead as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant. Nineteen was the lower age-limit for service overseas and he left for France on 22 January 1917. At Rouen two days later he was assigned to 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, part of the 105th Brigade, 35th Division.

[15th and 16th Cheshire Regiments were previously the 1st and 2nd 'Birkenhead Bantams'. In October 1914 four miners walked from Durham to Birkenhead to answer the call for recruits. They satisfied all criteria except one - they were too small – and so, at the request of Mr. Bigland, MP for Birkenhead and by special permission of the War Office, the 1st and 2nd 'Birkenhead Bantam Regiments' were formed. Within weeks 3000 men from all over the country had enlisted and within a few months an Infantry Division, '35th “Bantam' Division, had been raised. They were nicknamed the 'piccaninni soldats' when they landed in France.]