James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Os quickly became very close to the vicar’s family. Noel’s biography suggests it is likely that the curates helped to teach the younger of the Hodgson children. Os captained the local mixed hockey team in which some of the older Hodgson children played. He was also very supportive of the vicar’s initiatives, including, for example, his campaign against the abuse of alcohol, a constant problem in a town which was both a port and home to a large garrison. Noel Hodgson's biography states "The eighteenth century barracks, depot and headquarters of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, stood hard by the church, and Herny's Sunday congregation were used to hearing the call of the sergeant from the parade ground, the marching of feet, louder as they drew nearer, and the clatter of the officers' swords as they took their places in the pews."

Berwick-early 1900s Os appears to have enjoyed his work with the poor and with the young. In Berwick he instituted and helped run, as Lieutenant and later as Captain, the Berwick Company of the Church Lads’ Brigade which grew rapidly during his tenure. The CLB would have regular meetings and drills and several times a year Os and the young men of the CLB would go away to camps.

Os's willingness to make home visits helped to break down barriers but it may explain why he became one of the victims of a local epidemic of Scarlet Fever in 1901. At the time he was living alone at 41 Woolmarket, Berwick, but, as the Berwickshire News and General Advertiser [16 July 1901] reported, he was one of those refused admission to the Infirmary, which highlighted the need for a local hospital for patients with infectious diseases; no doubt the Hodgsons helped care for him and by early July he was well enough to continue his duties. (Photo: Berwick High Street, early 1900s - Berwick Record Office, BRO 1636-3-16)    >>>>