James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Move south

Nellie Owen & Children Reginald's new job with the L.N.W.R. was based in London so he and Nellie moved south to live at 'Ericdale', 24 Monmouth Road, Watford. There Nellie had several miscarriages before their first son, Lindis Owen was born on 30 July 1913. He died the next day; he may have been a blue baby. On the outbreak of war Reginald was unfit for service, having only one eye. Their daughter, Ruth, was born on 20 January 1915 and their son, Eric, on 26 February 1917. The family moved to Farraline House, a large house at the junction of Wiggenhall Road and Vicarage Road, Watford, where their daughter Elaine was born on 26 June 1919. Reginald never liked being called ‘Reg’ so he had determined not to give his children names that could be shortened. All three children were given his second name 'Wynn'.

Farraline House, Watford Farraline House, Watford Farraline House had a 'day nursery' and a ‘night nursery', both upstairs. There was quite a large garden and a yard with a stable and other outbuildings. The children had to be quite brave to get up into the stable loft where they played. The family kept bantams - Elaine had one called Bertie - chickens, cats and a black and white border collie called 'Bob'. There was always a nurse for Nellie, a cook-general and a maid, as well as a nursery nurse who used to holiday with the family. Reginald never had a car - he could not drive - but he had a bicycle with a cane sidecar, like a bath chair, in which Nellie (and sometimes the children) would ride.

Also living with them, though she sometimes lived with Mary, was Reginald’s mother Elizabeth. It was at Farraline House that she died on 3 November 1920. Not long before that and about a year after my mother was born, Nellie had been found to have breast cancer. Entries in my Aunt Ruth’s photograph album record that Grannie died at 1.40 p.m. and "Mummy went into hospital 5 p.m. Nov. 4th. Operation 2.30 p.m. Nov. 5th 1920. Grannie’s funeral Nov. 6th 1920". What a terrible period that must have been for Reginald and the family and it was not to end there.