James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
Click on wedding picture for more pictures/enlargements

Ambulance driving & marriage

Elaine, ambulance driver At RADA a boyfriend taught Elaine to drive. This proved useful when a friend wanted to become a wartime ambulance driver and persuaded Elaine to enrol. Elaine was stationed at Balmoral Road and at Leavesdon Green in Watford. She had some sad but many very funny anecdotes from her time in the Civil Defence Ambulance Corps (picture, right - no enlargement). At this time she had a long-term boyfriend, Bernard, who was considerably older than her but she then met George Andrew Forbes. He was in the RAF based at Bentley Priory, Uxbridge, but he came to make an amateur film about ambulance work. Elaine recalled that he wore a trench coat and a trilby hat with a greasy hatband and he was usually smoking a cigarette. Experienced with make-up from her theatrical training, she created the "wounds" and played a small role in the film. She and George worked together on the editing.

EW Owen/GA Forbes wedding George was born in Watford but his parents were Scottish. His father died in 1935 and George, when he was still serving his apprenticeship, had the difficult task of taking over the family business. It was quite a distinguished milliner’s and lady’s outfitters in Watford. George’s mother went to Scotland and told relations that her son was associating with a former actress and someone was dispatched to see what could be done about it! In the event, Elaine got on really well with this Scottish envoy. George served in supplies in the RAF in WWII but he was found to have TB – fortunately a very mild attack - which resulted in his being invalided out of the service. On the day of his discharge his mother died.

Elaine recalled she was helping him with his railway layout in the attic of his house in Cassiobury Drive, Watford when he stopped hammering and asked her to marry him. They intended to marry after the war but brought their plans forward when his housekeeper also died. They married at St. Andrews Church, Watford, on 7 July 1943 and spent two-days on honeymoon in London. On their return they visited Lily Mabel and Reginald at 'Yeoveny' and were offered oyster pâté. Unknown to them, it had been kept since the wedding and they were both desperately ill for a week.