James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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Work for 'St John'

Elaine in uniform George & Elaine in uniform George retained the family business and continued to run it but his main 'occupation' was his voluntary St. John Ambulance work. He and Elaine shared an interest in first aid and kept up their qualifications. They would attend first aid competitions together and Elaine would help to make up the casualties. He ran the local division for many years and when he became Area Commissioner for the Western Area of Hertfordshire she became Area Secretary. She had taught herself to type and also acted as secretary for the business and for him in his rôles as Chairman of the Drapers Chamber of Trade and as President of his local Rotary Club, etc., working at home and often typing letters long into the night. She herself also became President of the Watford Nursing Division of St. John.

Elaine's investiture The local Rotary Club gave the division an ambulance and he used to drive this all over the country. Elaine would often be at home, manning the radio and relaying messages. She very occasionally went as his attendant and on one occasion they were on their way to collect a patient from Heathrow when they came across a horrific, head-on road accident. The full time ambulances had not arrived and they took the most critically injured person, a young lady who had appalling head-injuries, to hospital. Elaine took the responsibility of tending to her in the back of the ambulance with her usual competence and equanimity. For her work in St John she was honoured by being made an Officer (sister) of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (London Gazette, 19 March 1984). George became an Officer (brother) and later a Commander (brother) (London Gazette, 18 December 1980).