James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

A distinguished legal career

On Tuesday, 16 May 1950 [Devon C, 1950, 2nd qt], at Littleham Parish church, John married Mary Rimmington (b 29 September 1926), only child of Captain F.J.Rimington MBE (MN), Master Mariner, of 'Vasna', Littleham Road, Exmouth. They had three children, a daughter and two sons.

After the war John had returned to his Cardiff practice but, in 1952, a vacancy occurred for a judge advocate on the judicial staff of the Judge Advocate General. In 1948 the Office of the Judge Advocate General had undergone a radical constitutional upheaval, designed to make clear its purely judicial nature and its complete independence from the services it advised, the Army and the RAF. Its judicial staff, no longer civil servants, were judicial appointments under the Lord Chancellor’s office.

Thus, in 1952, John became Deputy Judge Advocate General, one attraction of the post being that it provided him with the opportunity to see much more of the world than he would do from a law practice in Cardiff. He served in Germany (1953–1956), in Hong Kong (1958–1960) – the family sailed to Hong Kong from Southampton aboard the Canton on 28 June 1958 - and in Cyprus (1963-1966) after which he was made Assistant Judge Advocate General and then served as Deputy Judge Advocate General in Germany (1970–72). When John and his family sailed to Hong Kong they were living at 'The Brown House', Velmead Road, Fleet.

John was Vice Judge Advocate General (1972-79) before being appointed Judge Advocate General of the Forces in 1979, a position he held until 1984. On taking up this appointment he had the honour of being received at Clarence House by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (on her 79th birthday) and the Prince of Wales, as Counsellors of State on behalf of the Queen.

John G & John M Morgan-Owen
John Gethin Morgan-Owen (left) with his cousin John Maddox Morgan-Owen