James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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(John) Gurth Morgan-Owen (1883 - 1916)

Gurth Morgan-Owen The fifth child of Timothy Morgan Owen and Emma, John Gurth Morgan-Owen, known as 'little Gurth' (he was only 5'3" tall), was the great favourite of them all. He was born on 2 August 1883, at his parents' home, 'Bronwylfa' in Rhyl. He was first educated at Colet House School, Rhyl. His elder brothers all went to Shrewsbury School but Gurth won a scholarship to Bromsgrove where he excelled at sport (To see Gurth in Bromsgrove team photos click on football 1899-1900, cricket 1900 and cricket 1902.) He also played football for Rhyl, Oswestry and Montgomery.

The Times, of 26 December 1901, reported that Gurth had been recommended for election to a classical Cooke's Exhibition at Worcester College, Oxford. At Oxford he played cricket, football and hockey for his college and also rode horses. He obviously enjoyed the high life there, for in the college archives are letters to and from his father concerning his 'battels' (college accounts). He had the highest entertaining bill in his year, his tailors bill was also very high and the bursar said his rooms were too luxurious. On later trans-Atlantic sailings to and from Argentina Gurth travelled first class.

I am told that Gurth dropped his exhibition without telling his father but he took his BA degree in 1904 and became a teacher, firstly with his elder brother Morgan at Forest School in Essex and then at Stonehouse School, Broadstairs, before becoming senior master at St George's College, Quilmes, Buenos Aires. Gurth was almost certainly the "Morgan Owen" who travelled first class to Buenos Aires aboard Highland Laddie in September 1911, as this was when he took the position at St Georges College, a relatively new English school catering for the huge British population in Argentina. (His cousin, Thomas Francis Shelby, had been part of the British influx just after the turn of the century.) Gurth's brother, Morgan, had toured Brazil with Corinthians FC in 1910 and it may well have been Morgan's reports of his tour that prompted Gurth to go there. At St Georges Gurth taught classics, literature, French and secondary mathematics. He played cricket for the Quilmes C.C., of Buenos Aires, as well as football and hockey for local clubs; his sporting achievements raised his kudos at the school, where he went on to become the p.a. to the headmaster. Morgan again toured in South America in 1913, which would have provided another opportunity for the two brothers, who were obviously very close, to meet up.