John Henry Owen
Private :: Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Missing in Action :: 14th June 1918 :: France & Flanders
The memorial in the churchyard reads:
Also of John Henry, their son.
Killed on active service 14th June 1918
Aged 34 years.
John Henry Owen was born in 1884 to parents James and Sarah Owen. The family lived and farmed at Groespluen Farm.
John was one of four boys. His eldest brother Alfred, emigrated to Canada. John and his brother James worked on the farm as young boys. John’s father died in 1912 and the two brothers ran the farm with their mother.
On 12th December 1915, at the age of 30, John enlisted with the 1/4th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. His brother and mother continued to run the farm.
The 1/4th (Denbighshire) Battalion was part of the Territorial Force. It is not known what action John was part of but at the end of March 1918 John was transferred to the 9th Battalion as a Private. At this time the Battalion were fighting on The Somme. The Battle of Aisne began on 27th May 1918.
John went missing on 28th May. On the 14th June his ‘death was accepted for official purposes’.
John is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial in Aisne, France. The memorial commemorates almost 4000 British men who died in the Battles of the Aisne and the Marne in 1918 who have no known grave.
John is also commemorated on the Welshpool War Memorial and Guilsfield War Memorial
A detailed account of John’s story is on display as part of the ‘Remembering the Fallen of the Great War at Christ Church’ exhibition.
Previously published stories of WW1 memorials here at Christ Church can be seen here.