Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Owen, Frank
Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 16th Bn.
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 55380
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: II. K. 8.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals
Date of Death: 22nd April 1918
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action:- 22nd April 1918 aged 20
Photograph taken by Mavis Williams on the 9th April 2017
On the gateway of the Old cemetery was this engraving, showing how it was in 1916 and the lovely wording. Most of the Commonwealth Graves were in another cemetery at the top of the old Village Cemetery.
At the top of the Old Cemetery, which is used by the villagers, is the beautiful Cross and to the right of that is the gate leading to the Commonwealth War Graves. This Cross can be seen on the engraving on the gate (above) so has been there for a long time.
Brother of Neil Owen who is also named on the memorial and has his own page on this website
The 1891 census shows Frank’s family living at West View, Flint, Flintshire. Father, Thomas 39 and a General Labourer had been born in High Ercall, Shropshire. Mother, Catherine ws 32 and had been born in Widnes, Lancashire. Their children were Ann 13, William Thomas 8, Margaret 6, Frederick 4 and Walter aged 1. All of them had been born in Flintshire. Living with them was Margaret Blue, Thomas’s Mother-in-Law, a Widow age 56.
Frank & Neil make an appearance on the 1901 census at New Western Terrace, Oakenholt, Flint. Thomas 49, was recorded as a a Carter on a Farm. Daughter Annie 23 was a Sorter? at the Paper Mill. Frederick 13 was a Cattle Boy at a Farm. Walter was 11, Lizzie 9, Neil 7 and Frank was 3.
The 1911 census sees the mother, Catherine at 4 Upp Queen St Flint. Catherine stated on the form that she had been married for 34 years with 10 children born, 3 of whom had died. Thomas, her husband however was not there. Frank 14, was at school. Catherine’s brother William 50 was listed too. He was a Boot Maker.
Frank is named in the book ” Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 Royal Welsh Fusliliers Volume 28″ – It confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Flint and that he was Killed in action in France & Flanders 22nd April 1918.
There is an index card for Frank in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards Connah’s Quay F 48 – Owen, Frank). It confirms the regimental details above. The address given was The Lodge, Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. It adds that he served for a Period of 3 years and 5 months. He was Killed in Action on the 22nd April 1918. The card was signed by Walter Owen (brother) on the 17th February 1920.
On the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Certificate it states that Frank was the brother-in law of Mrs. Ruth Kezia Owen , of 2, High St., Connah’s Quay, Chester. Native of Connah’s Quay. She was Walter’s wife, and on the 1891 census when she was 1 year old Ruth Kezia Davison as she was then was living 2 doors away from the Wepre Lodge, in Marsh Cottages.
Frank Owen in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was Ruth H. Owen* who was paid £11. 16s 2d on the 12th November 1918 and his War Gratuity of £16 on the 21st November 1919. * Is this a clerical error, should it be Ruth K (Kezia) Owen?
Frank was named on 2 other memorials – the Hawarden War Memorial and on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.