Brother of Frank Owen who is also named on the memorial and has his own page on this website.
The 1891 census shows Neil’s family living at West View, Flint, Flintshire. Father, Thomas 39 was a General Labourer, who had been born in High Ercall, Shropshire. Mother, Catherine (nee Blue or Blew) was 32 and had been born in Widnes, Lancashire. Their children Ann 13, William Thomas 8, Margaret 6, Frederick 4 and Walter aged 1,. All had been born in Flintshire. Living with them was Margaret Blue, Mother-in-Law, a Widow age 56 and born in Prescott, Lancs.
Frank & Neil make an appearance on the 1901 census at New Western Terrace, Oakenholt, Flint.Thomas 49 was a Carter on a Farm. Daughter Annie was 23, and a Sorter? at the Paper Mill. Frederick was 13 and a Cattle Boy at a Farm. Walter was 11, Lizzie 9, Neil 7 and Frank was 3.
The 1911 census sees Neil and his brother Frederick living as Boarders at 43 Brook Road Shotton, Flintshire with the Woolley family. Neil was a ‘scrap cutter’ and Frederick was a ‘bar dragger’ Harry Broughton lived there too. He was 17 and also a Scrap-cutter. (He was to join the army and die in the conflict.he has his own page on this website). There were 2 other married Boarders.
Neil is mentioned in the book “Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh Fusiliers Volume 28” The regimental details above are confirmed and it adds that he enlisted in Shotton. It says he was a L/Cpl and that he was Killed in action in Gallipoli on the 21st September 1915.
Neil’s medal card is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk It records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Balkans and that he entered it on 28th June 1915.
Neil Owen in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was Miss Ethel Williams who was paid £5. 19s 10d on the 14th January 1916 and the War Gratuity Legatee was Ethel Foulker (sic) who was paid £4 on the 9th September 1919.
Neil was named on other memorials – the Hawarden War Memorial and the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church.
He was also named on the Oddfellows Memorial Tablet at Wepre Lodge. In the Mold, Deeside & Buckley Leader dated 3rd October 1924, the listed members including N Owen were honoured. The previous Saturday the Tablet had been unveiled by the Vicar of Shotton, J.J.J. Robinson.
Excerpts from the newspaper cutting mentioned above.
There is additional information on the Commonwealth War Graves Certificate which says Neil was the son of Thomas and Catherine Owen, of 3, Burley Villas, Hoole Bank, Chester.
Flintshire Observer 11th November 1915 (Page 8, Col 1) – Flintshire Casualties – Killed – Private N. Owen, Shotton.:- Mr. Owen, of Brook Road, Shotton, has received the sad news from the Record Office, Shrewsbury, that his son, Private Neil Owen, has been killed in action in France. Private Owen was only 21 years of age, joined the Army shortly after the outbreak of war, and after training was drafted to France. He had seen much hard fighting, but his letters home were always of a cheery nature. Before joining the colours he was employed a a doubler at the Marsh Mills, where he was highly respected both by the men and his managers. He had a host of friends, all of whom will be grieved to hear of his death. Much sympathy has been extended to his father and sisters.
Flintshire Observer 18th November 1915 (Page 7, Col 1/4) – Brothers in the Royal Welch. – This week we are enabled to give in our portrait gallery of Flintshire men, two brothers, natives of Shotton – one, alas, killed, the other wounded in recent fighting, (see Neil Owen’s photograph above)
Lance-Corporal Neil Owen was killed in action on the 21st September in the Dardanelles. He was serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and was 21 years of age.
Sergeant Walter Owen, his brother, serving with the 9th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers, was wounded in the Battle of Loos in France, and is now at the Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital, Shorncliffe, where he is making satisfactory progress.
Both are from Shotton, and have two other brothers, Privates Thomas and Frank Owen#, serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. The gallant quartette are a credit to Shotton, and their friends feel proud of them.
Sergeant Major J.R. Davies, of “A” Company 8th Battalion R.W.F., writing to Mrs. Walter Owen, sympathising with her in the death of Lance-Corporal Neil Owen says:- ” He died a brave man and a soldier” and adds: “The officers, NCO’s and men send their sympathy to you and all the family in your bereavement.” Miss E. Williams, to whom the deceased soldier was engaged, also received a very consoling letter from the sergeant-major of the company.
An excerpt from War Diary of the 8th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers for the 21st August 1915
“A quiet morning. 9th Corps were ordered to do what they could to demanbrate? (demonstrate?) in order to hold the troops in front.
A pretty severe shelling on the Apex at 6.45pm”