Owen, John

John is referred to Owens on some correspondance but is actually Owen.

He was born on 7th May 1889, one of fourteen children (seven boys and seven girls) to John and Mary Owens, of Gwern Hwlcyn, Bodfari. In later life he was employed by Samuel Rathbone as a wagoner. He was the older brother of Lewis William Owen, who is also listed on the memorial.

He died on  25th September 1918, aged 29 years old. Private 874558 John Owen 27th Division Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) ‘Died Of Wounds’ at Denmark Hill Hospital, London, he was 29 years old. Private John Owens was born, on 7th May 1889, in Bodfari.Private Owen was the son of John and Mary Owens of Gwern Hwlcyn, Bodfari.

Private Owen took his oath on attestation into the Canadian Forces, on 27th December 1915, describing himself as single and being a farmer, living in Morden Manitoba, Canada. Private resworn his oath on 12th August 1916, at Camp Hughes, Manitoba. I suspect this was at the commencement of his training.

The Flintshire Roll Of Honour has recorded that John was injured by ‘Shell Bullets’ on 3rd December 1917.

Private 874558 John Owen 27th Division Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) ‘Died Of Wounds’ on 25th September 1918, at Denmark Hill Hospital, London.

The need for a central training camp in Military District 10 (Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario) resulted in the establishment of Sewell Camp in 1910, on Crown and Hudson’s Bay Company land near Carberry, Man.

The site was accessible by both the Canadian Northern and Canadian Pacific Railways and the ground was deemed suitable for the training of artillery, cavalry and infantry units.

The first summer training camp, in 1910, was attended by 1,469 soldiers. Militia soldiers continued to train in the summers up until the final pre-war camp in July 1914.

In 1914, the camp was expanded to train large numbers of new recruits. Permanent buildings were constructed, a rifle range with 500 targets was set up, and the water supply was improved.

In September 1915, Camp Sewell was renamed Camp Hughes in honour of Canada’s Minister of Militia and Defence, Maj-Gen. Sam Hughes.

In 1916, the camp had 27,754 troops, making it the largest community in Manitoba outside of Winnipeg. It boasted six movie theatres, numerous retail stores, a hospital, a large heated in-ground swimming pool, photo studios, a post office, a prison and many other structures.

Troops were housed in white bell tents, located around the central camp.

They would undergo training in daily routine, sentries, listening posts, trench clearing, and finally, a frontal assault on the “enemy” by going over the top and across no-man’s-land into the enemy line of trenches.


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