William Owens name on his Service records is given as William OWEN and not OWENS, but on all the census information etc., he was known as Owens.
His parents, Owen & Mary Ann OWENS,(nee Brookes), I believe, married in a Civil ceremony at St. Asaph in 1886 (Denbighshire North (Rhyl) STASAPH/20/E95) and on the 1891 census, they and their little family were living at Ty Newydd, Dyserth, Flintshire. Owen, 32, was head of the household, he was a Farmer, and had been born in Denbigh, Denbighshire, his wife Mary Ann, 27 had been born in Llanasa. This is the census when William, 7 months old, made his first appearance, being born in Dyserth, Flintshire as had his brother John 2. His older sister Mary C., 4 had been born in Llanasa.
Sadly it seems that Owen died in the intervening years between the censuses and I believe that Mary Ann Owens remarried in 1900, there is a Civil Marriage in Chester, (Cheshire West ROC/40/137) where the groom is shown as William Parry.
So Mary Ann appears on the 1901 census as Mary Ann Parry, 36, living at Picton Hall Farm, Llanasa, Ffynnongroew, Flintshire with her new husband William, 27, and her children from her marriage to Owen Owens. Mary Catherine, 14, John, 12, William, 10 and Edith, 8, all with the surname Owens.
By the 1911 census the family had split up, Mary Ann Parry, 46, living with her new husband, William, 37, at Picton Hall Farm, LLanasa, Holywell, N.W. (6 rooms), they state they had been married 11 years, 2 children had been born, and were still living. These children were Millicent May, 9 and Gwyneth Morfudd, 7, both born at Picton Hall Farm, Llanasa.
Her other Owens children were living at Bryn Mawr, Ffynnongroew, Mostyn with 8 rooms. The Name of Head of Family or Separate Occupier :- John BROOKES*, who signed the census, but is not on it.
*Suspect that John BROOKES was Mary Ann’s father, if so, their relationship to head of the household was wrongly put. I cannot find a brother John Brookes, in Mary Ann’s family in the 1871/1881 censuses.
Mary Ann’s children at Bryn Mawr were Mary C. Described as niece, 24, single and Housekeeper, born Ffynnongroew. Nephews, John, 22, and William, 20 were Labourers on the farm, niece Edith, 18 was a servant had all been born in Dyserth, Flintshire. William Roberts, 54, single and Farm Labourer, also born Ffynnongroew made up the family.
I cannot find any Army Service papers for William, so I don’t know when he entered the war, but William Owen in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that his residence was Llanasa and he enlisted in Holywell, and had been in the Cavalry Regiment before he became a Driver for the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery.
William Owen in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.
William Owen in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Mary A. who was paid £11 7s 7d on the 16th December 1919, which included his War Gratuity of £6 10s. There was a repayment to the Paymaster, Blackheath of 7s 4d on the 14th February 1919. (Recharge)
William Owen in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar also tells us :- William Owen of Picton Hall farm, Ffynngroew Flintshire . Driver no. 266885 RFA died 19/10/1918 in France on Active Military Service. Admininstration St Asaph 24th March to Mary Ann PARRY (Wife of William PARRY) Effects £90.
If anyone can add to Williams’ story, it will be gratefully received. Many thanks to Barbara Shone for her help in identifying him.