Owens, George Thomas (Owen on the Memorial)

George Thomas Owens was born circa 1913, his birth being registered in Hawarden, (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/16A/53). He was the son of George Ellis & Eveline Owens (nee Taylor), who married in Bucklow, Cheshire in the September quarter of 1912 (Trafford ALT/29/192).  The district Bucklow spans the boundaries of the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire.

George Ellis Owens is seen on the 1911 census visiting, I believe, his mother’s brother Ellis Hughes, who was living at Ruthin Castle, which I believe was a pub in New Street, Mold, Flintshire, with his wife Mary Hughes age 51 years, she tells us that they had been married 19 years and no children had been born to them.   George Ellis Owens was age 30, single, an Iron Worker and described first as Nephew, which was crossed out and Visitor entered.   Another cousin was there, a David Hughes, 42 and single, a Stonemason.   There was also a servant, Bessie Roberts, age 16.   All the family were bilingual.

In 1911 Eveline Taylor, George Thomas’s mother, was residing at in 12-room house, named the Gables, Knutsford, she was a servant, age 29 years, born Little Hulton, Lancashire.   On this census she and another servant, Ethel Annies from Bromyard, Herefordshire, were the only occupants at a Mr. Woodhouse’s home.

However, they had married in 1912 and must have moved to the district just after, as George Thomas was born in Hawarden, but what date they did move here, I don’t know, so any help would be appreciated as we also do not know of his early and teen years either.

The 1921 census sheds a little light on the George Ellis Owen, as they are seen living at Mayfield, Penyffordd, Nr. Chester.   Head of the household was George Ellis Owens, he was now 41 years old, born in Mold, Flintshire and was a General Labourer for William Astbury, Builders & Contractors, Abermorddu Housing Scheme, Cefn-y-Bedd, but was ‘Out of Work.’   His wife, Eveline was now 40 years and 2 months old, born in Little Hulton, Bolton, Lancashire.  She was doing ‘Home Duties.’   Their children were, George Thomas Owens, 8 years old and Emily Elizabeth Owens, 7 years 10 months old, both born in Sandycroft.    Their youngest son, John William Owens was 2 years and 4 months old, born in Penyffordd, Flintshire.   Two visitors, Violet Doreen Guest was 11 years old, born Aigburth Vale, Lancashire and William Richard Seymour Guest was 7 years and 10 months old, born in Tuebrook, Lancashire.   I can only presume they were brothers, as the census states that the father of each child was dead.

We don’t see George Ellis & Eveline again until they are seen on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th of September 1939.   They were living at 16 Chester Road, Shotton, Flintshire.   This source tells us the date of birth of George Ellis, the 23rd of May 1880 and he worked at the Steelworks, sadly, his occupations is very hard to read.   Eveline’s date of birth was the 4th of April 1881 and as most married women on this Register, who didn’t have a job, they were said to be doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   There is a redacted or closed record as well, but of course we do not know who this may be.

Earlier that year, in the June quarter of 1939, George Thomas Owens and May F. Davies married in Hawarden, (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 507).   The FREEMAN FAMILY TREE (davidsfreeman), tell us that the date of the marriage was the10th of April 1939.   Many thanks to them.

According to the Royal Artillery attestations 1883-1942, George Thomas was attested in 1938, so when he married and on the 1939 National Register he was already in the Services.

We find George Thomas’s wife on the 1939 National Register, living with her parents at 10, Ridgeway, Hawarden, Flintshire.   Her father, head of the household, was Arthur Davies, his date of birth – 16th of April 1874, a General Labourer and her mother Florence G. Davies, date of birth 18th of August 1876, doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”    Her name on this is Florence M. Owens, married, date of birth 11th of May 1914, also as above on this register doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   This source also gives a hint of Florence May’s future as it lists the surname of the gentleman, (Arrowsmith), she eventually married after George Thomas lost his life in the war.   The enumerator also gave the date of her remarriage – 29th of September 1947.

As stated earlier, George Thomas was in the Royal Artillery, and although he is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial, I did not know what his unit would have been involved with, so I appealed to WW2talk and again, as usual I had a rely on that may explain a little what he was involved in –

Drew5233#FuturePilotPatron1940 Obsessive

They weren’t at Dunkirk. They were part of 1st Armoured Division Support Group. If he was with the AT part of the regiment, there’s a good possibility he would have been killed around/near Aumale fighting with the 2/6th East Surrey Regiment. They were supporting 51 Division and trying to slow the German advance as 51 Division was withdrawing eventually into St. Valery. (Many thanks to Drew5233)

However, on the 8th of June 1940, he paid the ultimate sacrifice, indeed his body was never found as he is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial along with thousands of others.

Casualty List (Page 6) tells us that he is missing – “Date not reported.” While the Casualty List 1873 (Secret) 1945 shows us that the Army was still searching for him until 1945 and eventually lists him on this list as “Previously reported Missing, Date not reported, now Presumed Killed in Action,” – “On or shortly after 8th June 1940.”

His Casualty Card, below, tells the same story, but this also tells us that he was born in Pentre, Chester and his domicile was Queensferry, Chester.  His rank at time of death was “Gunner.”

Florence May Owens did marry Ernest Arrowsmith in the September quarter of 1947 (Hawarden         Vol. 8a Page 1209).

George Thomas was much loved and missed by his family, and they put his name forward to be added to the WW2 War Memorial in Hawarden.





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