William Owen

William Owen

Personal Details

William was born in Shrewsbury in 1878, the fourth son of John and Anne Owen. Husband of Annie Elizabeth Ellen (nee Jones) Owen, of 11, High Street, Whitchurch and Father of Geoffrey.

William was the Manager of Wyles Shoe Shop, in High Street, Whitchurch, before joining the Army.

Military Details

Regiment : Royal Army Service Corps, formerly King’s Shropshire Light Infantry No 34449
Rank : Private
Service Number : S/443027

Died of Illness; United Kingdom 9th November 1918 Age 40

Medals and Awards
William was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Nantwich Guardian 8 November 1918

Report in the Nantwich Guardian 8 November 1918 regarding the death of Wilfrid Owen

"Much sympathy is expressed with Mr. Harry Owen and family in the bereavement which they have sustained by the death from pneumonia of their son, Mr. Wilfrid Owen. He was 23 years of age. After the death of his uncle, the late Mr. Ankers, he had charge of the antique furniture business which was for so long associated with the name Ankers, and in this capacity he was brought into contact with many people outside Nantwich who will be sorry to hear of his death."

Nantwich Guardian 8 November 1918

Will of Wilfrid Owen
Owen William of 11 High-street Whitchurch Shropshire private Army Service Corps formerly 3rd and 1/4th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry died 9 November 1918 at the Military Hospital Prees Heath near Whitchurch Probate Shrewsbury 23 December to Annie Eliza Ellen Owen widow. Effects £412 10s. 1d.

Taken from Forces War Records

If you can provide any further information on William Owen please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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