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  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 18th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Person Details
Sneinton Nottingham
Ernest Owen, known as Owen, was born in 1896 (J/A/S), the son of John and Elizabeth Smith. His father completed the 1911 Census with the information that he and his wife had been married for 25 years and had had nine children born alive of whom only six were still living. Six children were named on the three census between 1891 and 1911: Elizabeth, John, Henry, Ernest Owen, Alice and Harriett (b. 1901 A/M/J). All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1891 John (28 b. Arnold), a framework knitter, and his wife (29 b. Sneinton), a lace worker, were living at Main Road, Carlton, with their two-year old daughter, Elizabeth. Ten years later in 1901 they were living at 23 Regent Hill, Sneinton, in the ecclesiastical parish of St Matthias. They now had six children; Elizabeth (12), John (9), Henry (6), Ernest Owen (4), Alice (2) and Harriett (2 weeks). In 1911 the family was living at 14 Robin Hood Terrace, Nottingham. John Smith was now a school caretaker. All six children were still living at home; Elizabeth (22) was a lace hand, John (18) worked for a milk seller, Henry (17) was an apprentice, Owen (14) was apprenticed to an ironmonger and Alice and Harriett were still at school. In May 1914 at the age of 17y. 10m Owen enlisted in the Imperial Service Battalion, Territorial Force. The family home was still 14 Robin Hood Terrace. Owen was the first of the three brothers to be killed. Harry served with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (35769 Private) and was killed on 14 April 1917 (Thiepval Memorial). John, who served with the Durham Light Infantry (375643 Private), was killed on 31 May 1918 (Soissons Memorial). Owen's father completed a form for the army on 31 May 1919 listing his son's surviving blood relatives. By then the family home was at The School House, Douglas Road, Ilkeston Road, Nottingham, and John's three daughters, Elizabeth, Alice and Harriett, were still living with their father. It also looks as though John gave a different address for his wife (entry largely illegible) although the CWGC record, which was compiled at a later date, names both parents and gives their address as The School House.
Member of 2nd Nottingham Company Boys' Brigade (Dakeyne Street Lads' Club). In 1911 he was apprenticed to an ironmonger. When he enlisted in the Territorial Force in May 1914 his occupation was given as fitter.
13 Oct 1915
19
1769191 - CWGC Website
2087
14 Robin Hood Terrace, Nottingham
Private
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
He enlisted in the Territorial Force on 11 May 1914 when he was not quite 18 years old. He enlisted the same day as his friend Ernest Carter (2084), another 'Dako Boy', and also George Herbert Kiddier (service number 2086) who may also have been a member of the Boys' Club. However, George Kiddier was discharged as no longer fit for military service on 2 October 1914. Owen served in France from 28 February 1915. He reported sick on 7 June 1915 and was admitted to NMDF Amb. suffering from debility but was discharged to duty a week later on 14 June. He and Ernest Carter served with the 1/7th Robin Hood Battalion and both were killed in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13 October. They are both commemorated on the Loos Memorial (Owen - Panel ref 87-89). Owen qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
He served as Owen Smith and this is the name given on the 1911 Census. He is also commemorated on the Dakeyne Street Boys' Club as Owen Smith. The form of surviving relatives completed by Owen's father in 1919 was witnessed by OW Hind of Fletcher Gate, who established the Dakeyne Street Boys Club and was its first captain. His personal effects comprising letters, postcards and a disc were returned to his father in early 1916. His father was his legatee. Owen's death was reported in the Boys Brigade Gazette of 1 March 1916.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 18th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    Ernest Owen Smith - Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 18th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.