Dead officer’s mother left in limbo for a month with no news

Lieytenant Owen and Private Gibson
Lieytenant Owen and Private Gibson

Galloway’s Great War diaries continue:

The Galloway Gazette, June 30th, 1917

Newton Stewart soldier Second-Lieutenant James Owen, Scottish Rifles, who died of wounds received in action on May 20, was a great favourite with both officers and men.

After taking part in a successful attack on June 20, while in charge of a carrying party belonging to another regiment, he was wounded on his way back to a dressing station and took refuge in a shellhole. He was found there by a Welsh soldier who sent back for stretcher-bearers, but by the time they arrived Lieutenant Owen was dead. It was at first reported that he was wounded, but as none of his own battalion were with him when he died no further news was sent to his mother in Queen Street until she made enquiries and, after a month of suspense, the circumstances of his death were revealed.

Before the war he was a member of the Territorials and went with his battalion on mobilisation in 1914. He was wounded at the Battle of Festubert in May 1915.

He then came home for a time to act as an instructor for troops but was sent back to the Front after being promoted.

He was 27-years old at that time he had two brothers still serving in the army.