George OWEN,1 son of Thomas OWEN (1839-1914) and Sarah BUCKLEY (1840-1885), was born on 17 March 1877 at Corri Reserve in Cowra, NSW.1,2 He was a follower of the Catholic faith .3 Before 1900 he was a shearer .4
in 1900/01 when aged 23-24 he served in the Boer War in South Africa . He was one of the first Australians to enlist. He is reported to have served under Generals Sir Redvers Buller and Sir Ian Hamilton. He had two tours of duty. On the first he was service number 179, Private, with the 3rd Qld Mounted Infantry. This unit departed 1 March 1900 and returned 7 June 1901 giving a service period of 1 Year and 3 months. He enlisted again as a Private on 7 January 1902 in Brisbane. He was assigned to the 1st Aust. Commonwealth Horse (Qld) with service number 875.5,6,7 On 7 January 1902 he was a drover . This was his listed occupation when enlisting for his second Boer War tour of duty.8
between 5 October 1914 and 25 July 1915 when aged 37-38 he served in World War I in the AIF, 1st Battalion, C Company. His service number was 1111. He attained the rank of Private. His unit embarked from Sydney, NSW on the Transport (A19) "Afric" on 18 October 1914. In a letter to his sister dated 23 March 1915, he advised that he was based in Egypt awaiting the 1st Battalion's posting to an active location and then on 25 April 1915 he was at the Gallipoli landing where he was wounded with a bullet to the chest. A Court of Enquiry about his wounding was held in Mustapha, Egypt. He was admitted to the No. 17 General Hospital GSW Chest facility at Alexandria on 30 April and then on 12 May was transferred to the Convalescent Camp at Mustapha from which he was discharged for return to Australia on 3 July. He departed two days later per the Hospital ship MT "Ballarat" leaving from Suez. His medical report of 26 September 1915 noted that he had reported pain in his back "if he makes mis-steps". It also found that he should be given two months leave at a Convalescent Depot and should then report back to the board. He was awarded the Memorial Scroll (No 597086); the 1914/15 Star (No 786); the British War Medal (No 1311) and the Victory Medal (No 1316) all of which were forwarded to his sister Mary 'Minnie' Hudson.9,10,11,12,13
On 8 October 1914 George resided in Nymagee, NSW.14 In October 1914 he was a stockman . He gave this as his occupation when enlisting for the First World War.14 In October 1914 he was described as 5ft 1in tall; weighing 158lb (11st 4lb); Chest range 36in to 38½in; medium complexion with blue eyes and dark hair. He apparently had dental problems as he was referred to a dentist .15
he died (aged 38) on 5 November 1915 at Scott Memorial Hospital in Scone, NSW. The cause was an ulcerous stomach, rupture of same with general peritonitis (Operation) with a length of illness of 4 Days. This condition is believed to have arisen from his war injuries.4,9,16,17,18,19 He was buried on 6 November 1915 in the Catholic Cemetery, New England Hwy, Row Mn Plot 13 in Scone. George's name is located on panel 30 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.4,9,18,20,21
He never married but apparently had a fiancee in Moree as noted in the Scone Advocate report of his funeral. Who she was is not known. It is believed he had some land in Moree and was on the train going to it when he died.19,22
A transcript of the report about George's death and funeral in the Scone Advocate of Tuesday 9th November 1915 can be seen at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~owenjones/biogind/owen/owen_george_0110-01.html.
John Owen (Jnr) advises that Frank and Jean Owen (nee Collis) had a photo of him under her house at Hurstville when he was a child. He saw it but at that time didn't know who it was. He did not approached her about it but spoke to her daughter Frances. She has no knowledge of the photo and assured him that it is no longer in the family's possession as she is the one who now controls the Hurstville house and she would know if such a photo was around. Frances' sister Margarette confirms also seeing the photo as a child but is unsure what happened to it. George's niece, Sylvia Newton (nee Owen) also commented about the photo being under the house and was very annoyed that it was treated that way.22,23