Fred Owen

By  •  October 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm  •  0 Comments

Fred Owen was a relative veteran of 37 when he signed up in 1915 with the 5th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment – the Green Howards otherwise known as Alexandra, the Princess of Wales’s Own.

He saw action on the Somme and at the Arras offensive before being killed in action during the Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as Passchendaele, on October 28th 1917. His unit was defending the railway line near Poalcapelle and he is buried in the nearby military cemetery.

The Germans along the Ypres Salient had been reinforced by hardened men from the Eastern Front via the railway and utilised mustard gas against the British in the sector. It was a costly battle which the Allies eventually won after losing 310,000 men and the enemy, 260,000.

Fred, a warehouseman, left a widow, Nellie, at the family home in Longsight, Manchester, with whom he had a son, James Arthur, named after his uncle who was killed in 1915 after joining up the previous year in the Manchester Regiment.

His grand-daughter Catherine Crosby, was the only daughter of Arthur and his wife Flo, and now lives in Pitminster. She moved from Bramhall, Cheshire, to Taunton after marrying GP John Crosby who became a partner in the Parkfield, later Comeytrowe, Surgery.

Fred’s headstone in Flanders is marked with the dedication ‘His Father Called’ at the request of his widow. He is also remembered in the list of the fallen in St Chrysostom’s Church, in Rusholme, Manchester.

Fred Owen Grandfather of Catherine Crosby.




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About the Author:

The residents of Pitminster Parish have created an exhibition of World War One at the ‘Lamb and Flag’ from Friday Sept 26th to Sunday Oct 5th 2014 based on the articles and artefacts received from people who live in the villages of the Parish. Leading up to the exhibition there have been events and activities based in and around the villages marking the Centenary. This website and its content are from that exhibition along with additional material during the lifetime of this website.


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