Tuesday, 30 August 2016


The following comment on Pauline Conolly's Blog is a fascinating insight into the background of Charles Owen, Chief Officer, Waratah.

Courtesy: Pauline Conolly's SS Waratah - Australia's 'Titanic'.
Hi Pauline,
My name is Peter Somerset Marks! My Great Aunt, Lillian Owen nee Somerset,b 1882 in Brisbane d 1926 in Southport, was the widow of Charles Owen, Chief Officer on the SS Waratah. She was the younger sister of my grandmother, Dora Marks nee Somerset.
Lillian had emigrated from Australia to South Africa in 1904 with her parents and three of her eight siblings. Her mother had died in January 1905 in Johannesburg, and she had departed Capetown bound for England in late December 1906 on board the ‘Miltiades.’ Lillie must have been many years Charles’ junior. They married almost immediately she arrived in England. They married sometime in January 1907 at the Church of St John the Baptist, Leytonstone, Essex, England.
Lillie and Charles had a daughter, Lillian Audrey Enid Owen, who was born on 6 April, 1908 in Leytonstone, Essex, England. On 3 March 1910, Judge Roberts of the Swansea County Court compensated both Lillie and Audrey for the loss of their husband and father (182 pounds for Lillian and 90 pounds for Audrey). On 6 April, 1910 Lillie and Audrey sailed for Australia. They settled just outside Rockhampton with Lillie’s widowed father, Henry St John Somerset. In about 1915 they moved to Southport, QLD. Lillie died an untimely death in 1926 and Audrey married Herbert Lloyd Salisbury Baxendale in October 1926. They spent many years in Canada and also in the UK. Audrey died in 1998 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Christopher Guy Beaufort Salisbury Griffin, Audrey’s grandson still lives in British Columbia.
If you have any further details about Charles Owen and his early life and career I should be grateful. I especially would appreciate knowing how Lillian met Charles.
Yes, the story of the loss of the SS Waratah is exceptionally tragic.
Thanking you,
Peter Somerset Marks
Perhaps a reader is able to supply Mr Marks with the information he seeks.

No comments: