The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Owen John Jones

JONES, Owen John

Owen John Jones was born in September 1870 in Holyhead to Richard Jones and Elizabeth Roberts, who had married the previous December. Richard was a Mariner, his father a Master Mariner, according to the church marriage record, and was seventeen years older than Elizabeth. In the 1871 census they were living at 7 Forge Hill Street in Holyhead. The family cannot be found in the 1881 census, but based on the 1891 and 1911 censuses it appears that there were five children, two boys and two girls who lived, and one other who died young. Elizabeth was a widow in 1891, Richard having died in 1888, the year the last girl, Margaret, was born.

In 1891 the family were living at 2 Stanley Row, Holyhead and Elizabeth gave her occupation as ‘Washerwoman’ and Owen John was then a Lodger with a family called Salisbury in Llanbeblig near Carnarvon. His occupation was ‘Grocer’s Assistant.’ In January 1897 he married Margaret Ellen Stanley in Bangor Cathedral. Her father was a printer, while Owen John gave his occupation as ‘Grocer’. They lived in Dean Street in Bangor where in October 1897 twins were born, Gwladys Mary and Gwynedd, and on their birth certificates Owen John’s occupation was given as ‘Grocer’s Assistant’.

He first appeared on the crew lists of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company in 1899 when he was working as Third Steward on RMS Ulster. In the 1901 census Owen John was on board RMS Munster in Holyhead as Third Steward while Margaret Ellen was in Park Street with the twins. A third child, Lilian Stanley, was born in 1903 and by then they had moved to Tower Gardens. In February 1910 Margaret Ellen died aged just thirty-nine. In the following year’s census, the twins were in Tower Gardens with a Margaret Jones, given as ‘Housekeeper’ but likely to have been Owen John’s younger sister. Lilian, then aged eight, was with her grandmother in Stanley row, while Owen John himself has not been located. In 1915 he joined the St Cybi’s Lodge of the Freemasons, along with another Steward. He remarried at some stage during this period but his second wife has not been identified, only giving the initials G.S. on a newspaper In Memoriam in 1919.

In 1918 Owen John was working as Second Steward on RMS Leinster. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and a death certificate was issued in Dublin. He is buried in Maeshyfryd cemetery in Holyhead. He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and the British War Medal. The twin girls, then aged twenty-one, sent their In Memoriam notice in 1919 from Kingstown, but they were living later in Holyhead.

Elizabeth Jones née Roberts died at 2 Stanley Row, Holyhead in 1937 aged ninety years.



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