|Arthur Allen Owen was born around 1842 at Bilston, Staffordshire, England the son Joseph B. Owen a member of the clergy and
his wife Louisa. Educated at St. Paul’s School at London the younger Owen attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst
before purchasing an ensignship with the 88th Regiment of Foot in May, 1859.
Lieutenant by Purchase – 13 November 1860
Instructor of Musketry – 5 July, 1864
Resigns Instructor Appointment - 1 May, 1865
Captain by Purchase – 15 September, 1869
Major – 9 June, 1877
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel – 28th November, 1878
Retires on pension – 12 February, 1881
Appointed Gentleman at Arms to the Queen – 3 March, 1885
Awarded the Order of Mercy – 1 October, 1901
Owen’s served with the 88th Foot under General Sir Arthur Cunynghame in South Africa during the Ninth Cape Frontier War
(1877-78). During the war he served as Acting Assistant Adjutant-General of the Transkei Field Force and commanded the Right
Column in the Transkei. Owen wrote several dispatches that appeared in the London Gazette (February 1878) and was apparently
invalided home sometime around the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu War in early 1879. The 1877-79 South Africa Medal Roll for the
88th Foot (compiled in Mooltan in 22 January, 1881) shows Owen’s entitlement to that medal with the “1877-79” clasp and lists
him as having been invalided.
Arthur Allen Owen married Miss Janet Sophia Servis not long after his return from the Cape on 13 May, 1879 at St Luke’s Parish
Church in Chelsea, Middlesex. Owen and his wife had no known children and he passed away at his home of Polesdon Datchet,
Buckinghamshire on 29 April, 1917.
As shown in the above service outline Owen continued to receive royal patronage for the rest of his life. In this photograph dated
1911 Owen is shown wearing his medal group which included The Royal Victorian Order, the 1887 Jubilee Medal (with 1897 bar),
the 1902 Coronation Medal, the 1911 Coronation Medal, the 1877-79 South Africa Medal (with “1877-79” clasp) and the League
of Mercy Medal. Owen’s medal group sold at auction in 2003 for £2,056. Owen is wearing the uniform of the Gentlemen at Arms
(the helmet of the corps rest on the table) and if the date of 1911 and the photograph are contemporary then one may assume that
he still held this post under George V.
9 Inches by 7 Inches
(23cm x 18cm)
Elliott & Fry, Ltd. - Photographer
55 Baker Street, W., London, England
|Left: The inscription on the reverse of the photograph
identifying Arthur Allen Owen.