Owen Apps

1894-1915

Owen Apps, a great uncle on my mother's side of my family, was killed on 29 April 1915, at Ypres, Belgium. He was 20 years old.

My grandmother, Gertrude Muriel Apps, was one of Owen's sisters. He had two others, one of whom died in infancy. 

Owen as a young child

 

In costume for a school play

Owen enlisted in Woolwich, London, in October 1914. He arrived in France on 14 April 1915 and was killed just 15 days later. His service record appears to be one of the many destroyed by bombing during World War II, so few details survive. However, he is remembered in ‘Roll of Honour’, a book published by subscription at the end of World War I, to commemorate soldiers who had died.

Apps, Owen William, Private No. G5758 1st bn (31st foot) The East Surrey Regiment.

Only son of the late John William Apps, accountant to Chapple and Mantell’s jewellers, Strand WC, by his wife Martha (now widow of the late Charles Williams Manley) of 32, Brownhill Rd, Catford, daughter of John Francis.

Born Catford S.E. 11 June 1894. Educated Brownhill Rd Higher Grade School. Enlisted 23 October 1914. Served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. Killed in Action 29 April 1915.

Buried behind Chester Farm, near Ypres Canal. A sergeant of his platoon wrote ‘his platoon had just been ordered to relieve another in the fire trench, but as it was being bombarded, it was deemed advisable to postpone the relief, and the men return to their dugouts; as Apps was entering one, he was killed by a snipers bullet’ and a comrade ‘I was unable to attend his funeral but I did manage to see his grave and I erected a wooden monument in his memory’.

Entry in 'Roll of Honour'

Postcard of Chester Farm Cemetery

The card is undated, but appears to be from the inter-war period.
A modern photograph of Owen's grave is available here.

 

After the war, Owen’s mother, Martha Manley (formerly Apps), 1870-1938, visited his grave. She returned with this photograph and a flower collected in his memory.