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The Military

Over the last 150 years Folkestone and district has been a very fashionable place to visit attracting many well connected people - as well as being the place where many senior military figures retired when they left service. As we discover significant military memorials or plots we will add them to these pages.

General William George Owen

William George OWEN (1817-1895) was the first born to William OWEN and Elizabeth Ann BREWER, born 5th May 1817 and baptised at St Mary's Church, Newington, Borough of Southwark, Central London. Nothing is known of William's early life until in 1834 at 17 years of age he applied for a Cadetship with the British East India Company Armies. William was successful in his application because the next record of him is listed as a Junior Commissioned Officer; Lieutenant W.G.OWEN in the 11th Bengal Native Infantry, having trained at the East India Company Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey in what is now the London Borough of Croydon. After six years training at the Seminary, William left London with several of his Seminarians on the 14th April 1840 on the ship "Reliance" under Captain Robert Pattulio stopping in at Mauritius on the 19th July 1840. Over the next 18 years there were many skirmishes finally resulting in the Indian Rebellion or The First War of Independence taking place which was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful uprising in India in 1857-58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which had till then functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion saw the end of the British East India Company's rule in India. In August 1858, by the Government of India Act 1858, the company was formally dissolved and its ruling powers over India were transferred to the British Crown. By the end of the Rebellion, 11,000 Britons had died, 75 per cent from disease, while the number of Indian casualties remains unknown but numbered many thousands more. William survived the horrors of the conflict and quickly moved up the ranks and on the 31st December 1861 was promoted to Major in the British Indian Army for his skills and bravery as a dedicated professional soldier and his loyalty to the Crown. On the 19th December 1863, Major William George OWEN married Rose BIDDLE (1826-1910) in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. No children came from this marriage. William continued to progress through the ranks in the Army, and on the 18th February 1866 was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel on the 30th April 1878 with her Majesty's Madras Indian Infantry Forces. Four years later he was promoted to Major General. Sometime between 1874 and 1876, he was again promoted to the rank of General for quelling disturbances in Hill Tracts of Golconda 11 kilometres west of Hyderabad, Southern India. Golconda was important for the British because of the vast wealth in diamonds that were to be found there. In 1877, General William George Owen received an award for distinguished services in India. Soon after receiving his award, William retired from the army and he and Rose returned to England to live in Folkestone. William died on the 1st May 1895, and was buried three days later on the 4th May 1895 in the Old Folkestone Cemetery, Section 18, plot 839 Prepared by: Graham Snow – G G Nephew of General William George Owen Date: 30th September 2017
ABOUT THE MILITARY CONNECTION
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The Military

Over the last 150 years Folkestone and district has been a very fashionable place to visit attracting many well connected people - as well as being the place where many senior military figures retired when they left service. As we discover significant military memorials or plots we will add them to these pages.

General William George Owen

William George OWEN (1817-1895) was the first born to William OWEN and Elizabeth Ann BREWER, born 5th May 1817 and baptised at St Mary's Church, Newington, Borough of Southwark, Central London. Nothing is known of William's early life until in 1834 at 17 years of age he applied for a Cadetship with the British East India Company Armies. William was successful in his application because the next record of him is listed as a Junior Commissioned Officer; Lieutenant W.G.OWEN in the 11th Bengal Native Infantry, having trained at the East India Company Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey in what is now the London Borough of Croydon. After six years training at the Seminary, William left London with several of his Seminarians on the 14th April 1840 on the ship "Reliance" under Captain Robert Pattulio stopping in at Mauritius on the 19th July 1840. Over the next 18 years there were many skirmishes finally resulting in the Indian Rebellion or The First War of Independence taking place which was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful uprising in India in 1857-58 against the rule of the British East India Company, which had till then functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The rebellion saw the end of the British East India Company's rule in India. In August 1858, by the Government of India Act 1858, the company was formally dissolved and its ruling powers over India were transferred to the British Crown. By the end of the Rebellion, 11,000 Britons had died, 75 per cent from disease, while the number of Indian casualties remains unknown but numbered many thousands more. William survived the horrors of the conflict and quickly moved up the ranks and on the 31st December 1861 was promoted to Major in the British Indian Army for his skills and bravery as a dedicated professional soldier and his loyalty to the Crown. On the 19th December 1863, Major William George OWEN married Rose BIDDLE (1826-1910) in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. No children came from this marriage. William continued to progress through the ranks in the Army, and on the 18th February 1866 was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel on the 30th April 1878 with her Majesty's Madras Indian Infantry Forces. Four years later he was promoted to Major General. Sometime between 1874 and 1876, he was again promoted to the rank of General for quelling disturbances in Hill Tracts of Golconda 11 kilometres west of Hyderabad, Southern India. Golconda was important for the British because of the vast wealth in diamonds that were to be found there. In 1877, General William George Owen received an award for distinguished services in India. Soon after receiving his award, William retired from the army and he and Rose returned to England to live in Folkestone. William died on the 1st May 1895, and was buried three days later on the 4th May 1895 in the Old Folkestone Cemetery, Section 18, plot 839 Prepared by: Graham Snow – G G Nephew of General William George Owen Date: 30th September 2017
ABOUT THE MILITARY CONNECTION