Owen Basil Aldis

Date of Birth:                  1894.Poppies
Place of Birth:                Southampton.
Date of Marriage:         1917.
Place of Marriage         Southampton
Rank/Rating                  Second Engineer
Division.                          Mercantile Marine.
Died:                                 16th March 1918.
Death Location             At sea.

Life Before The War


Owen in his uniform.

Owen  was born in Southampton in 1894, his parents were James Edward Ernest and Ada Gertrude. James was born in 1871 in Norwich Norfolk and Ada(nee Bennett) was also born in 1871 in Southampton. James and Ada were married in April 1892 in Southampton.

Owen’s grandfather James Edmund was also an engineer  he died on 14th June 1903, he was living at 19 Bugle Street, Southampton, he died in Boscombe Hospital. Bournemouth. His probate was on 29th June 1903 for Owen’s father who inherited £144.

Owen started working for the London and South Western Railway in Southampton Docks on 18th November 1908, he is recorded as  earning 5 shillings.

In the 1901 census the family consisting of  James Edward, Ada Gertrude with children Basil (Owen), Reginald and Cecil they were living at 21 Stafford Road. Shirley Southampton, James was working as a mechanical engineer. Also living at the address were Ada’s mother Elisabeth Bennett age 56 and Ada’s brother  William b1875 and his wife Matilda b1879 and their 2 children William b 1900 and John b1901, William was working as a house decorator.

Owen also had a brother named Owen Basil who was born in October 1881 but he died in October 1884.

In the census of 1911 Owen was working as an marine engineer apprentice, he had 3 brothers  Reginald Fred  born in 1884 also a marine engineers apprentice, Cecil Edmond born in 1901 d 1971 in Croydon and 1 sister Dorothy born in 1907, his father James was working as a foreman engineer on the dock railway, the family were living at “Heimath”  17 Malmesbury Road. Southampton.

His father died in Teddington in 1962 and his mother also died in Teddington in 1959.

Owen married Sybil Gwendoline (Nee Harbutt), in 1917  in Southampton. Sybil was born  13th  December 1896.   They had one daughter Gwendoline who was born in  1918. Owen died 16th March 1918.

Owen’s daughter Gwendoline married Ronald Bushrod in 1938 he was born on 13th June 1914, he died in June 1990 in Poole. Dorset.

Probate was issued for Owen on 15th July 1918 in Winchester to his wife – Sybil Gwendoline Aldis  £329.14s, the address is given as 244 Malmesbury Road.Southampton.

Following Owen’s death Sybil  remarried  William Charles  Hibdige  in 1919 in Southampton.  William was born in 7th November 1896,His father was the Public House Keeper of the White Hart Shirley High Street. Southampton.

Sybil and William  lived at “Fernlea. Millbrook Southampton, she is recorded as being a housewife. On July 23rd 1948 Sybil traveled to New York on the Cunard Queen Mary, she returned to England on 19th August 1948 travelling on the Queen Mary. Sybil also travelled on the Queen Mary to New York in June 1951  returning on July 1951.

William died in the New Forest district December 1971 and Sybil died  October 1984 in the New Forest  district.

Service History

Owen served in the Mercantile Marine as Second Engineer on the S.S. South Western (Southampton) . The S.S.South Western was hit by a torpedo from an  enemy submarine on the 16th March 1918. 24 lives were lost including Owen, with 6 survivors, only 4 people were passengers. The S.S. South Western was traveling from Southampton to Saint Malo with general cargo,  it was sunk by a German submarine UB 59  9 miles off St Catherines Point. Isle of Wight.

Owen is remembered at the Tower Hill Memorial.

Owen was entitled to the Mercantile  Marine Medal.

Tower Hill Memorial

S.S.South Western

S.S.South Western




Researched by Brenda White, May 2014, with a photograph kindly donated by Owen’s daughter.

N.B. Please be aware that permission needs to be requested from the family before copying Owen’s photograph.

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