Corporal Reginald Owen

Corporal Reginald William John Owen


Unit : No.2 Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 2nd Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment

Army No. : 4922225

Awards : Mentioned in Despatches


Corporal Owen served with the 2nd South Staffords throughout their experience as an Airborne unit and participated in all the actions in which they were involved during the War. At Arnhem, he commanded a Section in No.2 Mortar Platoon. For his actions here, he was originally recommended for the Military Medal, but this was later downgraded to Mentioned in Despatches. His citation reads:


This NCO was in command of two detachments of Mortars at Oosterbeek church from the 21st to 25th September. During this period the area was under continual mortar and shell fire. Corporal Owen from first to last kept his mortars in action when all other mortars in the area had been put out of action. Many times Corporal Owen had to crawl to exposed positions to suitable observation posts - in these positions he was continually under the strongest of small arms fire. Through Corporal Owen's own initiative many small enemy attacks were broken up by mortar fire before they were able to come into contact with our own troops. His manner throughout the whole of the four days was cool and efficient and despite the appalling conditions he remained cheerful and unshaken and it is entirely due to his courage and perseverance that the mortars were able to remain in action.


Owen was evacuated across the Rhine when the 1st Airborne Division withdrew on the 25th / 26th September 1944. Having earned a field promotion to Lance-Sergeant on the 19th September, he accompanied the South Staffords to Norway in May 1945. 


Reginald Owen died on the 23rd October 1988.


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