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eMedals-Canada. A Medal Pair, 86th Machine Gun Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Brigade

Item: C5133

Canada. A Medal Pair, 86th Machine Gun Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Brigade



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Canada. A Medal Pair, 86th Machine Gun Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Brigade

British War Medal (174652 PTE. J. OWEN. C.M.G. BDE.); and Victory Medal (174652 PTE. J. OWEN. C.M.G. BDE.). Naming is officially impressed. Dark patina on the BWM, light contact on both, glue residue on the original ribbons from previous board mounting, better than very fine.

Footnote: James Owen was born on April 27, 1885 in Bolton, Lancashire, England, later immigrating to Canada. He signed his Attestation Paper as a Private (174652) with the 86th Machine Gun Battalion, on September 10, 1915 in Hamilton, Ontario, at the age of 30, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Mary Owen of Hamilton, stating that he was with an Active Militia, that he was Married, that his religion was Church of England and that his trade was that of Jam Boiler. He embarked Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Adriatic, on May 19, 1916, arriving in Liverpool, England on the 29th. He was serving with the 86th Machine Gun Battalion when he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Shorncliffe on October 27, 1916, with a case of "V.D.G." (venereal disease, gonorrhea). After nine days at Shorncliffe, he was transferred to Crowborough on November 5th, where he would be treated for the next two months, before discharged to duty on January 5, 1917. This would be the first of what would prove to be five periods of hospitalization that he would incur, totalling 208 days in hospital (almost 30 weeks) over the span of two years. Two months later, he returned to Crowborough, on March 2, 1917, with a case of "Piles" (AKA Haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus and rectum), beginning another two month odyssey in hospital. He was then transferred to the General Hospital at Tunbridge Wells on March 4th, followed by a transfer to Broomlands on March 24th, where he would seek additional treatment, before being discharged to duty on April 5th. Two weeks after his discharge from hospital, Private Owen left for overseas service in the French theatre, arriving at the Canadian Machine Gun Pool at Camiers on April 20, 1917. His health would continue to be an issue, as he sought hospitalization two months later, admitted to No. 1 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples on June 17, 1917. He had developed a case of "Synovitis severe" in his left knee (a condition where the synovial membrane, which lines and lubricates the knee joint, becomes inflamed).

He was invalided "sick" to England and posted to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Crowborough on June 23rd and subsequently admitted to 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff. After two and a half weeks' treatment in Cardiff, he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom on July 10th, a stay that would entail an additional five and a half weeks hospitalization, before being discharged to duty August 18th. Six months would go by before Private Owen would seek treatment for a malady again, this time admitted to No. 14 Canadian General Hospital at Eastbourne, Sussex on February 25, 1918, with "I.C.T." (inflammation of the connecting tissue) of the right knee, the doctor describing it as "Erysipelas" (an acute infection typically with a skin rash, usually on any of the legs and toes, face, arms, and fingers. It is an infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics, usually caused by beta-hemolytic group A Streptococcus bacteria on scratches or otherwise infected areas). Owen stated that he had been "kicked on the ankle while playing football". Two days after sustaining the injury, his leg became swollen, mostly around the knee, necessitating a one month stay in hospital, before being discharged to duty March 25th. Private Owen was deemed fit to return overseas in the French theatre, where he was taken on strength of the Canadian Corps in France on April 11, 1918. By the Fall, he was admitted to hospital once again, this time to No. 7 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples on October 8, 1918 with an "infected right knee". After one week, he was transferred for two days to No. 6 Convalescence Depot at Etaples on October 15th, followed by a transfer to No. 5 Convalescence Depot at Cayeux on October 17th, where he would recuperate for another three and a half weeks, before being discharged to duty on November 11th. He was attached to the Canadian Concentration Camp, Kinmel Park, Rhyl, North Wales for return to Canada on February 11, 1919 and struck off strength of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada on February 22nd. He embarked Liverpool aboard His Majesty's Transport Belgic on February 23rd, arriving in Halifax on March 2nd. Upon return to Hamilton, he was posted to the Casualty Company at No. 2 District Depot. Private James Owen, 86th Machine Gun Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Brigade was discharged upon demobilization at No. 2 District Depot in Hamilton, on March 29, 1919, credited with having served in Canada, England and France, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, Class "A", number 156375. For his First World War service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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