The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912. 1,514 people died but only 333 bodies were recovered from the water. One body that was found was that of 17 year old Windsor resident Owen George Allum. He had lived at Gerald Villas, Vansittart Road, Windsor, and worked at the Windsor General Post Office as a telegraph boy. He had boarded at Southampton with a third class ticket.
Owen George Allum was buried at Clewer on Wednesday 22nd May 1912.
“The old churchyard of Clewer has witnessed many strange and touching scenes during the long roll of centuries that is has borne the designation of “God’s Acre”, still, perhaps never one so unusual or pathetic as that which occurred on Wednesday, when the ocean-laved remains of a Clewer laddie, rescued from the surging billows of the Atlantic, were laid to rest in that quiet and peaceful burial ground. Owen George Allum was 17 years old and was a Clewer St. Stephen Old Boy. His was one of the bodies afterwards recovered by the SS Mackay Bennett and taken ashore where his father, who had awaited a living son, could only identify and claim his dead body. The steamship company offered to convey the remains back to England. Mr. Allum therefore decided to leave his position in the States and accompany his son’s body back to Clewer, so that it might rest beside that of a little sister. The beautiful burial service was impressively read by the Reverend G. Budibent (Curate at Clewer) and the solemnity of the scene was further increased by the felt stillness of the hundreds of people surrounding.”
Windsor, Eton & Slough Express – May 25, 1912
Owen’s body was brought back to England on board the Arabic on 17 May 1912.
100 years after the tragic sinking of the great passenger liner Owen George Allum’s grave can be found in Clewer Churchyard at the end of church. Look for a medium sized square edged white cross on the right close to the boatyard wall. The inscription reads “Here Rest In Christ
Owen George Allum
Shipwrecked on the Titanic and Drowned At Sea
April 14th, 1912, Aged 17 years.
Nearer My God To Thee”
The American Red Cross Emergency and Relief Fund gave Mr Allum $200 for the funeral expenses assciated with bringing his body back to Windsor. In March 1913 the Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund also granted £20 to Owen’s parents.
His father, William Allum (b.1865 Bray, Berkshire) had been a gardener who had married Clara Alice Eggleton (b.1867 Jersey, Channel Islands) at Wokingham in 1888. Local tradition says that William was in America because he was seeking a new life for himself as the marriage had already broken down. His son was coming to join him when the disaster happened and so Mrs Allum blamed her estranged husband for the loss of their son. The gossip of the time was that the couple had refused to speak to each other at the funeral.