Lewis, Lieutenant Owen Gower

No 3 Sqn AFC

Owen Lewis was born in Armadale, Victoria, on 19 July 1896, and later moved to Elsternwick with his family. He was the older brother of Brian Lewis, author of Our War, an account of the Great War as seen by a young boy growing up in Melbourne. On 3 January 1916, Owen, a former Engineering Student, enlisted in the 10th Engineer Field Company in Melbourne. He departed Melbourne on HMAT A54 Runic on 20 June. By February 1917, after service in France, he had been promoted to Corporal, and in April he applied for transfer to the AFC for observer training. After graduation as an observer, he was commissioned in July, with promotion to Lieutenant coming in October. By August he had been posted to No 7 Sqn RFC on the Western Front, flying the RE 8 from Proven aerodrome. He was lightly wounded on 9 August while flying with 2Lt E V Gibson (also wounded) and then again on 14 August while flying with Lt N Sharples in A4734 on
an artillery observation mission, when he was hit in the chest, arm and thigh. He was then sent to hospital in England. After recovery he was posted to No 69 (Australian) Sqn in January 1918.

He was killed in an aircraft accident at Poulainville aerodrome on 12 April 1918 while flying in RE 8 B3435, flown by Lt G W Best, who was also killed. The aeroplane suffered an engine failure on take-off and crashed to the ground where it burst into flames.

Lt O G Lewis is buried in Grave I A 21 at Vignacourt British Cemetery, France.

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