Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: OWEN-THOMAS, David (Senior)

Birth Date: 22 Feb 1870 Wales

Death Date: 27 Jan 1945 Durban

First Date: 1910

Profession: Saw Doctor by profession established Londiani Saw Mills & Timsales in Nairobi. Later started the Owen-Thomas transport business in Mombasa. Sadler St, Nbi. 1930 - Mombasa

Area: Londiani, Nairobi, Mombasa

Married: In Haverfordwest 1898 Elizabeth Griffiths b. 11 Apr 1876 Fishguard, d. 28 Mar 1935 Mombasa

Children: Glendower (1900 S. Afric); David (11 July 1909 S. Africa-1964); Morgan Danford (22 Aug 1911); Neville Humphrey (18 May 1916 Nairobi-1986); Melville Hobart (18 Oct 1918 Nairobi); Mona Loraine (11 Sep 1914 Nairobi-1981); Hannah

Book Reference: EAWL, HBEA, Red 25, Leader14, Gazette, KAD, Red 22 and 31

General Information:

He left Pembrokeshire & went out to SA before the Boer War. Returned with his bride to SA in November 1898. A newspaper cutting of the wedding states the groom's present to the bride was £2500 worth of shares in a gold mine! They had 7 children in S. Africa. The eldest Glendower & youngest David survived, the other 5 died in infancy. Making and losing several fortunes in his life time David & Elizabeth came to Kenya in 1910 & went to Londiani where, as a saw doctor by profession, he opened the Londiani Saw Mills and subsequently Timsales in Nairobi near the station eventually coming to live in Nairobi. Supplied sleepers for the Magadi Railway among other things. Son Morgan was born in a railway carriage they were living in at Magadi. Seems to have gone into partnership with Dalgety's? and lost the business to them? He then went to Mombasa and started the Owen-Thomas Transport Co.
His sons David & Morgan drove lorries for him and Elizabeth did the paper work. He manned the office in his house as he had some incapacity with an arm and his health. Tragically in 1935 Elizabeth left a lorry and walked between two railway carriages towards the sheds not realizing they were being shunted & she was caught between the trucks & crushed dying a few hours later in hospital. Requisition in WW2 closed down the business. Restarted after the war & gaining an Army and Naval contract did very well with a fleet of ex-Army lorries & godowns at Shimanzi.. He finally retired to live in Durban and remarried.   Source: Mrs D. Owen-Thomas
Leader14 - Col. Owen-Thomas - Gazi, Mombasa
Gazette 19/6/1918 - Dissolution of Partnership between Samuel Morson, Thomas Jarman Morson and David Owen Thomas carrying on business as saw-millers, merchants and contractors at Nairobi and elsewhere under the style or firm of the BEA Saw Mills dissolved by mutual consent. David Owen Thomas retires from the firm and the remaining partners continue the business.
HBEA 1912 has a Col. Owen Thomas.
Red 25 has D. Owen Thomas, Anderson Road, Nairobi
Gazette - 4/12/1918 - Notice is hereby given that Messrs D Owen-Thomas & Sons of Nairobi have acquired the Londiani Saw Mills from Mr J A Sannum and the Cedar Mill at Londiani from Messrs J A Sannum and W H Macleod as from 1 October 1918
Red 22 - D. Owen Thomas, Sadler St., Nairobi

Back to search results