Robert Haylock Owen was born on 7 January 1862 and when aged 24 years enlisted in the Colonial Military Forces during the early years of the Sudan War. At the outbreak of the First World War Robert Owen was appointed to the AIF on 31 August 1914. He was wounded at the Dardanelles in June 1915. He arrived home at Wollongong Station in late November 1915, where the Mayor Alderman Smith greeted him.
Herben, Carol, "Col. Robert Haylock Owen C.M.G.", Illawarra Historical Society Bulletin, March 2013, 16.