25th Jul 1919. Death of Mr R P Powell

DEATH OF MR. R. P. POWELL.—Dr. Powell has received a cable announcing the death on July 19th, of his eldest son, Mr. Richard Bruce Powell, in Australia, from pneumonia following on influenza. Mr. Powell had only recently returned to Australia for demobilisation, having served in the Australian Forces since the commencement of the war. He went through the hardships of the Gallipoli expedition, was wounded, and for many months was a prisoner of war, and the privations he suffered doubtless undermined his constitution. His brother, Mr. John Powell, is on his way to Australia to be demobilised. Both brothers were farming in the Commonwealth, and when war broke out, only a few months after their arrival, promptly enlisted. The sympathy of the whole parish goes out to Dr. and Mrs. Powell in their sad loss.

DR AND MRS. POWELL gave, on Monday evening last, at the Village Hall, a most delightful entertainment to the returned soldiers and their wives. Tea and refreshments were served, and Mrs. Nelson Harness, Mrs. Martin, Miss Barnwell, Dr Powell, and Mrs. Charles Powell, sang capital songs. A number of the school girls, under the direction of Miss Byers and her staff, gave some charming tableaux, representing the various nations comprising the Allies, and concluding with a particularly beautiful picture of Peace. Mrs. Haselwood and Mrs. Martin gave appropriate music white the tableaux were being shown. All through the war Mrs. Powell has done much for the soldiers’ wives and children. From time to time they have met at her house, and this concluding gathering, when happily most of the husbands were able to be present, was a fitting and very much appreciated climax to the series.


MONS STAR.—Mr. J. Castle, who went out to France on September 11th, 1914, has received the Mons Star. He was wounded near Armentieres. He is still feeling the effects of the bad wound he received in the leg.

RECOGNITION OF SOLDIERS.—A meeting was held in the Church Room, on Friday evening. Mr. J. E. Wilkins was elected chairman. Mr. Alcock said it would be nice for each soldier to receive some little memento from the villagers to show their appreciation. It was unanimously resolved to present each soldier and sailor with a framed photograph of himself. A subscription list was started.


SIR,—I should like to express my deep regret, both as a member of the Church of England and also an inhabitant of Rugby, at the proposed memorial to be placed in the Parish Churchyard to the memory of our fallen soldiers and sailors. We worship not a dead Christ of the Cross, but a living Christ. By all means let us have a memorial to those brave men who have given their lives for their King and Country, but do not let it be one in direct opposition to the teaching of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.—Yours etc., M. E. HARDING.
28 Vicarage Road, Rugby.

SIR.—The questions asked by Mr. Halliwell in his letter to Mr. Morson that also appeared in your last issue respecting the proposed Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Institute as part of a war memorial, are extremely appropriate, and it is to be hoped they will receive an answer from the authorities, as it is most important that the scheme should be made quite clear on the points raised, especially the first. At the time of the armistice rejoicings I ventured to suggest through your columns the formation of a fund to be called “ The Common Good ” (possibly a better name could be found), and I now ask to be allowed to point out how that proposal will, I think, pass most of Mr. Halliwell’s test questions. It may be remembered that the idea was to entrust the sum raised to the Public Trustee for investment, the income to be paid to the Chairman of the Urban District Council to be expended as desired by the Council on any object that cannot be charged upon rates. Mr. Halliwell’s first question would be answered by the fact that the fund would exist as long as the nation itself, and the second that the disposal of the income would continue in the hands of the elected representatives of the town, who could (5) subscribe for membership of clubs or other institutions, or (6) assist the wives and families of soldiers or sailors who either have “ done their bit”— a big “ bit ” many of them—or (7) sacrificed their lives in the nation’s cause. The Council could also make some of the income “ available to the women who, equally with the men, have served their country in nursing and other work in the theatres of war.”
May I point out that so far as the literary side of the contemplated Institute is concerned it could be supplied by the Public Library and its possible branches ?—Yours, etc.
37 Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

SIR,—I see from a report in your current issue that St. Marie’s Roman Catholic congregation propose to erect a crucifix as their memorial inside the church, thus showing more wisdom than my fellow-Churchmen at St. Andrew’s Parish Church, who, according to an unreported meeting mentioned briefly in your paper, have asked their committee to submit designs, etc., to another meeting. Are they still prepared to offend Christian taste and not respect the views of others in this matter ! Of course, they are aware it is illegal—a breaking of the Second Commandment—an incentive to Superstition and Idolatry, described by their own Church as a “ lying image.” It must have the sanction of the top of the diocese, as only last month the Bishop of Liverpool vetoed the one about to be erected in St. Nicholas’ Parish Church, Liverpool.
Are they aware also that a Faculty has to be obtained, as one erected recently at Guildford will not be allowed to remain unless one is granted. Surely if these Church people must have a Pagan emblem in the shape of a cross or crucifix they need not emphasise the words of Scripture by “ putting an effigy of the Saviour upon it,” who bore the curse of those words : “ Cursed is everyone who hangeth on a tree.” God’s Word says of images, “ They that make them are like unto them and so is everyone that putteth his trust in them.”—Yours, etc.,
Rugby, July 21st, 1919.


BROWN.— In ever-loving memory of Corpl. Walter Joseph Brown, 1/4th Yorkshire Regt. School Street, Hillmorton, missing May 27th, 1918, now reported killed in France.
One year’s suspense we suffered,
No words from us can tell,
Of that sad day he went away,
And said his last farewell.
He fell at the post of duty,
His grave we know not where ;
But his ever-loving memory,
Shall be our daily prayer.

HART-DAVIES.—In memory of Lieut. I. B. Hart-Davies, killed in a flying accident, July 27th, 1917. Always remembered by his dear friend A. D. MILLER.

HART-DAVIES.—In memory of Lieut. Ivan Beauclerk Hart-Davies, RFC., killed in aeroplane mishap at Northolt, Middlesex, July 27th, 1917.—From Old Boys of 1st Rugby Troop B.P. Boy Scouts at home and abroad.

HEMMING.— In ever-loving memory of my dear husband Sergt. Charles Henry Hemming, who fell in action somewhere in France on July 24th, 1918.
“ He nobly did his duty and like a hero fell.”
Fondly remembered by his loving WIFE and CHILDREN.

SMITH.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. T. W. E. Smith, Royal Fusiliers, who was killed m action on July 21st, 1916.

SPENCER.—In loving memory of Sig. J. B. Spencer, jun., killed near Messines, July 22nd, 1917.
“ A noble son, true and kind,
A beautiful memory left behind.”

WAREING.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. Stanley Wareing, only son of Mr. and Mrs. James Wareing, Lilbourne Farm, killed in France July 23rd, 1916.
We often sit and think of you
And tenderly breathe your name ;
Nothing left of you to look at
But your photo in a frame.


NOTE: The report of Rugby’s Peace Celebrations published in this issue of the Rugby Advertiser will appear in a seperate post.

Powell, Horace. Died 25th Sep 1915

Horace POWELL was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire and his birth was registered in Shardlow at the end of 1895. His father, Henry, was born in about 1862, in Coventry and was a machine tool maker. His mother, Alice, was born two years later in Emscote, Warwick. The family appear to have moved around, indeed, Horace’s elder sister, Alice, was born in Germany in 1891, although his eldest sister was born in Coventry in 1885.

In 1901, Horace was only five years old, and the family were living in Coventry. By 1911, the family had moved to 106, Craven Road, Rugby and Horace, now 15, was working as a ‘turner in iron industry’ ‘engineering’.   It is assumed that he was already working at BTH, where he is known to have been working in the BTH Tool Room prior to enlisting.

He joined up as a rifleman, number Y/531, in the 9th Bn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

The 9th (Service) Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps was formed at Winchester in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. They moved to Aldershot, going on to Petworth in November and in February 1915 returned to Aldershot.

The 9th Bn. landed at Boulogne on 20 May 1915, although it seems that Horace did not arrive until slightly later, as his medal card showed that he arrived in France on 13 August 1915.

The Battalion had fought in the action at Hooge Crater, being in the first Division to be attacked by flamethrowers. ‘The loss of the Battalion in this short action was 17 officers and 333 other ranks. … The Battalion took no further part in any important fighting until the Battle of Loos on September 25th, where they again experienced very hard fighting, lost heavily, but won further credit for their gallant services.’[1]

On 25 September 1915, the 9th Bn. were in action in one of the main diversions for the Battle of Loos, the Second Attack on Bellevarde [see separate article in Rugby Remembers]. Bellevarde Farm was only about 500m north of Hooge. On this day, another eight Rugby men, from the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, were killed in action, with none having a known grave. The 9th Kings Royal Rifle Corps were in action to the left of the 5th Ox. and Bucks.

Before the date of his final action, Horace was promoted from Rifleman to acting Corporal, but was reported missing, presumed killed, on the first day of the attack on Bellevarde Farm, on 25 September 1915.

Horace was originally buried as an ‘unknown soldier’, probably near where he fell as the given Map Reference: 28.I.11.b.15.49. was near Railway Wood, some 500 yards north-west of Bellevarde Farm. His unnamed body was recovered after the war and he was identified by his ‘titles and boots, stmp. [stamped] 531’, and that part of his boot was ‘forwarded to base’.

 Powell - map-exhumation-railway

 Above: Map with 25 yard square I.11.b.15.45 (marked in green), locating the small cemetery. The site of Horace’s exhumation, 28.I.11.b.15.49, would be a few yards immediately north of the green square on the map, and thus probably part of that same small battlefield cemetery in the disused railway cutting.

The marked square on the trench map was the location of a small battlefield cemetery to the west of Railway Wood in the middle of the disused railway cutting – it is today the route of the N37 Zuiderring road from Ypres to Zonnebeke, near where it crosses Begijnenbosstraat.

Several soldiers were buried initially in this cemetery, including, notably, the alleged youngest casualty of WWI, the fourteen year old John Condon, who was killed on 24 May 1915, and who was reburied in Poelcapelle Cemetery, where his is the best known and most visited grave of any soldier who died in the Great War, although some researchers now suggests that Condon was actually 20 years old, and indeed it is argued that his body may have been misidentified and a completely different soldier, Patrick Fitzsimmons, who had the same number in another regiment, may well be buried there![2]

Horace Powell was also reburied in Poelcapelle British Cemetery, in Grave Reference: LIV. F. 7. This cemetery is located some ten miles north of Bellewaarde, and was built after the war, and many individual burials and the burials in several smaller cemeteries were concentrated into the Poelcapelle British Cemetery, which is located 10 Kms north-east of Ieper town centre on the Brugseweg (N313), a road connecting Ieper to Brugge in west-Vlaanderen.

Horace was awarded the British and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.

[1]       http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/library/Documents/archive/chaplin_krrc_extract.pdf

[2]       http://www.jackclegg3.webspace.virginmedia.com/Condonevidence.htm