Powell, Horace Illes

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Horace Illes Powell

13813, Private, 4th Coldstream Guards
Killed in action, 30 March 1916, aged 25
Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium

CWGC registered (no family details)

Horace Illes Powell is neither recorded on the Llandudno Roll of Honour, nor on the Llandudno War Memorial, nor on the tablets in the Memorial Chapel at Holy Trinity Church. This may have been an oversight. Horace’s father, Henry Powell, had died in 1915 and though Horace’s mother was still alive (in August 1919 she received Horace’s war gratuity), the local press reported that letters of condolence had been received by Horace’s elder brother William who, until comparatively recently, had lived on the West Shore. This newspaper report implies that William had moved and does not even mention the brothers’ mother. Perhaps by the time the Llandudno list of the fallen was compiled, the family had simply moved on.

Horace Illes Powell was born in Llandudno on 6 August 1890. He was the son of Henry Seth Powell and Mary A Powell (née Osborne). The Census for Wales of 1891 records the family living at 10 Nevill Terrace, Henry Powell being a gas fitter. In October 1895, Horace was admitted to St. George’s National School. In 1901, the family still lived at Nevill Crescent; Horace (10), had two older brothers recorded: William (18), George (14); a younger brother Thomas (7); and two sisters: Dorris and Jane. Horace left school in February 1906 and by 1911 was working in Nottingham as a draper’s assistant.

In November 1914, Horace enlisted at Hull into the Coldstream Guards. His regimental number was 13813. At Caterham, he joined the 4th (Reserve) Battalion that had formed at Windsor in August 1914. The bulk of the battalion, 80% being new recruits, was designated as the Pioneer Battalion in July 1915. The Pioneer Battalion was renamed as the 4th Battalion (Pioneers), sailing from Southampton to Le Havre on 15 August 1915.

On 30 March 1916, the battalion was at Brandhoek near Ypres. According to the war diary, Horace’s platoon was employed carrying stores as heavy shelling prevented any manual work. Another account states that the platoon was employed repairing a trench. In any event, Horace was hit by a shell and died instantly aged 25. He is buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery.

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