POWELL, Albert

No.235059, Private, Albert POWELL
Aged 24

5th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment)
formerly No. 155366, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 31st July 1917

The man on the memorial is attributed to the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, but the only KRR man possible was Samuel William POWELL on the Prickwillow. memorial. This Albert Powell does however fit all military data, BUT there are two possible civilians, one born in 1893, one in 1895. The man below seems to be the most likely, and this is borne out by the Bury Free Press report of his death

Albert Powell was born in 1893 (Mildenhall Q1-1893 4A:807), son of Isaac and Emma POWELL (née ASHMAN).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was at Fen Bank, West Row with his father Isaac POWELL [44] farm labourer; his mother Emma [42]; brothers Samuel Charles [19] and Isaac [15] both farm labourers, Arthur [10] and Russell [4]; sisters Belinda [14], Phoebe [12] and Mary [7]. They were all born in Mildenhall.

1911 census...Aged 17, a farm labourer, he was at Kenny Hill with his parents, brothers Arthur and Russell and a boarder Robert POWELL [49] who may well be his uncle. All the men were farm labourers

It seems his father died in 1914. There was an elder sister Clara who married Ernest PAYNE.

In 1916 Albert married Ada PAYNE [6-8-1891]. Originally at New Lodge Farm, Cupola, Lakenheath, she moved to Kenny Hill.

His elder brother Arthur died in 1916 in UK, and is buried in Beck Row :- see here

his brother in law Ernest Payne died in France in 1917 :- see here

Enlisted in Mildenhall.
His battalion that day (1st day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres) were fighting just north of the current A19 motorway, just before it's junction with the N38.

Their war diary says :-
Potijze Sector 31/7/1917 "Z" Day-. Battalion attacked at 3:50 am. Casualties OR wounded 105, k/a 26 missing 45.

The 6th Battalion fighting alongside them has a fuller story, but basically they were disputing the ground just north of the current A19 motorway , east of Ypres, just before its junction with the N38. The 1st/5th had 45 killed that day according to CWGC, only two identified graves. The regiment as a whole suffered close to 500 killed in the Ypres salient that day.

The Bury Free Press of 25th August 1917 reported:-

The deepest sympathy is felt for Mrs. Powell, New Lodge Farm, Lakenheath and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Powell, Kenny Hill, Mildenhall, in the loss they have sustained in the death of Rifleman Albert Powell 235059, the King's Liverpool Regiment, who has been killed on France. This is the second son the parents have been bereaved of during the war, as their son, Prvt Arthur Powell died of wounds last year in England. This fresh sorrow takes from the parents their fourth son, who was 25 years of age, and was married last Christmas.The young widow received the news in a letter which reads as follows:-
"Dear Mrs. Powell- It is with the greatest sorrow that I have to inform you of the death of your husband, who was killed in this last big push in part of Ypres. I am sorry I cannot tell you where he is buried, as we left before the burials took place. Your husband, I may say, was killed by shell fire and died on the field of honour. I hope you will allow me to sympathise with you in your great loss, and assure you that the loss is also much felt among his friends in this Company.- Yours sincerely, S.K.Mellor, Commanding Officer A Company."

family stone in Beck Row Methodist Church graveyard
which stone has been moved with others to the boundary behind the church

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Albert Powell is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres panels 4 and 6
and on the war memorial in Mildenhall.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details