No.31822, Private, John POWELL
Aged 30

9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 25th May 1917

John Powell was born on 25th May 1887 (Mildenhall Q2-1887 4A:744), son of Robert and Harriet POWELL (née MOSS).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at 4 Holywell Row, with his father Robert POWELL [33] farm labourer; his mother Harriet [29] born Kentford; brothers William [7] and George H [1]; sister Emma [5]. All except his mother were born in Mildenhall.

He entered school at Beck Row in 1892.

1901 census...Aged 13, farm labourer, he was at Holywell Row with his parents; brothers William (farm labourer),George, Robert [9], Albert [5] and Walter [1]; sister Elvia [7]. The new siblings all recorded as Mildenhall born

In 1906 he married Elizabeth Ann SQUIRE [13-5-1889]

1911 census...Aged 23, a bricklayer's labourer, he was at Holywell Row with his wife Elizabeth [21] born Tuddenham and their son John [19-3-1911] recorded born in Mildenhall.

CWGC have Elizabeth's address as Church Lane, Mildenhall, the pension card has her at Holywell Row with 3 children, John [19-3-1911], Albert Ernest [3-7-1913] and Herbert ;[13-9-1916].

Albert, John, Robert and William Powell were brothers. A report in the Bury Free Press on 23rd June 1917 had:
"Mrs Powell, the wife of Prvt John Powell, Suffolk Regiment, has been officially notified he was killed in France on May 28th. He fell on his 30th birthday and he leaves a widow and three young children.Much sympathy is felt for them. There are three brother soldiers of the deceased. Prvt William Powell, Suffolk Regiment, was wounded on the right hand, and a second brother, Prvt George Powell has been wounded in both legs. He is in the King's Light Infantry. A third brother, Prvt Albert Powell has been home on leave."

There can be confusion here as another Albert POWELL, son of Isaac and Emma of Kenny Hill was killed in 1917.

see Robert Powell

and see William Powell

Enlisted in Newmarket.
His battalion that day were in the front line trenches near Mazingarbe. The war diary says 2 killed, 2 wounded. It was a period of little action. CWGC have 3 killed.

The Bury Free Press of 27th October added to the information:-

Mrs Powell, Holywell Row, Mildenhall received an official notification, which stated that her husband, Prvt John Powell, 9th Suffolk Regiment, fell in battle on May 25th, but received no further information. Neither Chaplain, officer or comrade's letter has reached her, if a letter was written. A further official intimation has been received that the burial of her husband was at the Philosophe British Cemetery, one mile from Vermelles. Mrs. Powell will be thankful to hear from anyone who can give her any information of her husband's death.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo:Rodney Gibson

John Powell is buried in Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, grave 1:P:49
and commemorated on the war memorial at Beck Row

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