POWELL, Robert

No.12809, Private, Robert POWELL
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Friday, 1st October 1915
30th September from "Soldiers Died" and Medal Index card

Robert Powell was born in Holywell Row, Mildenhall on 16th July 1891 (Mildenhall Q3-1891 4A:757) son of Robert and Harriet POWELL (née MOSS).

Robert started school in 1895 at Beck Row.

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Holywell Row with his father Robert POWELL [43] a woodman; his mother Harriet [39] born Kentford; brothers William [17] and John [13] (farm labourers), George [9], Albert [5] and Walter [1] and sister Eliva [7]. All except his mother were born in Mildenhall.

1911 census... Aged 19, a coal carter, he was at Holywell Row with his parents; brothers George (bricklayer's labourer), Albert (farm labourer), Walter and Joseph [4]; sisters Roseanna [9] and Harriett [6]. The new siblings recorded as born in Mildenhall. All nine siblings survived. 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 John Powell

and see William Powell

It seems more than likely that casualties Robert and John Powell were brothers, but this has not been 100% confirmed as yet. The news report after Robert's deah reports that he was brought up by his aunt, Mrs William Powell, which in not as per the census.

He enlisted in Newmarket in the 2nd Suffolks 31st August 1914 and was in France in January 1915
The battalion had been in front line trenches around Sanctuary Wood at the end of September.br> Robert was shot on 30th September, he was paralysed, and sent to 17 Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Siding, Lijssenthoek, from where Sister M. Wharton reported that he had a unshot wound in his back. His condition was serious and she feared, hopeless. On the 3rd October, Sister Wharton again wrote to Mrs W Powell to say Robert had died.

The following report was in the Bury Free Press on Saturday 16th October 1915.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Robert Powell is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, grave 1:C:30A
and commemorated on the war memorial in Beck Row

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