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60765: Diary of W. J. Powell, father of Walter Powell

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posted on 2024-02-21, 10:46 authored by Great War Archive Project Team

Extracts from the diary of W.J. Powell, Cliftonville, Llandrindod Wells 1916.

Entries include appointments and deliveries to do with his ironmongers shop, and the Presbyterian Church and the Albert Hall theatre and other everyday matters relating to life on the home front such as coal rations, heavy snow, influenza, his own health etc. Also the entries mention friends and congregation members serving in the forces like dates of letters sent/received from, news - someone captured, or missing, or on leave, or tribunals [for conscription?], or sometimes funerals - as well as news of his two boys (Walter and Cliff) and his brother (Humphrey) serving in the army. Notes about the health of his middle son (Percy) who has been discharged from the army, are particularly poignant as his health is deteriorating from wounds sustained including perforated eardrums. The addresses of some correspondents including their regimental numbers and their units are written at the back. For example:

19 March 1916 Cliff [eldest son] saw Zeppelin at GY [Great Yarmouth]
5 June 1916 Walter [youngest son who had been trying to join-up for two years] attested. Hampshire torpedoed? Lord K [Kitchener] lost
7 June 1916 Percy came down 1 hour [from his bedroom]
11 November 1916 Cliff saw submarines captured, 1 mile off coast taken to [Great Yarmouth] also damaged sea plane.
20 December 1916 Wrote Humphrey [brother] and Sgt Palmer
24 December 1916 ¦Walter out on draft to Shoreland, but sent back minus water bottle [probably resulting in one of a number of punishments Walter received during his service]
27 December 1916 Cliff and David saw one of our airships, flew low, could see men aboard [probably at Great Yarmouth]
30 December 1916 Walter weight @ Penge 9.4.0 [one of many entries relating to the weight and fitness class such as "C II" of Walter who was short, probably slight build, and trying to prove his fitness to go on active service]

W.J. Powell's diaries for 1917 and 1918 are also in this collection.

Part of a collection relating to Walter H. Powell, Llandrindod Wells, (private / driver M2-267205 Mechanised Transport Army Service Corps). Born 1898, Walter tried to join up under-age on a number of occasions, finally succeeding in 1916. He served many months - (more than 2 years?) - in different army units in Britain, before going over to France. He served as a despatch rider for an anti-aircraft battery in 1918-1919. Walter was gassed "suffering the effects all his life". He was a founder member of Toc-H in Llandrindod, and a keen footballer - he died in 1994 aged 96. However Walter's older brothers (Cliff and Percy Powell) and his uncle (Humphrey Powell) died of wounds sustained during the war.



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Powell, W. J.


March - December 1916

Date Created

01/08/1914 | 19/03/1916

Temporal Coverage

31/12/1918 | 30/12/1916








1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Number of Pages



Richard Marshall | Alun Edwards | Bryan and Liz Edwards

Submission Event

Powys Archives Submission Day


The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor


The Great War Archive, University of Oxford

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