On 29th March 1918 Private Philip George Powell, 28th Battalion London Regiment (Artists’ Rifles) died of wounds as a prisoner of war in Mons.
He was born in Ardwick, Manchester in 1892 and was the sixth of the seven children (four boys, three girls) of parents, Philip George (a jeweller) and Eliza Florence (née Antrobus) who had married in 1881. Philip (senior) was born in Birmingham and was a member of a well-known Birmingham gun-making family. Two of the couple’s children – Philip William (1883-1884) and Cecelia Esther Florence (1889-1890) died as infants. The family appears to have remained in Lancashire, having moved to Waterloo, near Liverpool, by 1901.
By 1911, Philip (junior) was aged 18 and living at “Hillcrest”, Whitefields Road, Solihull, with his aunt and uncle. He was working as a bank clerk. Soldiers Died in the Great War indicates that he was living in Edgbaston at the time he enlisted in the Army, with probate records giving the address as 28 Constance Road. The family was Roman Catholic and it appears that Philip worshipped at St Augustine’s Church in Solihull as he is commemorated on a plaque at the church.
Philip George Powell was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. He died of his wounds at a girls’ training college in Mons, Belgium, which was in German hands. He is buried at Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery, and is also commemorated locally on the war memorial at St Augustine’s Church, Solihull. His name also appears on war memorials in Merseyside: Crosby and Blundellsands Civic Memorial; SS Peter & Paul’s R.C. Church, Crosby; and St. Francis Xavier’s R.C. School, Everton.
His brother, William Aloysius Powell, a dentist in Waterloo, died on 27th September 1916, serving as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery. He was 25 years old, and joined up in September 1914.
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