Powell, Harold Osborne


The only son of Hubert John Powell of Lewes and Mabel Powell, daughter of Charles Trower, a barrister. He came to Winchester from Horris Hill. He was captain of Commoner VI his last year and a Commoner Prefect. On leaving school he studied land agency and visited Germany to learn forestry. He was elected a fellow of the Surveyor’s Institute, and in 1912 entered his father’s office at Lewes.

He served before the war with the Sussex Yeomanry and the Inns of Court O.T.C. and in August 1914 received a commission in the 4th Dragoon Guards. He went to the front the following October, and fell on the 31st of that month, during the First Battle of Ypres. His commanding officer described what happened to him: “He was fighting in the town of Messines, guarding a barricade at very close quarters with the enemy. I sent him with a message to the Queen’s Bays on my left, and while carrying the message he was shot by a sniper”. He was originally buried in a cottage garden in Messines but his body was never recovered.

Two fellow Wykehamists died with the cavalry at Messines that same day: Lieutenant Lionel Hope Hawkins (I1900-1903, 6th Dragoon Guards), and Lieutenant Philip Francis Payne-Gallwey (F1906-1911, 9th Lancers) – like Powell, the latter was killed on his first day in action. A fourth Wykehamist, 2nd Lieutenant James Grant Brandon Thomas (Coll.1907-1912, 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) died later of wounds received at Messines on the same day.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Powell
  • Forenames or initials: Harold Osborne
  • House: E
  • Years in School: 1902-1906
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: 4th Dragoon Guards
  • Date of Birth: 20th August 1888
  • Date of Death: 31st October 1914
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer C3
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panels 3 - 5 of the MENIN GATE MEMORIAL