King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Powell, Harry Stanyer

Lieutenant ▪ 6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Harry Stanyer Powell, born on 12th March 1893, was admitted to King Edward’s School as a Foundation Scholar in January 1906, having previously boarded at Wellington College in Shropshire. Harry’s brother, Henry, was also offered a place at KES without a scholarship, but his Record Card unusually states that he “failed to attend after accepting admission”. Harry lived with his mother, Edith, and father, Harry, an auctioneer’s clerk, and later a grocer and provision merchant. The family lived at 52 Cape Hill, Smethwick, moving later to Carlton House, Albrighton in Wolverhampton.

Harry was a pupil of the Modern School, which offered a curriculum that emphasised scientific rather than classical subjects. Although he held a scholarship throughout his career, the School Lists show that he was placed below average in his class. He played 1st XV rugby, and was described in the Chronicle as, “a hard-working forward whose energy is often somewhat misdirected”. Harry was also a competent swimmer, credited in the Chronicle for completing the half mile swim at Edgbaston Reservoir in less than 24 minutes.

When war broke out, Harry was a dental student at the University of Birmingham. He enlisted as a Private soldier in the 1ST Birmingham Pals Battalion (14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment), on 8th September 1914. He made steady progress through the ranks, gaining regular promotions. After a period as Acting Lieutenant he received his full commission as Lieutenant in 1916 with the 1/6 Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. As Brigade Bombing Officer, he was wounded on 4th October 1917 at Broodseinde whilst leading a party and capturing a position under heavy machine-gun fire, but he died of his wounds the following day, aged twenty-four. For this action, Harry was posthumously awarded the Military Cross. He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, and is commemorated on the Albrighton and University of Birmingham War Memorials. His parents requested that his epitaph should read: “His duty nobly done, his last dread o’er”. As Harry was unmarried, he left his estate of £265 to his father.