1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

William George Powell

Contributed by: Vic Powell, on 2008-11-03

 William George Powell
First Name William George
Surname Powell
Year of Birth 1870
Year of Death 1916
Regiment Royal Navy
Place of Wartime Residence Portsmouth, Hampshire

William George's Story

William Powell was born in Soho, London on 18th Dec 1870. He joined the Royal Navy at as a Seaman in 1894, signing on for a 12 year engagement. He was 'Rated Up' to Ordinary Seaman on DTBR and to Able Seaman on DTBR. Further advancement to Leading Seaman followed on 8th Sep 1898 but he was reverted to the rate of Able Seaman on 27th Jan 1900. The reason for this reversion is not known. He was drafted to HMS Latona for Submarine Training in July 1903.

They play their grisly blindfold games In little boxes made of tin.

William Powell was again 'Rated Up' to Leading Seaman on 1st Jun 1905. He then served continuously in Submarines until 1st Oct 1910 when he returned to General Service with a draft to HMS Excellent at Portsmouth in line with the policy then in place that Ratings should return to General Service after five years Submarine service - but they could later volunteer for a second period of service in Submarines.

He rejoined the Submarine service on 28th May 1912 with a draft to the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Arrogant for Submarines. He was drafted to Submarine E9 (Lieutenant Commander Max Kennedy Horton, Royal Navy).

William Powell was again reverted to Able Seaman on 13th Sep 1915. On leaving Submarine E9 William Powell joined Submarine E18 (Lieutenant Commander Robert Crosby Halahan, Royal Navy) which was also part of the Baltic Flotilla.Submarine E18 was on patrol in the Baltic on 23rd May 1916 when Lieutenant Commander Halahan torpedoed the German Destroyer V100 blowing off the bows of the German ship. This success was reported by Submarine E18 on the 24th May 1916 which was the last message received from the Submarine. After a great deal of research by Darren Brown the now accepted date for the loss of E18 is 1st - 2nd June 1916.

William Powell was 46 years old when he died. He was the husband of May Louisa Powell (nee Moody) of 123, Toronto Road, Buckland, Portsmouth. They were married at Southampton on 16th Dec 19?? and had one son, Victor William Frank Powell. William Powell was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for his Naval Service and was also was awarded the Cross of St George, 3rd Class by the Russian Government. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval War Memorial Panel No 13.

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