Thomas Charles Powell born Parkstone, Dorset in 1889, was professional at the Mersea Island club in Essex from 1913 until 1916. In July, the club was closed because of the war and Powell went to work on a local farm.
Prior to his time at Mersea he was at the North Hants Golf Club in Fleet and is listed on the 1911 census as a golf club maker employed there. During his time here he married Mary (Molly Eileen) O’Farrell in 1909.
By chance, I recently came across a piece in a local newspaper (Essex Newsman, 8 April 1916) regarding a military tribunal (where employers could request employees not be called up) which makes this sad story even more poignant. The farm where Thomas worked was owned by a lieutenant home from the war after being wounded. He was appealing against the call-up of his only stockman but stated that Thomas Powell, who had four brothers already serving in France, had volunteered to go in his place. ‘Very patriotic of him’, said the chairman to cries of ‘Hear, hear’.
He attested at the Royal Garrison Artillery, Colchester, in April 1916 and was appointed to Number 4 Depot (Heavy and Siege) on 26 July. He served in France with the rank of Bombardier. Powell died of wounds, inflicted at Cagnicourt the previous day, on 14 September 1918, aged 29 (the CWGC record incorrectly states 32), leaving a wife and two small children. He is buried in Duisans British Cemetery near Arras.
Image courtesy of Mersea Island Museum/Peggy Gillespie
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