Roll of Honour
Private Frederick James Powell
Service Number: 9143
Regiment: Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (2nd)
Conflict: World War One
Date of Death: 19th June 1915
Age at Death: 33
Burial/Memorial Location: Bucknell Churchyard, Oxfordshire, UK
Son of William & Harriett Powell, of Bucknell.
"We stated recently that Pte. Fred Powell, of Bucknell, had been wounded and was lying in the Sheffield Hospital. This week we regret to record his death, which took place in Sheffield on Saturday. The dead soldier, an unmarried man, was the eldest son of the late Mr and of Mrs W. Powell, and was a member of the Bicester National Reserve, through which, soon after the commencement of the war, he was drafted into the 2nd Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry.
Previously he had been employed on the G.W.R.. Pte. Powell went to the Front on December 28th, and remained there until last month, when, on the 16th (together with several Bicester men), he was hit near La Bassee, the missile completely shattering his knee. He was taken to a military hospital at Boulogne, where he was treated for a short time until it was safe for him to be conveyed to the Mother Country. He was then brought to Sheffield, where he stayed in hospital for about a month. During this time it was deemed advisable, in the interests of the deceased, to amputate his leg up to the knee. This caused a terrible loss of blood, and Pte. Powell, as stated, passed away on Saturday.
On receipt of the news in the Bicester locality, it was decided to accord this local hero a full military funeral, and arrangements were made for such, the last rites being carried out at six o’clock on Wednesday evening, in order to enable his former fellow workmen and friends to attend. The coffin was conveyed by train from Sheffield the previous day and lodged in the house of the deceased’s mother.
It was most fitting that the corpse should be carried by his former fellow workmen, viz., Messrs. R. Harris, J. Grimsley, A. Hopcraft, F. Powell, T. Ward, and G. Ward. Covered with a large Union Jack, the coffin was preceded by a company of 16 men of the 4th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry (under Colour-Sergt. Brooks). The funeral service was of a most impressive character, and was conducted by the rector of Bucknell, the Ven. Archdeacon Harris (wearing his Egyptian War Medals), who met the cortege at the entrance to the Churchyard, and read the opening portions of the service.
Inside the building the coffin was placed on a pall-covered bearer. As the cortege filed into the church the organist, Miss Cull, played one of Mendelssohn’s touching funeral voluntaries. The hymns were: “Brief life is here our portion,” “Peace, perfect peace,” and “On the Resurrection morning.” At the close the Dead March from Saul was played. During the course of the service a firing party from Oxford had placed themselves by the grave-side, which is under a large chestnut tree, near the entrance to the Churchyard. After the committal prayers had been said by the Archdeacon, the order was given to fire three volleys of blank cartridges into the air over the grave, and this was followed by the sounding of the “Last Post” by two trumpeters who stood at the end of the grave.
This ended a service attended by a large crowd of people from Bicester and district, who were present to pay a last tribute to one who had given his life in the service of his country. The coffin was a splendid piece of workmanship, and bore the inscription:
PRIVATE FREDERICK JAMES POWELL,
No. 9143, 2nd Batt. Oxon and Bucks L.I.,
Died June 19th, aged 33 years.
The family mourners included: Mrs W. Powell (mother) and Mr W. Powell (brother), Mrs W. Mann (sister), the Misses Ada and Lizzie Powell (sisters), Mr W. Mann (brother-in-law), Mr and Mrs James Cripps (uncle and aunt), Miss E. Grace and Mrs W. Grace (aunts), and Mr and Mrs C. Cripps (cousins)." Bicester Herald 25/06/1915