Charles Baxter POWELL


POWELL, Charles Baxter

Service Numbers: 173, 830
Enlisted: 20 October 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Wilpena Station, South Australia, 19 February 1875
Home Town: Narrung, The Coorong, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter’s College, and The School of Mines Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Killed in Action, Egypt, 9 August 1916, aged 41 years
Cemetery: Kantara War Memorial Cemetery
Kantara War Memorial Cemetery (Row B, Grave No. 88), Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Narrung Sports Ground Memorial Gates, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley St. Augustine's Church Roll of Honour, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

20 Oct 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
12 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 173, 9th Light Horse Regiment
12 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 173, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Armadale, Melbourne
13 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 830, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
13 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 830, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Wiltshire, Melbourne
30 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 830, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Battle for Pozières
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Battle for Pozières
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Battle for Pozières
9 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 830, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Battle of Romani

The Late CPL C.B. Powell


News has been received by Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Powell, of Cheltenham street, Malvern, of the death on active service of their son, Cpl. Charles Baxter Powell. He was killed on or about August 9. He was born at Wilpena Station on February 19, 1875, and was educated partly at home and at St. Peter's College. He was some years ago a good athlete, was one of the famous Sturt lacrosse team, and a successful member of the Adelaide Bowing Club. He was the best student for the third year in woolclassing at the School of Mines.

He joined the 9th Light Horse in November. 1914. He was about seven months in the trenches at Gallipoli. A brother is lieutenant-colonel of the 1st Stationary Hospital, and the youngest brother is Capt. Harold Powell, of the 4th Field Ambulance. Both are surgeons." - from the Adelaide Register 09 Sep 1916

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Trooper Charles Baxter Powell, 9th Light Horse Regiment (LHR) who was a 39 year old farmer and grazier from Narrung, South Australia when he enlisted on 20 October 1915.  His NoK were listed as Charles and Mary POWELL of 57 Cheltenham Street, Malvern, South Australia.  He had two brothers both of whom were surgeons, who served in the AIF.

He embarked for overseas from Melbourne on 13 April 1915 aboard HMAT Wiltshire. The light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses. The 9th LHR landed in late May 1915 and was the reserve regiment for the Brigade's disastrous attack on the Nek on 7 August, and subsequently suffered 50 per cent casualties attacking Hill 60 on 27 August. Exhausted and under-strength, the 9th LHR then played a defensive role until it finally left the peninsula on 20 December 1915.

Back in Egypt, in March 1916, the 9th LHR joined the forces defending the Suez Canal from a Turkish drive across the Sinai Desert. The Turks were turned at Romani. Although it didn't take part in the actual battle, the 9th LHR was involved in the advance that followed the Turks' retreat back across the desert. Charles Powell was killed in action on 9 August 1916 and buried half a mile south of Hod Bada, Egypt.

After the war, his remains were moved to the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, on the eastern side of the Suez Canal, 160 kilometres north east of Cairo, Egypt. His is one of 1331 photographs displayed on an honour board showing members of the Adelaide Rowing Club who enlisted for active service in the First World War.


From the book Fallen Saints  - Charles Baxter Powell was born on Wilpena Sheep Station north, in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. After leaving St Peters College, he studied at the School of Mines, Adelaide and after completing a three year course there was awarded his Diploma and a gold medal for best student in Wool Classing. He later worked as a commercial traveller for several years but by the outbreak of the Great War was a grazier on Narrung Estate, South Australia.

He enlisted in August 1914 but after three weeks of training was discharged for being a ‘bad shot’ however he reapplied 20 October and after being accepted joined the 4th quota of reinforcements for the 9th Light Horse Regiment.

He sailed from Melbourne aboard HMAT Wiltshire in April 1915 was appointed lance corporal after joining the unit in Egypt and then provisional Corporal at Anzac in October.

Upon returning to Egypt in December he was twice charged with being absent without leave and in February was reduced to the rank of Trooper.

Obviously a colourful character who enjoyed himself in town Powell was charged with being AWL again in April and received seven days Confinement to Barracks.

Trooper Powell was killed during the action at Bir-el-Abd on 9 August; he was 43 years of age.

His sister Edith enlisted on 25 April 1917 and served as a nursing sister in the Australian Army Nursing Service aboard the Hospital Ship Karoola until she returned to Australia on 29 March 1919.

Her surviving brothers served with distinction as surgeons in the Australian Army Medical Corps.

Major Harold Powell MC was attached to the 50th Battalion until he returned to Australia in March 1918 and Colonel Henry Powell (OS) CMG, MID, returned to Australia in November 1918. [i]

[i] Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour Cards 145, 1914-1918 War, Army - Powell, Charles Baxter, viewed 7 October 2005