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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Vernon Harcourt De Butts Powell

In memory of:

Major Vernon Harcourt De Butts Powell

January 2, 1918

Military Service






Canadian Field Artillery


53rd Bty. 13th Bde.

Honours and Awards:

Military Cross

Additional Information


January 23, 1886
Little Shelford, Cambridge, United Kingdom


January 5, 1915
Toronto, Ontario

Son of the late Rev. Harcourt Powell, of Wollaston Vicarage, Wellingborough, Northants, and Cecile H. Powell, Coventry, England.

Commemorated on Page 487 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

North of Church.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Memorial– The Golden Book : The Military Institute, 1927 (Toronto : University of Toronto Press);
  • Memorial– The Golden Book : The Military Institute, 1927 (Toronto : University of Toronto Press);
  • Photo of Vernon Harcourt De Butts Powell– Major Powell, former teacher and house master at Appleby School, now Appleby College, shown "somewhere in France".  A boarding house is named in his honour at the College.  Photo from the Appleby College Archives.
  • Family Tree– Vernon's mother, Sarah was in a family of six 1.)Margaret 2.) John 3.) Samuel  4.)Sarah 5.) Ezekiel  6.)Elizabeth .Sarah being his mother . I descend from Samuel. It is good to have him placed on the family chart where he belongs
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Charlottetown PEI newspaper The Guardian. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Memorial– Major Vernon Harcourt de Butts Powell, M.C., 53rd Battery, Canadian Field Artillery
Died January 2, 1918, at 31 years of age.

Vernon Powell was the one Master of the school who was killed in the Great War. He was one of the small cadre of teachers who joined founding Headmaster John Guest in opening Appleby in September 1911, and proved to be an extraordinarily popular and respected presence. During his three-year tenure he was the first Housemaster in the McCraney house, which came to be known as Powell's, and the originator of the Appleby Dramatic Club. He was described as a man with resourcefulness, quick sympathy, unquenchable humour, and a wonderful faculty for making things go. The scion of a family of soldiers, he left Appleby in 1914 to join a cavalry regiment, but soon transferred to the Canadian Field Artillery. He subsequently proved himself to be among the finest officers, earning the enthusiastic devotion of his men. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of the Somme, where he was wounded. In October 1917, he burnt his hands badly in extinguishing a fire among live shells in a gun-pit, his quick action saving many lives. In December of that year, he was severely wounded by an explosion. He was evacuated to England, where he died of his wounds.  From the Appleby College Archives

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