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2nd Lieutenant William Percy Orde-Powlett

IWM HU 124586

Menin Gate Memorial Panel 33

4th Battalion Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment), 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division

Age 21

KIA 17.5.15

The eldest son of William George Algar Orde-Powlett, 5th Baron Bolton, Conservative MP for Richmond 1910-18. He later became the Lord-Lieutenant for the North Riding, Yorkshire from 1935 to 1944. He married Elizabeth Mary (nee Gibson) on 6 June 1893 and they had two sons and a daughter. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Yorkshire Hussars however, he resigned in April 1902 only to take up another commission on 28 May as a Major in the 1st Volunteer Battalion of Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment). He later served with the Regiment during the First World War retiring with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.


Early Life

William was born on 7 April 1894 and was educated at Eton from 1908 to 1913 and then at Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied biology. He joined the 4th Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) in September 1914 and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He went to France with the battalion on 17 April 1915.


His Death

On the 24 April the battalion went into the line to dig support trenches north-east of Potijze Chateau. They later advanced moving parallel to the Wieltje – Fortuin Road forcing the Germans to retire from their position in front of St Julien. On the 1 May they came under gas attack for the first time and sustained 115 casualties. From the 9 to 12 May they were in reserve behind Vlamertinghe Chateau. On the 15 May they moved forward to take over positions at Railway Wood on Bellewaarde Ridge. The war diary records that they qualified for the ‘Oldest Inhabitants’ prize and that they salvaged a Red Cross motor car belonging to the Cavalry Brigade and used this as an HQ.

Linesman Map showing the trench lines at Railway Wood

The War Diary also records that: ‘Here we lost poor Pop. 2nd Lt W P Order-Powlett who was buried by the trench he fell in.’ the diary also records that they had ’20 other ranks wounded’

War Diary entry

His body was subsequently lost and he is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial.

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