On this day in 1917, David Powell (1878-1917) died of heart failure while serving in Mesopotamia (Iraq) during the Great War.
David, a driver in the Army Service Corps, died at the British Military Hospital in Basra on June 14, 1917. He was 38
His service records show that he was suffering from acute dilatation of the stomach – chronic enlargement of the gastric cavity – and heart failure when he was admitted to the hospital ten days before his death.
A report by his captain said that David’s death was ‘due to active service’.
A driver at the ASC’s mechanical transport base depot, he was a taxi driver and living in Albert Road, Weston-Super-Mare when he enlisted in September 1915.
David served at home between May and September 1916. He was in Mesopotamia from September 25, 1916 until his death in 1917.
He was buried at Basra War Cemetery.
In November 2013 it was revealed that the cemetery had been completely destroyed, with all 4,000 headstones knocked down and broken by looters and vandals.
David married Miriam Lewis (1878-1963) on August 18, 1901 at Merthyr Tydfil Parish Church. She was the daughter of William Lewis (1847-1923) and Susannah Arscott (1848- 1912). Susannah was the daughter of Samuel Arscott (1814-), the brother of John Arscott (1807- 1979), my great-great grandfather.
Born in Pontypool on October 27, 1878, David was the son of David Powell (1849-1932) and Elizabeth Miles (1850-1904). A coal miner and father of five, he and Miriam lived at 62, Myrtle Cottage in Aberfan Road, Aberfan for many years.
David is remembered in a Roll of Honour produced by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It commemorates more than 54,000 Commonwealth war dead of the two world wars who lie buried or are remembered at 19 locations throughout Iraq.