Ystalyfera Fallen

War Graves & Remembrance Graves

Randall Powell

This is the memorial page for Randall Powell, native of Ystalyfera, killed during the Second World War when the ex-liner RMS Lancastria was bombed and sunk at St. Nazaire in June 1940.

The information on Randall Powell comes principally from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the South Wales Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameRandall Powell
Date of Death17th June 1940
Born c 1904
Place of DeathRMS Lancastria, bombed and sunk at Saint Nazaire, France
Age at Death36
Unit and RegimentPioneer Corps; 50 Coy. Aux. Mil. [Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps]
Service Number13001434
MemorialDunkirk Memorial, France; Column 153.
Local MemorialsYstalyfera War Memorial
Personal Information Son of Richard James Powell (born Ystalyfera 15th November 1877) and Mary Hannah Powell (born Ystalyfera 25th Feb 1879, nee Jones), of Minyfford, Ystalyfera.
Aboard the Lancastria when it was attacked and sunk.
Known BrothersThomas POWELL (Born Ystalyfera 1905)
Daniel POWELL (Born Ystalyfera 1909)
Known SistersAnnie Jane

From the South Wales Voice of 27th July 1940 we learn that Randall Powell has been posted missing:-

The sympathy of the district is readily extended to Mr and Mrs Richard Powell, Minyfford, who for the last 7 weeks have heard nothing from their son, Sergeant Randall Powell, of the Pioneer Corps.
As a result of enquiries made at the War Office, on behalf of the parents by Sir William Jenkins, MP Mr and Mrs Powell have this week received the news that their son must be presumed missing. He was serving in France when last heard from.
Sergeant Powell is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Powell and for the last 12 years has resided in Birmingham.

Loss of the Lancastria
The loss of the RMS Lancastria is one of the largest disasters in British maritime history. The ex-Cunard liner was crowded with evacuees from France as the German military completed over-running the country, and had been told to ignore international legal limits on loading, and to take as many men aboard as possible. Given the chaotic situation, the exact number may never be known, but could be as high as 6000, from numerous different regiments and companies. The Lancastria was embarking at Saint Nazaire, on the West coast of France, taking on board everyone who had not been trapped in the Dunkirk salient. Without a destroyer escort, the captain feared that his ship would be vulnerable to u-boat attack and delayed departure, but in the event it was bombed and sunk in harbour by Luftwaffe bombers, and being fully laden with fuel, exploded into an inferno. Details of the loss of the Lancastria can be found on several pages, including:-

From the South Wales Voice 20th October 1945 came the news of the death of his mother:-

We regret to report the death of Mrs Mary Hannah Powell, wife of Mr Richard Powell, 22 Minyffordd, which took place on Thursday last at the age of 65 years. Of a quiet and reserved nature, she was held in high esteem by all who came into contact with her. She had not been well for a long time and had grieved over her son Randall, who was killed in action during the evacuation of the British Army from France in 1940. The funeral was on Monday burial being at Alltygrug Cemetery.
Mourners were: Richard Powell husband; Thomas and Danny Powell sons; Derek Powell and Geoffrey Jenkins grandsons; William Jenkins and Geoffrey Evans sons in law; John Jones, Rev Daniel Jones, D R Jones, Tom Jones brothers; William Powell, David John Powell, Ivor Powell, William Morgan Jones, Tom Davies brothers in law; Albert John Jones, Daniel Lewis, Henry Harries, William Davies cousins; Daniel Jones, Cledwyn Lewis, W Gwyn Jones, Aubrey Powell nephews.
Mourners at the house: Annie Jane, Christie, Mair daughters; Brenda Mary, Elsie Powell granddaughters; Mrs Catherine Jones sister; Mrs Martha Powell, Mrs Jean Powell daughters in law; Mrs Dan Jones, Mrs Ivor Powell, Mrs Tom Jones, Mrs Owen Powell sisters in law; Mrs Hannah Davies, Mrs Ruth Davies, Mrs Susan Thomas, Mrs Catherine Davies, Mrs Sue Thomas, Mrs Annie Heale, Mrs Myfanwy Harries, Miss Sue Jones, Miss Mair Jones and Ceinwen Jones cousins.

From the The Voice 2nd January 1964 came the news of the death of his father:-

The death of Mr Richard Powell took place at the home of his daughter Annie Jane and son in law, Mr and Mrs Emlyn Cook Bryn Pistyll Graig Road Godre'rgraig. Mr Powell a native of Ystalyfera was 85 years of age. He had been confined to his bed for nearly 12 months. Formerly a miner, he was well known for his prowess as a tap dancer and mouth organ player for which he had won many trophies. Mr Powell was also a keen boxer and a supporter of sport in general.
He leaves 3 daughters and 2 sons, another son Randall lost his life during the 1939-45 War when the troopship "Lancastria" was torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay,
Burial took place last Thursday at St David's Cemetery Alltygrug.
Mourners at funeral: Danny son; Emlyn, Geoff, Harry sons in law; Geoff, Tudor grandsons; Cledwyn, Iorwerth, Mike, Hywel, Walter nephews; Emlyn, Gilbert, Edward, Bryn, Tom, Vivian, Trevor Cook, James Harries, Joseph Harries, Trevor Lamprey, Bob Williams, Glyn Jones and Vince Davies nephews.
His son Tom and sister Helen were unable to attend because of illness.
Mourners at the house: Annie Jane, Chrissie, Mair daughters; Martha daughter in law; Brenda, Jeanne, Lynne granddaughter; Mary, Eithwen, Beryl, Sue, Ceinwen nieces.



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