Thomas Powell led a conspicuously simple life, and along the way gained many true friends.
Thomas was born in 1770 in the parish of Clifford; at 17 he bought himself a commission as Ensign in the 14th Regiment, then from March 1793 until April 1795 he served with his regiment in Flanders. He engaged in all the actions and sieges during those notorious campaigns, and experienced the horror of the British Army’s retreat from Dunkirt to Bremen.
The troops were more than two weeks without any food apart from the odd vegetable, and our hero Thomas survived for 8 days on nothing but raw onions – all this in the most severest cold weather.
When the 14th returned home, it was sent to the West Indies to take part in the reduction of the French and Spanish islands – during this time Thomas succeeded to the command of the regiment, both as Major and Lieutenant Colonel. He was to escape death in the trenches and on the battle field on more than one occasion, and was once wounded through his hips by a musket ball.
He was exceptionally brave, and exhibited great qualities of discipline and leadership. Unfortunately, ill health forced his return home and he resigned his command to General Sir James Watson.
In 1808 he recieved the commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regiment of North Herefordshire Militia, and he went on to take that regiment to the highest condition.
Eventually Thomas Powell retired to a quiet spot in Herefordshire, where he discarded his duties of landlord; magistrate and gentleman – much to the delight and affection of all his friends and neighbours.
Thomas was a great agriculturist, being Chairman of the West Herefordshire Agricultural Association; he was ever ready to help the poor and it was thought that when he died there would be broken a connecting link between the upper, middle and lower classes of society in Herefordshire. He was a staunch supporter of civil and religious liberty, and his influence amongst local voters was great.
On his death he left one son, the then vicar of Dorstone, and he was buried at Clifford Church on 26th April 1856.