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Charles Guy Powles

Portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel C.G. Powles - D.S.O. Archives New Zealand, R24184847, Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel C.G. Powles - D.S.O. Archives New Zealand, R24184847, Image may be su …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles Guy AWMM
  • Surname
    Powles AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    C. Guy Powles AWMM
  • Service number
    • South African 1318 AWMM
    • WWI 11/272 AWMM
    • 800267 WWII Public - William - Direct descendant - 14 May 2018 - Military Personnel File
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    15 December 1872 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Levin, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Pre 5 August 1914 AWMM Melbourne Rd, Island Bay, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mr C.P. Powles (father), Wesley Rd, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs Jessie Mary Powles (wife), 51 Tinakori Rd, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 31 March 1900 AWMM Single AWMM
    • Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 5 August 1914 AWMM Farmer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Served temporarily as Commanding Officer (CO) of Canterbury Mounted Rifles during WWI.

    Served as Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General (AA & QMG) at Australia & New Zealand Mounted Division Headquarters during WWI.

    Seconded to 61 (British) Division, 1918.

    Principal of Flock House School, Bulls, 1930-35.

    Commandant of Waiouru Military Camp, 1941-45.

    Powles' horse, Bess (Zelma), was a thoroughbred whose sire was Sarazen and Dam Miss Jury. Bess was bred by Mr ADM McMaster of Matawhero, Wairarapa and presented to Colonel Powles by the people of the Wairarapa. She served with Powles in Egypt (1915), Sinai (1916), Palestine(1917), France(1918), Germany (1919), where she marched through the streets of Berlin in the Victory Parade, and England (1920). She returned to NZ in 1922 and after a short time in Trentham Camp was taken to Motukowhai in the Rangitikei. There long-time friends of the Powleses grazed her and put her to stud. She produced around six foals, two of whom were ridden at Flock House. The Powles family also occasionally rode Bess and so it was that one day in 1934, when returning from an excursion around the farm with Col Powles, Bess suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, fell over, and died. She was 24. Bess was the only Main Body horse to return to New Zealand. The others were banned from returning. Two monuments are erected to Bess: the first was erected by Col. Powles and stands in a field of lupin near Flock House in the Manawatu. On the reverse side of the monument is a piece of of marble with an Arabic inscription that means "In the name of the Most High God.' The second monument was originally erected in Port Said in 1932. Bess is one of two horses on a statue to commemorate the Anzac mounted troops. After sustaining damage during the 1956 Suez Crisis, it was re-erected at Albany, Western Australia. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    17 June 1951 AWMM
    Age 78 AWMM
    Te HoroWellington AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • I am looking for additional information about my great grandfather, Colonel Charles Guy Powles, specifically during the Palestine years.
    Public - Anna - Other Relative - 15 April 2015
  • His horse Bess is one of only four horses that returned to NZ after the war Bess was one of more than 1000 horses donated to the government for military purposes when the war broke out. The four-year-old black thoroughbred, originally named Zelma, was allocated to the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment and selected by Captain C.G. Powles, who renamed her Bess. She served him throughout the war in Egypt, Sinai, Palestine and France. After her return to New Zealand in 1920, Bess helped Powles perform his duties as commander at the GHQ school at Trentham and then headmaster at Flock House, an agricultural training school for the dependants of war veterans. Bess died on land near Flock House in 1934. Powles buried her at this site and erected the memorial.
    Public - Kevin - Researcher - 13 April 2015
  • For my school project I have selected to do Charles. We are making a white cross and putting it in our own fields of remembrance at school. i am commending him.
    Public - winnie - Researcher - 31 March 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • New Zealand Contingents to South Africa: Nominal Rolls (1900). Wellington, N.Z.: Government Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 591 AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
    • McLean, C., & Phillips, J. (1990). The sorrow and the pride : New Zealand war memorials. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs. AWMM
    • Stowers, R. (2002). Rough Riders at War: history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer war 1899-1902 and information on all members of the ten New Zealand contingents. Author: Hamilton, N.Z. AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 2: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2013). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. (3rd ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.: Richard Stowers. AWMM


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
17 June 2018AllanRotoruaResearcher
14 May 2018WilliamWellingtonDirect descendant
17 June 2016BruceWaihiResearcher
15 April 2015AnnaWellingtonOther Relative
13 April 2015KevinHukerenui - New ZealandResearcher

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