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Enoch Powell

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note The Royal Warwickshire Regiment tie

Brigadier John Enoch Powell MBE Retd.

June 16th, 1912 – February 8th, 1998

Academic, soldier and politician - and by far Birmingham's most infamous and oft-misquoted son. Powell's political career is extensively documented elsewhere. But what is less known are his other achievements.

After a glittering performance at Cambridge University, Powell was appointed professor at Sydney University in Australia and became the youngest holder of such an esteemed position in the Empire at 25 years old.

Powell returned to the UK on the outbreak of WW2 and immediately enlisted as a private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before being commissioned in 1940 and transferring to the Intelligence Corps where he served with great distinction in North Africa after transferring (again) back to his old regiment.

By 1942, Powell had reached the rank of lieutenant colonel and had been posted to India. By the war's end he was the youngest brigadier in the British Army - the only man at that time to have risen from private to brigadier.

Powell entered politics after the war and joined the Conservative Party, becoming a Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton (South West) in the General Election of 1950.

A chequered career within the party followed and it was his infamous 'Rivers of Blood' speech of 1968 that he is best known for. Powell was a hot potato for the Tories - who rapidly distanced themselves from his firebrand polemics. He was, however, extremely popular amongst the electorate. Disturbingly he seems to have been right all along if the present racial Cake and Arse Party developing in the UK is anything to go by.

Powell left the Conservative Party in February 1974, chiefly because it had taken the UK into the 'Common Market'. He advised the electorate to vote Labour, who had promised a referendum on whether or not the UK should remain in the EEC - it being the only way to save the UK's sovereignty. Sound familiar?

Powell became an Ulster Unionist MP and it was in this party that he served until he became too ill to actively partake in politics. Powell always courted controversy with his outspoken views and no doubt his fears will be vindicated - if not already. Vilified by the left, Powell was nonetheless a principled politician of the old school the likes of which Parliament will never see again.

Powell died aged 85 in 1998 and was buried in his brigadier's uniform. He is buried in the regimental plot in Warwick.