Enoch Powell - Intelligence Officer
Private soldier to Brigadier
John Enoch Powell possessed a powerful intellect, studying languages to a high level at Cambridge and being awarded a double starred first in Latin and Greek, the highest degree possible and extremely rare.
During October 1939 Powell enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and in 1940 was trained for a commission. On several occasions he told colleagues that he expected to be at least a Major-General by the end of the war. He passed out top of his officer training.
He was commissioned on the General List in 1940 but almost immediately transferred to the newly formed Intelligence Corps where he was almost immediately promoted to Captain. Although he later transferred back to the Royal Warwicks, he remained an 'intelligencer' throughout his military career.
During the war he saw service as a formation intelligence officer, in a unit analysing the ULTRA secret ENIGMA code decrypts, in Africa where he helped plan Montgomery's Battle of El Alamein, and later on the Staff in India. Having begun the war as a Private soldier, Powell ended it as a Brigadier, missing his target of Major General by one rank.
After the war he entered politics and between 1950 and 1974 was a Conservative Member of Parliament and later, between 1974 and 1987, was again in Parliament as a member of the Ulster Unionist Party.
He is perhaps best remembered, and most vilified, for his 'Rivers of Blood' speech where he criticised the speed and scale of immigration into the UK in the 1960s.
Enoch Powell passed away in 1998.
Former Labour Party leader, Tony Blair, said of him, "However controversial his views, he was one of the great figures of 20th-century British politics, gifted with a brilliant mind. However much we disagreed with many of his views, there was no doubting the strength of his convictions or their sincerity, or his tenacity in pursuing them, regardless of his own political self-interest.