Alexandra Powlett, born in Grimsby, is a veteran of the Armed Forces, a public speaker, and in 2018 headed the restoration project of Grimsby Cenotaph.
After attending Nunsthorpe Junior School and Tollbar Secondary School, Alexandra joined the British Army in 2004 as a Regular Soldier and then trained to be a HR Combat Specialist. During an operational tour in Iraq, she volunteered to go on the front line, and in Kenya she delivered medical supplies and care to local people. Her final operational tour was in Afghanistan for seven months, before taking a role as a Sergeant at the Ministry of Defence, London. After leaving the Army in 2013, Alex decided to re-join the Reserves for another year, completing 10 years of dedicated military service.
“My experience in the Army was action-packed, enjoyable, tough, and very rewarding. I would not change one thing about my career choice, it has given me the finest life experience one could ask for, moulded me as an individual with great aspirations, self-discipline and integrity. It has made me the greatest inspiration to my family, husband and children who are very proud of my achievements. I left the Army with 10 years’ service, three medals, and a passion to do great things.”
After leaving the Army, Alexandra joined Engie for a short spout in April 2018, becoming Project Manager for the significant restoration of Grimsby Cenotaph, completed in time for the centenary of the end of the First World War.
“When I heard about the Grimsby Cenotaph project, I put myself forward as the Project Manager as this was a mission very dear to my heart. I went on to bid through the National Heritage Lottery Fund and won £10,000. I was absolutely elated and in floods of tears when I found out. I finally had most of the budget to see this project through. I went on to get college students from GIFHE (Uniformed Services Course) to help with the task of a lot of digging at the Cenotaph and sending them to the Grimsby Library to do some research on the Grimsby Chums.
“This Project was extremely important to me, to carry on the history of what great men and women did for our country in the World War and to this day is paramount in today’s society. I can safely say the Cenotaph has been repaired to the highest standards so we can view at our own pleasure whenever we want to, and can all congregate as a community on Remembrance Sunday every year. I had an interpretation board made that stands at the Cenotaph which can be read by all, it will give you the fascinating but sad story into the Grimsby Chums. We Will Remember Them.”
In recent years, Alexandra has begun public speaking about her career and experiences for Armed Forces Day in Cleethorpes, Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph, at the event celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage in 2018, and to hundreds of people at her place of work.
“I would love to do more public speaking. I have a prerequisite to inspire people of all ages and people from all walks of life. I believe I am here for a reason and I been given a wonderful platform to speak from.
“Grimsby is a small town with a huge heart, we are regenerating and putting ourselves on the map, very positive changes are happening and are well needed. Grimsby is very important to me as it was where I was made, it is ‘in’ me. ‘You can take the girl of out Grimsby, but you cannot take Grimsby out of the girl’.
“When I am home I like to visit the Grimsby Minster (it is absolutely beautiful), an obligatory trip to Time 4 Play (for the children) and this year I am taking my two children and husband to see the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre.”