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RobertBr

Trooper Fred Potts - Reading's Victoria Cross hero

29 posts in this topic

Chris Tarrant is fronting a campaign to raise money for a statue of Trooper Fred Potts rescuing Trooper Arthur Andrews in Gallipoli.

see http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/chris-tarrant-become-patron-trooper-6079934 for further information.

Bob

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update

Moonraker

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Stone to be laid/unveiled this evening, the centenary of Trooper Potts' heroism

article

and the memorial to him will be unveiled on October 4.

Moonraker

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A well crafted statue, worthy of the deed.

BBC web page on it & a short video on the unveiling today (4th October) from its 'South Today' news programme (starts at 1.44minutes; NB only available until 10.30pm tomorrow (Monday, 5th October)

NigelS

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Yesterday morning, Sunday 4th October, 2014, together with my wife, I attended the unveiling of the Fred Potts VC and Berkshire Yeomanry Memorials.
It was a moving event and we were both so pleased to be present.
I was also fascinated to discover that the man rescued by Fred Potts was fellow Reading resident Arthur Andrews. Having a number of Reading "Andrews" as very distant cousins, I need to research that arm of my Family Tree just in case there is a connection.
One of the speakers during the ceremony was Great War Forum member Andrew French. Regretfully, I did not get a chance to introduce myself.

Sepoy

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The Berkshire Yeomanry Guidon and Dr Richard Duckett

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The unveiling - sorry its blurred

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Chris Tarrant

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The Memorial.

Built into the design of the Memorial are representations of spent .303 cartridges, Huntley & Palmer biscuits, insignia etc. It caused me some amusement to watch several people trying to pick up the cartridges :)

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Members of the Berkshire Yeomanry in front of the Memorial.

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Very nice, Sepoy: thanks. saw it on the local TV last night and, yet again, makes me realise that Chris Tarrant is a Top Bloke. Did anyone see his train programme on Ch5 last week? He visited the site of the Death Railway in Thailand, and you could see he was visibly moved.

What tie is he wearing, out of interest? It looks regimental to me - Wiltshires? (I think his dad won an MC with them in NW Europe).

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Hi Sepoy,

Some good pictures of yesterday's events. I was seated just off to the front right of where you were standing for the ceremony!

It was a superb day, well attended and very well organised by the fund-raising committee. I thought the readings by descendants of both Potts and Andrews very poignant. However, it was the reading of Kemal Atatürk's words by the Turkish representative that I found most affecting.

I had a nice chat with with sculptor Tom Murphy at the reception. GWF members may recognise some of his other Great War related sculptures, notably Chavasse VC & Bar and the Liverpool Pals. See http://www.liverpoolsculptures.com/site/welcome-to-liverpool-sculptures/

On a personal note, I was delighted to have helped a bit with this as I had donated two weekends on the battlefields with me which were auctioned off by Chris Tarrant at last November's black tie fund-raising dinner.

Hats off to the Potts VC Trust - http://www.pottsvctrust.org/

JB

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I agree with Jeremy; a superb and well-organised occasion. My wife and I were also very moved by Kemel Ataturk's words.

The statue is a fine work of art; congratulations to all concerned.

Roy. (nephew of a former Berkshire Yeoman)

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The Berkshire Yeomanry Guidon and Andrew French

Andrew French? That's not Capt Andrew French of the Berkshire Yeomanry museum, is there another AF involved?

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For those unfamiliar with Atarurk's words:

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As a boy I can remember reading Potts' account in the old 1930s Odhams compendium Fifty Amazing Stories of the Great War and his name is firmly fixed in my memory as a result!

Well done all concerned.

Clive

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Andrew French? That's not Capt Andrew French of the Berkshire Yeomanry museum, is there another AF involved?

I was missed informed as to the speaker and this has been corrected above. I believe that Andrew French spoke concerning the Berkshire Yeomanry at Gallipoli.

Sorry for the confusion - I have not actually met Andrew French but have exchanged information relating to the Berkshire Yeomanry via the Great War Forum.

Sepoy

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Hi everybody

This was a superb day to remember for the day itself and to remember the fallen as well as Fred Potts and Arthur Andrews. We started fundraising in 2009 on the back of a suggestion of made by Graham McKechnie of BBC Berkshire and Jon Cooksey on a radio feature on Potts, that there should be a statue.

The idea was picked up by the then Reading West MP Martin Salter who got the committee together. Under our chairman Richard Bennett we raised the money over the six years but the game changer was the assistance of Haslam's Estate Agents and Chris Tarrant who became our Patron. I for one didn't thing we had any chance of raising the money at our outset.

Among the many tasks I was involved with was supplying Tom Murphy with the photos and info to get the details right - down to his asking did I have a photo of the underside of a Berks Yeoman's boot - well yes and the detail was incorporated

To remember what the serving unit was doing exactly, 100 years ago on 4th October 1914 -

They were in reserve trenches at Suvla as part of the 2nd Regiment. Here is a letter from Trooper Vic Hunt 1808 B Sqdn] son of Mr FC Hunt of Mortimer West End, writing to his friends on under the date October 4th says,

I went back to the Royal Army Medical Corps station last Wednesday[1]for four days to have my eyes dressed and came back to the trenches last night[2]. It did seem nice to get back out of shell fore for a little while for we never know when they are going to put a few over here, and it is not safe out of the trench. That is the worst of it, always having to live in dirt and flies all the time. Kill every fly you can for my sake; you would never realise what a curse they are out here, and the suffering they cause. It is an eye-opener for me, I can tell you. When I went back to the beach the other day, I took off my clothes and had a dip; it did seem nice, for I had not taken them off for weeks. We are living better now, get more bread

I had to go out one night some time ago with three others looking for snipers. It put me in mind of "sparrow catching," for we had to put our bayonets into bushes to see if Mr. Turk were there. Not a very nice thing to do, but it had to be did. Reading Mercury 30th Oct 1915


[1] Tpr VG Hunt 1808 admitted to FA Suvla with a debility on 29th September 1915

[2] Tpr VG Hunt 1808 rejoined unit on 3rd October 1915.

I finally like add that the work goes on in outreach events we carry out local schools and societies.

Regards and thanks to all to assisted. I am sorry to not meet some of you who posted and were there on the day.

Andrew French

Asst Hon Curator - Berkshire Yeomanry Museum

Member of the Potts VC Trust Committee

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Now Trooper Potts is having a Reading pub named after him.

article

Moonraker

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The original report on Potts when he crawled into the 6th Bn R Inniskilling Fusiliers' front line...

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and Peyton's recommendation...

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I visited the Trooper Potts memorial in Reading today. Very impressive and detailed. On the wall behind the statue is a memorial listing the names of Berkshire Yeomanry members who died in the Boer War and both world wars, including those who were serving with other units at the time.

Moonraker

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