A MEMORIAL telling the story of Reading’s most famous VC winner has been unveiled by his granddaughter on the anniversary of his death, writes Ruth Williams.
Descendants of Trooper Potts, who died on November 2, 1943, unveiled the plaque at Reading Crematorium to tell the story of the town’s hero.
Frederick William Owen Potts won the Victoria Cross for his bravery rescuing a wounded comrade during one of the Great War’s largest battles.
He dragged injured soldier Arthur Andrews, also from Reading, to safety during the Battle of Gallipoli, in August 1915.
'The Hero with a Shovel' rescued his comrade from certain death on the battlefield at Scimitar Hill.
Trooper Potts pulled him across no man's land on a shovel for two days as they slowly crept towards safety.
Richard Bennett, chairman of the Trooper Potts VC Trust, unveiled the plaque with Anne Ames, the solider’s granddaughter.
“A bronze plaque to Trooper Potts VC was erected at the crematorium at the time of Fred’s death. However, now installed within the building, it is of necessity somewhat inaccessible,” he said.
“We were therefore delighted to be approached earlier in the year by the crematorium team with the proposal for an information board about Trooper Potts VC in the waiting room of the South Chapel and that AB Walker and Son had offered to cover the cost.
“We have worked with the family, the crematorium team, Julian Walker and designer Anne-Marie Carroll, on a design.
“That it is being unveiled on the 73rd anniversary, to the day, of Fred’s death, is particularly poignant for the family.”
Earlier this year a statute of the hero was unveiled outside Forbury Gardens beside a Yeonmanry roll of honour.
Both troopers Potts and Andrews survived the war. Andrews lived to 89 dying in 1980.