POTTER, Maurice Henry

No.11182, Lance Corporal, Maurice Henry POTTER
Aged 23

1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Killed in Action on Sunday 31st January 1915

Maurice Henry Potter was born on 1st May 1891 (Chesterton Q2-1891 3B:499), baptised Little Wilbraham 31st May 1891, son of Elijah William and Jane POTTER (née COOK).

1901 census...Aged 9, he was at Railway Cottage, Six Mile Bottom with his father Elijah W.POTTER [47] a railway porter born Thorrington, Essex; his mother Jane [46] born Little Clacton, Essex; brothers Elijah W [24] (railway porter), Charles [20] (bricklayers labourer), Albert J [15] (domestic gardener), Robert E [13](potboy at hotel) and Amos F [7] and sister Amelia [18]. All the children are recorded as born in Little Wilbraham.

1911 census...Aged 21 he was in the Army in India (having given his age as 19 yrs 3 months in 1909).His parents, brother Amos Frederick (farm labourer) and Bertie Charles [9] born Six Mile Bottom, were at Six Mile Bottom.

Brother Amos Frederick died in France in 1918 just after the Armistice. see here..

He enlisted in Cambridge as # 2989, in the Reserve Battalion, Sherwood Foresters on 9th March 1909, giving his age as 18 years 10 months. He was 5ft 9.24 inches (176 cm} tall, weighed 166 lbs (75.5 kg), chest 36" to 38.5" (91.4 to 97.8 cm), an agricultural labourer
On 9th August 1909 he enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters at Derby, giving his age as 19 years 3 months, now 5' 10.5" (179.1 cm) tall, weighing 171 lbs (77.8 kg), chest 39.5" to 43" (100.3 to 109.2 cm), occupation gardener. On 20th September 1910 he was posted to India where he served at Deolali and Secunderabad. During April 1913, probably contracted at Deolali, he suffered from malaria and was under treatment until September of that year.
He returned to England on 3rd September 1914 and was posted to the British Expeditionary Force in France on 11th December 1914
He had been promoted at times to Lance Corporal and demoted and on 3rd October 1914 made Corporal, only to be tried by courts martial for being absent without leave and reduced to the ranks on 27th October. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 4th January 1915, only to be killed in action on 31st January near La Bassée.

After his death his family was reported as :
Parents living in Six Mile Bottom
brothers Elijah [42] at 18 Buckle St, Peterborough; Albert [43] illegible ; brother Robert [31] 1 Cheveley Cottages St Mary's ??? and brother Bertie Charles [17] Six Mile Bottom
sisters Agnes C [44] Saxon Street; sister Ada L [40] illegible and M J [36] Hall House, Stetchworth.
His father received his personal effects (only half the page survives) of 1 identity disc, Christmas card, French dictionary, 1 photo and 2 post cards
A great deal of his records are badly faded or only half pages

His entry in Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads:
" POTTER, Maurice Henry. L-Corpl., No.11182, 1st Battn. Sherwood Foresters, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment.,4th s. of Elijah William Potter, of Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, co.Cambridge, Goods Porter on the Great Eastern Railway at Six Mile Bottom Station, by his wife, Jane, dau. of James Cook; b. Six Mile Bottom, 1 May 1891; educ. Council School there; enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters, 2 March,1909 served in India, Sept 1911 to Oct.1914 and with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, Nov.1914 to 1 Feb.1915, ion which latter date he was killed in action near La Bassée, and was buried 30 yards west of the Estaire-La Bassée road; unm.
He gained the 2nd Class certificate of education 19 Dec. 1909, and a 1st Class Certificate of the same, 27 March, 1913; he also gained four good conduct badges, and the swimming certificate at Bombay, 17 Jan.1914. His three brothers are all now (1916) on active service."

The Cambridge Independent Press of 12th March 1915 reported his death.

photo; Rodney Gibson

No Known Grave
Maurice Potter is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, France - panels 26 & 27
and also the Memorial at Little Wilbraham

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details