No.9218, Private, Fred POTTER
Aged 21

7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 12th October 1916

Fred Edward Potter was born Weston Colville (Linton Q2-1895 3B:511), son of John and Lydia POTTER (née LINSDELL).

1901 census...Aged 6 he was at The Green, Weston Colville with his father John POTTER [38] farm labourer; his mother Lydia [37] born Saffron Walden; sisters Annie [17], Laura J[7] and Kate L [3]; brothers John [15] farm labourer, George Walley. [10] and James A [4]. All except his mother were born in Weston Colville.

1911 census...Aged 16 (farm labourer) he was at Chapel Road, Weston Colville with his parents; brothers John, George and James (all farm labourers), Frank [9] Birtie [8] and Walter [5]; sisters Laura and Kate. The new brothers all born in Weston Colville

His brother George Walley POTTER enlisted in 1915, was wounded in 1917 but survived the war as No 21015, Pte, Suffolk Regiment. His brother James died in 1920 in Papworth Everard in 1920 as a result of his military service in the West Yorkshire Regiment and Labour Corps and is buried in Exning see here

He enlisted in Cambridge.
The 7th Suffolk were in the front line,prepared to attack BAYONET TRENCH and LUISENHOFF FARM, it was a quiet morning and by 5am the battalion was lying in shell holes in front, ready.
Major Henty went to forward HQ in GRASS STREET to get reports at 10 am.
At 2 pm the attack started, the German barrage was very intense. The battalion advanced in four waves, each company with a platoon front. No definite report was made until 6 pm when the battalion was back in front line, having failed to reach its objective.
'B' and 'D' Coys had reached their objective but were driven back by superior numbers. 1st Essex on the right gained their objective but were unable to hold it, finally they managed keep a part of it. The Battalion withdrew to Reserve in FLERS TRENCH.

Lt Col Murphy, in his "History of the Suffolk Regiment" records that over 500 men became casualties, due in part to uncut wire and to an ineffective barrage. One officer had been buried twice before zero hour and all the officers that went over the top were casualties. CWGC puts the dead at 104.

Fred Potter is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier and face 1C/2A

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

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