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  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 22 September 1915. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Person Details
Old Radford Nottingham
John William (Jack) was the son of Joseph and Sarah Ann Pottinger (née Lowe). John's father was born in Radford in 1845, the son of William and Jane Pottinger who in 1851 were living on Princes Street, Radford. It is likely that Joseph joined the 16th Regiment of Lancers in January 1862 at the age of 18 (543 Private). He served in the army until 10 June 1865 (3 years 149 days) when he was discharged at Colchester having been found medically unfit for further service. He intended to return to his original employment of cotton doubler and gave his future address as Leen-side, New Lenton. His mother Sarah Ann Lowe was born in about 1851, also in Radford. Joseph and Sarah were married at Lenton St Anthony on 7 May 1871 (A/M/J Radford) and according to the 1911 Census had had nine children of whom eight were still living. Their nine children were: John William b. 1871 (J/A/S Radford) bap. Meadows St Saviour 21 April 1886; Frederick George birth registered 1873 (J/F/M Radford) bap. St Saviour 19 March 1899; Jane Ann b. 25 November 1875 (O/N/D Radford) bap. St Saviour 19 March 1899; Barbara Ann b. 1878 (J/A/S Radford) bap. Nottingham St John 6 February 1898; Edwin Joseph b. 1881 (A/m/J Nottingham) bap. [Edward Joseph] St John 28 September 1892; Mary Wise or Wyles b. 1884 (A/M/J Nottingham) bap. St John 28 September 1892 d. 3 March 1905; Kate b. 1884 (A/M/J Nottingham) bap. St John 28 September 1892; Ernest b. 17 June 1887 bap. St John 28 September 1892 and Bertha Eliza b. 4 December 1889 (O/N/D Nottingham) bap. St John 28 September 1892. In 1881 Joseph (35), an overlooker (cotton factory), and Sarah (30) were living at 9 Mount Pleasant, Lenton, with their five children, John (9), Frederick (8), Jane (5), Barbara (2) and Edwin (1 month). Also in the home was a boarder, Rebecca Wragg (18) a cotton doubler. They had moved to 5 Arkwright Terrace, Meadows, by 1886 when John was baptised in the parish church and were still living there in 1891. By then Joseph was working as a leather dresser. Eight of their nine children were in the home on the night of the census: John, a skinner probably at the same place of work as his father, Jane, a lace hand, Barbara, Edwin, Mary (6), Kate (6), Ernest (3) and Bertha (1). Their second son, Frederick, had joined the Notts & Derby Regiment in 1890 (2821 Private) and in 1891 was serving at Tregantle Fort, Cornwall. The family had moved to 25 Orange Street, Nottingham, by 1892 when their five youngest children were baptised at the parish church of St John but six years later in 1898 when Jane and Barbara were baptised at Saviour's were living at 10 Hartford Street. Joseph and Sarah were still living at 10 Hartford Street in 1901 although only five of their children were in the home on the night of the census: Barbara a hosiery winder, Mary a machine hand, Kate a lace hand, Ernest an errand boy and Bertha. Their eldest daughter, Jane was married (Rudkin. m. 1898) while their three eldest sons, John, Frederick and Edwin have not yet been traced on the 1901 Census. However, Frederick's army service record shows that served in South Africa from 11 November 1899 to 19 April 1901 and it is possible his two brothers were also serving, John having attested in the Notts & Derby Regiment in 1892 and Edwin in the Militia (4th Bn Derbyshire Regiment) in 1898. The third daughter, Mary, died four years later on 3 March 1905 aged 20. By 1911 Joseph, now a church caretaker, probably at St Saviour's, and Sarah were living at 210 Waterway Street, Nottingham, with four of their eight surviving children: John a railway porter, Ernest a gas maker (sic), Bertha a curtain folder in the lace trade, and their widowed son Frederick, a railway plate layer, together with his eldest daughter, Gladys. Frederick had married Rosamund James in 1903 (A/M/J Nottingham) the year after his discharge from the army on 24 May 1902 having served 12 years 3 days. They had their first child, Gladys in 1905 (J/A/S Nottingham) and their second, Rosamund Mary, in 1908 (J/A/S Nottingham); his wife had died in July 1908. At the time of the 1911 Census the two year old Rosamund Mary was living with his wife's married sister, Charlotte Parr, in Jacksdale, Nottinghamshire. Of their other four children, Jane, Barbara and Kate were married and Edwin, who had married Elsie Yates in 1911 (Derby Register Office), was serving with the 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters at Crownill Hutments, Crownhill, Devon. Edwin and Elsie had two daughters, Alfreda Mary b. 26 June 1911 and Constance b. 26 February 1916. John married Ellenor (sic) Shepherd in 1911 (J/A/S Nottingham) and at the time of his death in 1915 were living at 10 Taylor's Cottages, Melton Street, London Road, Nottingham. The later CWGC record gives Ellenor's address as 28 Lammas Street, Nottingham. She married David Cooper in 1921 (J/F/M Nottingham). Frederick died on 28 June 1915 three days before John was killed in action in France and less than two weeks before Edwin was also killed in action in France. Their mother Sarah Ann died in November 1921 (burial 19 November) and father Joseph in 1925 (burial 5 December 1925). Of John's five surviving siblings: Jane married John Thomas Rudkin (b. 6 December 1874) in 1898 (O/N/D Nottingham). In 1911 they were living at 212 Waterway Street, Nottingham; John was an iron foundry labourer and Jane a shopkeeper/grocer (own account). Also in the home were their children Ethel (11), John Thomas (9) and Elsie May b. 28 December 1904 and John's unmarried sister Hannah Maria (34) a curtain cutter (lace trade). John and Jane were still living at the same address in 1939 although Jane was now longer the shopkeeper. Her husband died on 3 March 1952 and she on 15 July 1963; they had moved to 109 Rothesay Avenue Lenton and in both cases probate was awarded to their youngest daughter Elsie May Rudkin (d. 3 May 2003). Barbara married Henry Matthew Trussell at St Saviour's on 29 March 1902 and in 1911 they were living on Bathley Street, Meadows; Henry was a railway guard. They were living at 47 Colleygate Road, Meadows, when Matthew attested on 22 June 1915 (307537 Private, Sherwood Foresters). He served in France from 23 October 1916 and was demoblized on 13 March 1919. They were still living at the same address when Barbara died on 14 November 1942. Her husband was awarded administration of her Will; the probate record gave his occupation as railway lampman. Henry died four years later on 28 November 1946; the probate record gave his palce of death as LMS [London Midland Scottish] railway sidings. Kate married in 1907 (O/N/D Nottingham). Ernest married Lydia Wells (b. 4 October 1886) in 1927 (A/M/J Nottingham). Lydia had a daughter Gertrude Wells who married Arthur Turner in 1933 and died on 4 April 1939. When the England & Wales Register was compiled in 1939 Ernest and Lydia were living at 241 Waterway Street, Nottingham; Ernest was a general labourer and Lydia a shopkeeper. Ernest died on 10 October 1941 and his widow in 1964 (A/M/J Nottngham) Bertha Eliza married George Clay (b. 13 October 1896) in 1918 and in 1939 they were living in Nottingham; George was an iron foundry foreman. Also in the home was their daughter Shirley b. 27 May 1936. Bertha died in May 1967 (burial 24 May).
In 1891 John was a skinner (probably at a local tannery) but attested in the Notts & Derby Regiment in 1892. In 1911 he was a railway porter
01 Aug 1915
44
477936 - CWGC Website
2239
Residence Nottingham, enlisted Nottngham
Lance Corporal
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
There is a record that John William Pottinger enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in 1892 and may have been serving in the army in 1901. However, he was in a civilian occupation by 1911. He served with the 1/7th (Robin Hood) battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) in the war and landed in France on 28th February 1915. He was killed in action five months later on 1st August 1915 and is buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium (grave ref II.E.4). John qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC Sanctuary Wood Cemetery (extract): 'There were three Commonwealth cemeteries at Sanctuary Wood before June 1916, all made in May-August 1915. The first two were on the western end of the wood, the third in a clearing further east. All were practically obliterated in the Battle of Mount Sorrel [June 1916], but traces of the second were found and it became the nucleus of the present Sanctuary Wood Cemetery ... In Plot I is buried Lieutenant G.W.L. Talbot, in whose memory Talbot House at Poperinghe was established in December 1915. The first list of the graves was made by his brother the Reverend N.S. Talbot, MC, later Bishop of Pretoria.' Rev. Talbot was vicar of Nottingham St Mary from 1933 until his death in 1943. Sherwood Foresters at Hooge Hooge lay east of Ypres and was the site of intense fighting between the Germans and British throughout the war, control passing between them. At the end of July 1915, it was in German hands. The mine at Hooge had been detonated on 19 July 1915 and the position taken and held. The crater was to be the backdrop for the deployment of a new weapon by the Germans. The French had already been acquainted with the German Flammenwerfen which consisted of a cylinder of fuel strapped to a soldier. A soldier ignited the fuel which could then be fired in jets up to 25 metres. The Germans had been bombarding the British front line at Hooge for some time and the trenches were in ruins. Then at 03:15 hours on 30 July the 8th Rifle Brigade who were holding the northern edge of the step and the crater were subjected to an onslaught by the Germans deploying flamethrowers. The Germans were now sweeping the Riflemen out of their trenches and pushing eastwards in the act of taking men from the 7 KRRC from both rear and the front as a second attack was launched westwards by the Germans. The British were in danger of being trapped. Counter attacks by the British amounted to very little and 7 KRRC were forced to retire into the northern edge of Sanctuary Wood. The line was held but for the moment Hooge Château and Crater were in the hands of the Germans. 32 Sherwood Foresters from 1/7th and 1/8th Battalions were killed during these actions. On 9th August, 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters assisted 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry in re-taking the position near Sanctuary Wood. The Durhams suffered 50% casualties, whilst the Foresters had 114 men killed and 227 wounded that day. David Nunn
His brother Sgt. Edwin Joseph Pottinger, 2nd Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915, eight days after the death in action of his brother John William. Edwin is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Another brother, Frederick George, had died suddenly on 28 June 1915, three days before John William's death: Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 30 June 1915 - ‘Pottinger. On the 28th inst., at 11, Pinder’s House-road, Frederick George, aged 42 years, dearly-beloved son of Joseph and Sarah Ann Pottinger, died suddenly. Service St Margaret’s Church, Thursday , 1.45’ (wwwb.ritishnewspaperaarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 14 August 1915 (abridged): 'Pottinger, killed in action August 1st, Lance Corporal JW Pottinger, 1/7th Sherwood Foresters, husband of Nellie Pottinger, 10 Taylor's Cottages, Melton Street, London Road.' Nottingham Evening Post, 3 September 1915 (abridged): 'Pottinger, killed in action August 1st, Lance Corporal JW Pottinger, 1/7th Sherwood Foresters age 41 years, also Sergeant EJ Pottinger, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, killed in action 9 August aged 34. Sons of Joseph and Sarah Ann Pottinger.' A memorial service was held on 19th September 1915 for two brothers who had been killed in action in Flanders the previous month details were published in the Nottingham Daily Express 20th September 1915 :- “CONGREGATION IN MOURNING. “Memorial Service for Nottingham Soldier Brothers. “In memory of Sergeant Edwin Pottinger, of the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters, and of his brother. Lance-Corporal John W. Pottinger, of the Robin Hoods, both of whom fell in action in France early last month, a funeral service was held at St. Margaret's Church, Nottingham, yesterday. [19th September 1915] The church was crowded with sympathetic members of the congregation and members of the mother church, St. Saviour's, for the heroes' father was formerly a church officer. A sad circumstance associated with their death was that another brother [1] died suddenly in the street only a few weeks ago. The Rev. W. A. Bywater conducted the service, which was choral and very impressive. “St. Saviour's and St. Margaret’s have about 300 members serving with the Colours, and 15 of them have sacrificed their lives.” [1] A widowed plate-layer, Frederick George Pottinger, died in Nottingham on 28th June 1915. Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Nottingham Evening Post, 22 September 1915, photographs of JW & EJ Pottinger with caption: ‘Lce-Cpl JW Pettinger, 1/7th Robin Hoods, 10, Taylor’s Cottages, London Road, Nottm., killed in action Aug. 1st. Sgt EJ Pottinger, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, brother of JW and killed in action same day (sic) after 16 years’ service.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, Wednesday 9 August 1916: ‘Pottinger. Killed in action, August 1st 1915, Lance Corporal J Pottinger; also Sergeant EJ Pottinger, killed August 9th 1915. If your eyes were only open what a change you would see, but God has willed it not to be. Loving sisters and brother Jane, Bertha and Jack.’ (www.british newspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, Wednesday 9 August 1916: ‘Pottinger. In loving memory of my dear sons and brothers, Fred, died suddenly June 28th 1915; Lance-Corporal J Pottinger, killed in action, August 1st; also Sergeant EJ Pottinger, killed August 9th, 1915. Our boys have gone , and we are left to think of them in sorrow, but we must hope to meet again on that eternal morrow. Mother, sisters, and brother Ernest.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His widow Elleanor (sic) was his sole legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 22 September 1915. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    John William Pottinger - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 22 September 1915. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)