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  • Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
14 Oct 1883
Newstead Nottinghamshire
William Henry was the son of Henry and Emma Potter (née Hodges). His parents, who were both born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, were married in May 1881 at Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, and by 1911 had had fourteen children, eight of whom had died young. Their six surviving children were William Henry b. 14 October 1883, Thomas b. 1885, Mabel birth registered 1888 (J/F/M), Emma b. 1890 and Herbert b. 1891 who were born in Newstead, and Aaron b. Sutton in Ashfield 1902. The family was living in Newstead in 1891 but had moved to Mason Street, Sutton in Ashfield, by 1901. Henry, a coal miner, and Emma were living at 74 Mason Street in 1911; only three of their children, Thomas, Herbert and Aaron, were in the home on the night of the census. William had married Florence Munton (b. Derby 1884), the daughter of James and Emma Munton, in October 1910. There were no children of the marriage. In 1911 they were living at 131 Unwin Road, Sutton in Ashfield. Also in the home on the night of the census was a visitor, Florence's sister, Mary Ethel (16) a hospital housemaid. Florence later moved to 28 Erasmus Street, Derby, and married secondly George Holloway, a widower, at Derby St Olave in September 1917. She and her husband were still living in Derby in 1939 when the England and Wales Register was compiled. Florence probably died in 1956.
1901 - coal miner loader. 1902 - enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (see 'Military history'). 1911 - coal miner hewer.
05 May 1915
3054951 - CWGC Website
Chatham Bn Royal Marine Light Infantry
Chatham Battalion Royal Marine Light Infantry, ex-Private Notts & Derby Regiment. William attested in the Sherwood Foresters, Notts & Derby Regiment (7260 Private), on a Short Service Engagement (7 years with the Colours, 5 years Reserve) on 20 February 1902. He was 18 years 4 months old and employed as a labourer. He served at home from 1902 and according to his service record was discharged 'on the termination of his first period of engagement' on 19 February 1914. As he was in civilian employment in 1911 he had probably been discharged to the Army Reserve by this date, perhaps after completing seven years in the regular army. He enlisted on 31 August 1914 and transferred to the RMLI (short service engagement) on 16 September 1914 and posted to Chatham Battalion. (See note below about the transfer of Sherwood Foresters to the Royal Marines.) William served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 6 February 1915 and was killed in action at Gallipoli on 5 May 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey (Gallipoli), Panel 2 to 7. CWGC - History of the Helles Memorial (extract): 'The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea. The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac. On 6 August, further landings were made at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and the climax of the campaign came in early August when simultaneous assaults were launched on all three fronts. However, the difficult terrain and stiff Turkish resistance soon led to the stalemate of trench warfare. From the end of August, no further serious action was fought and the lines remained unchanged. The peninsula was successfully evacuated in December and early January 1916.' (www.cwgc.org) Potter was one of 'Kitchener's Marines' who were transferred from the Sherwood Foresters to the RMLI. Des Turner notes '600 RMLI transfers came from two regiments - 200 from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and 400 from the Sherwood Foresters. They were predominantly ex-miners and labourers, fit men wanted for their ability to dig trenches and tunnels. The 200 KOYLI recruits were transferred to Plymouth Division RMLI and were given service numbers PLY/1(S) to PLY200(S). This was also the case for the Sherwood Foresters 200 who were dispatched to Portsmouth where already 30 men were recruited and so they became PO/31(S) to PO/230(S). 200 remaining Foresters went to Chatham and were numbered CH/1 to CH/200(S).'
RN&RM War Graves Roll: widow Florence Potter, 28 Erasmus Street, Derby. Mansfield Reporter, 4 June 1915: ‘Suttonians Killed in the Dardanelles. We regret to announce the death of several Suttonians in the Dardanelles’ fighting. They are as follows: Private Thos Goodall, 25 Fairfield-road. Private William Hy Potter, Mason-street. Private Robert Waldron, High Pavement. Lance-Corpl. WH Johnson, who was connected with the Skegby Cricket Club. All the men were in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. (www.cwgc.org)
    William Henry Potter - Commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. (www.cwgc.org)