Private 41031 James Potts

Potts James 96 450x600

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 18th September 1918, age 19.
Buried in Grave IV. J. 17. at Unicorn Cemetery, Vend'Huile, Aisne, France.

7th Bn., East Yorkshire Regiment. 50th Brigade of 17th Division.

Son of William and Elizabeth Potts, of 303, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Mission Church Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/177722/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
4 Keelinge Street, Tipton, Staffs.
William Potts (32, Forge Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (28, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Florence (6, born Tipton), Elizabeth (4, born Tipton), James (2, born Tipton), Roshannah (3 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
303 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Head was William Wright (60, Widower, born Dudley Port) and boarding with him was his daughter, husband and family:
William Potts (43, Iron Worker, born Dudley Port), his wife Elizabeth (39, born Dudley Port), and their 7 children: Florence (16, Sorter in factory, born Dudley Port), Elizabeth (14, Home, born Dudley Port), James (12, School, born Dudley Port), Roshannah (9, School, born Dudley Port), Frank (7, School, born Dudley Port), William (5, School, born Dudley Port), and Laura (2, born Dudley Port).

Personal Data

James Potts as remembered on his parent's grave in Tipton Cemetery, but his date of death is given as 18th October 1918, whereas the Commonwealth Graves Commission believes it to be 18th September 1918.

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £16/11/11d (16 pounds, 11 shillings and 11 pence); this was paid to his father, William, in April 1919. His War Gratuity was £5/10/0d (5 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his father in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately May 1917.

Action resulting in his death

The Battle of Epehy on 18th September 1918 was a prelude to the attack on the Hindenburg Line. The 7th East Yorks were on the left flank as part of 17th Division, this part of the attack foundered because of German fortifications at 'the Knoll' and Gillemont Farm. In the centre of the attack the Australians took all their objectives, advancing up to 3 miles.

The Battle of Epehy was a partial success, not only because of the Australian advance but also because it showed that German resistance was lessening giving encouragement for a swift resumption of the Allied advance. Just 11 days later, on the 29th September, the Hindenburg Line was broken when the 46th (North Midlands) Division crossed the St Quentin Canal at Riqueval Bridge.

James Potts was killed on the 18th September, and is buried in Unicorn Cemetery, Vend'Huile.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 23rd November 1918
Previously reported missing, now reported killed.
East Yorks Regiment, Potts, 41031, J., (Tipton).