Trooper Potts: Reading’s only Victoria Cross winner commemorated with statue outside Forbury Gardens

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Trooper Potts Memorial unveiling ceremony on Sunday 4th October

St Edward’s boys attend event to unveil and dedicate the memorial to Trooper Fred Potts VC and Trooper Arthur Andrews who were both wounded in Gallipoli in 1915. Fredrick Owen Potts was awarded the Victoria Cross after endangering his own life to drag his wounded comrade from the battlefield in the First World War.trooepr poots 2

*Joe Tomblin with sculpture, Tom Murphy and Steve Woodford (‘old’ St Edward’s boy) *

Joe Tomblin, representing the boys from St Edwards who were involved in the Trooper Pott’s charity Educational outreach programme in 2014, attended the ceremony. Joe was very excited to meet Tom Murphy, the sculptor of the statue, and another St Edwards boy, Steve Woodford, who is now MD of Haslams, the major sponsor of the project.

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*Joe with Anne Ames – granddaughter of Trooper Potts*

Joe also had the great pleasure to meet the granddaughter of Trooper Potts. Anne attended the event with a large number of the Potts family. Trooper Andrews family were also in attendance.

The Trust responsible for raising funds for the statue have initiated the annual Trooper Potts VC Prize for History at Reading College, and college students have assisted the Trust with outreach work at local schools.
When they visited St Edwards, the students from Reading College explained the background to the First World War. The children were asked write a letter home from the hospital, sketch the rescue, describe the rescue as a reporter, write a poem or write a diary entry having just been awarded the VC. Those completing the best work in each category were presented with a ‘VC Certificate’ by Brigadier Verey from the Berkshire Yeomanry.

Commenting on the day and the overall ‘Potts experience’, Joe Tomblin said ‘I am very proud to be involved in the project, as many people have worked so hard to raise money for the Trust. Now whenever we see the statue in Forbury Gardens, we can take time to reflect and think about bravery and support for others. It was also a really cool way to learn about the First World War’.