Search our records : James Potter

Surname: Potter
Forename(s): James
Service Number: 202279
Date of Birth: 23rd May 1877
Force: Army
Unit: Worcestershire Regiment
Date of Death: 22nd May 1917
Where Buried / Commemorated: Beer Church Cemetery
Civilian Occupation: Mason's labourer, Beer Quarry
Parents: William and Mary Potter
Home address: Malt House Lane, Beer

James Potter was born in Beer on 23rd May 1877, the son of William Potter, a farm labourer, and his wife Mary.  At the time of the 1911 census the family was living at 2 Lion Villa in Beer.  James was single, and worked as a mason’s labourer at Beer Quarry, while his elder brother, William, was a fisherman. The family later moved to Malt House Lane.

James enlisted at Axminster, and joined 1/7th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment.  His army record has not survived, but his medal records show he went on active service at some time after January 1916.

In April 1917 his battalion was in trenches near Gillemont farm on the Somme. Its war diary for 30th April records one man being wounded.  This appears to have been James, because when he was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, near Southampton, on 21st May 1917, the admission register stated that he had already been receiving treatment for 22 days.  He had gunshot wounds to his face, neck and leg.

James died the following day, 22nd May 1917, and was buried in Beer cemetery on 2nd June, with full military honours. The Pulman’s Weekly News reported that: “Business houses were closed, and every private home had blinds drawn.” Several sailors from Beer who were home on leave attended the funeral, as did a wounded soldier who lived in the village.