Joseph POTTS
Rank: Private
Number: 37131
Unit: 8th Battalion BERKSHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 2 July 1917
Age: 19
Cemetery: Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery, Nieuwpoort, Belgium

Joseph was born in Stockport and lived at 28 Jennings Road, Edgeley with his parents, brothers and sisters. It is not known what the young man did for a living but much of his social life revolved round the Stockport Sunday School. His sister, Annie, was the girlfriend of Teddy Kirkpatrick. She was a member of the School’s Young Ladies Class and Teddy probably attended and was, no doubt, a friend of Joseph’s.

Joseph is thought to have been a pre-War Territorial soldier and drilled with the 5th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment at the drill hall in Cheadle. His service number was 2068 and he was mobilised when War was declared, going overseas in February 1915. Teddy Kirkpatrick also joined the 5th Cheshires within a week or so of the War starting. At some point, he was transferred to the Berkshires. This was possibly after a lengthy period away from the Cheshires, possibly recovering from a wound or illness. When he was fit enough to return to duty, the Berkshires will have been in greater need of replacements.

Teddy died on 25 June 1917 from wounds he’d received and, only a few days later, news would come to Edgeley that Joseph had also been fatally injured. He had been one of the Battalion’s signallers but on the day he was killed the men were away from the front line. They were undertaking working parties, including carrying stores up to the front line. His officer wrote to the family saying he had been hit by a piece of shrapnel. Although badly wounded, he had suffered little pain and had borne up manfully until he died a few minutes later. He had been a fine soldier, always cheerful no matter how hard or dangerous the work and he would be greatly missed by the signalling section.

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