Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Memorial for Victoria Cross hero

Pte Fred Potts: Pic from Berkshire Yeomanry Museum
Fred Potts was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery

Plans to raise £60,000 for a memorial to honour Reading's only holder of the Victoria Cross have been discussed.

Trooper Fred Potts was awarded the medal in August 1915 for his bravery when he dragged an injured comrade to safety on a shovel, in Gallipoli.

The bid follows his story being told in a BBC Radio Berkshire documentary broadcast on Remembrance Sunday.

One idea is to erect a lifesize bronze or stone statue on a plinth in Forbury Gardens, Reading.

MPs Martin Salter and Rob Wilson attended the meeting which was held in the mayor's parlour at midday.

Master tailor

Trooper Potts, serving in the Berkshire Yeomanry and aged 22, dragged fellow soldier and townsman Arthur Andrews to safety on a shovel under heavy enemy fire in 1915.

The pair hid for two days below the Turkish trenches but when they eventually decided to try to return to the British line Trooper Andrews was too badly wounded to move.

In November the families of both men met for the first time.

Trooper Potts was an ordinary Reading man who did an extra ordinary act of bravery to help his comrade
Cllr Fred Pugh

Trooper Potts survived World War I and returned to Reading to become a master tailor.

He died in 1943 having suffered throughout his life from his wounds.

The grandchildren of Trooper Potts have said that any memorial erected should be dedicated to Fred Potts VC and also the men of the Berkshire Yeomanry killed at Gallipoli.

Councillor Fred Pugh, the Mayor of Reading, said: "Trooper Potts was an ordinary Reading man who did an extraordinary act of bravery to help his comrade.

"It is vital that we remember not only his bravery but that of all our other brave members of the Armed Forces from past and present wars.

"There is a plaque commemorating his bravery at Brock Barracks, but I, along with many others, feel a more prominent and accessible tribute must be erected."



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SEE ALSO
Families meet over town's VC hero
06 Nov 09 |  Berkshire
History of the Berkshire Yeomanry
06 Nov 09 |  History
What the Potts story means to me
05 Nov 09 |  History

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