Corporal/Lieutenant Robert Gowland Potts
Born. Leeds, 3/10/1886
Robert Gowland Potts, second youngest son of Thomas Robert and Jane Potts of 11, Ash Grove, Headingley, Leeds, was working as a chemist in Meanwood, Leeds, when war broke out.
He Joined the "Pals" on the 5th of September 1914, and served as a stretcher bearer with the battalion. He was soon promoted to Corporal and served with the "Pals" in Colsterdale, Egypt and France.
On the 20/3/1918 he was Commissioned into the 3rd York and Lancs Regt as a 2nd Lieutenant, and having survived the rest of the war unwounded, left the army in 1919 as a Lieutenant.
His younger brother Charles, Born 30/6/1889, served throughout the war with the Royal Garrison Artillery and after the war returned to work in the renowned "Potts of Leeds" family clock-making business. He left the family business in April 1930 to start his own turret clock company where he worked until the business was sold in the 1950s. He died on the 10/10/1958.
A cousin William Edgar Potts, who had emigrated to Canada in April 1913 and by August 1914 was farming in Alberta, and serving in the Alberta Hussars returned to England and enlisted early 1915 as a private in the 8th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles T.A.) he was awarded a Military Medal For Bravery as a Lance Sergeant, with the 2nd/8th battalion and promoted to Sergeant shortly afterwards. This award was gazetted on 11/5/1917.
The Citation reads:
'He successfully held a forward outpost against heavy shelling and continuous attacks by the enemy'
In January 1918 he returned to England to be married and receive Officer training. He was given a commission into the 5th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment(T.A) and to France in April attached to the Leeds Pals.
On the 13th of April 1918, 2nd lieutenant Potts led his platoon into action against a heavy German attack and at a critical moment, whilst operating the Lewis gun, was killed by an enemy shell.
Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium.