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Senior School News

The Abbey honoured to help unveil memorial to Trooper Potts (VC)

On Sunday 4 October 14 Sixth Form girls attended the unveiling of a memorial statue to Trooper Potts, Reading's only VC holder, outside Forbury Gardens.

Trooper Potts was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the First World War. The Trooper Potts VC Memorial Trust raised more than £200,000 for the project and the statue was officially unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire and patron of the Trust, Chris Tarrant.

Potts was hit by machine gun fire at the Battle of Scimitar Hill while racing towards the summit and he fell into a patch of scrub where he recognised a man who lived just a mile away from him in Reading - Trooper Arthur Andrews. Both men were badly wounded and left out on the battlefield after their squadron retreated. They waited in the scrub for nearly three days while suffering dehydration, hunger and intense pain from their wounds before Potts decided to drag Andrews to safety.

Maya Andrews (Year 10), Trooper Andrews' great great niece, read The Ode for the Fallen at the ceremony which was attended by over 350 people. Maya had previously organised a fundraising cake sale at school for the Trust. The memorial includes a bronze roll of honour board, listing the 400 members of the Berkshire Yeomanry who lost their lives during the 20th Century. After the conflict ended The Abbey School held Christmas lunches for World War I veterans which both Trooper Potts and Trooper Andrews regularly attended. According to our archives, these lunches came to an end in the early 1960s.