The AIF Project

James Carter POTTS

Regimental number6250
Place of birthSouth Australia
Place of birthParratoo, South Australia
OccupationBullock driver
AddressMerriden, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 10.5"
Weight178 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Carter Potts, Popanyinning, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date19 April 1916
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 13 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll16th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Age at death from cemetery records26.4
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Mr W.C. and Emma POTTS
Family/military connectionsBrother: [1499] Lt Alfred Ernest POTTS MM, 12th Bn, returned to Australia, 13 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 10 October 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 2 December 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 January 1917; taken on strength, 16th Bn, in the field, 21 January 1917.

Admitted to 13th Field Ambulance, 30 January 1917 (parotitis), and transferred to 38th Casualty Clearing Station; to 14th Stationary Hospital, 1 February 1917 (mumps); to 1st Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 13 February 1917; discharged to 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 23 February 1917; marched out to rejoin Bn, 5 March 1917.

Killed in action, 11 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, POTTS James Carter

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