John F Potterton

John Frederick Potteron was born in Burton, near Lincoln, c1896.  In 1901 the family were in Broom Hills, Skellingthorpe.  About a year later they moved to Brant Broughton. By 1911 (aged 15) John was working in Brant Broughton as a farm labourer (as was his father). The family then moved to Knapthorne Cottage, Caunton (Notts).  During the war his parents (John Henry and Mary Ellen) moved to Claypole.

John volunteered for the Lincolnshire Regiment and joined 1/4th Battalion, which landed in France in Mar 2015.  He was reported missing on 13 Oct 1915 during the attack at the Hohenzollern Redoubt and was later confirmed as killed.

Hohenzollern Redoubt

 

This action took place during the final stage of the Battle of Loos. The casualty rate amongst units of the 46th (North Midland) Division was worse than that of the ‘Pals’ Battalions on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  The Division consisted entirely of Territorial Army units and this was their first major action.  The 1/4th and 1/5th Lincolnshires were wiped out in less than half an hour. Of those killed 90% of the 1/4th Lincolns have no known graves; however John Potterton was buried at Canadian Cemetery No2, Neuville St. Vaast.  

He is listed on the Marston and Caunton war memorials. It’s not clear what the Marston connection is. The Grantham Journal reported that the only man from the district to enlist in the last week of Nov 1914 was F.W. Potterton of Marston, who’d joined 1/4th Lincolnshire Regt. No record has been found of an FW Potterton living in Marston, or serving in the Army.  So it could be that the newspaper mis-reported his initials and John was living in Marston in 1914 (with/without his family).