Personal info

  • Name: Frederick William Owen POTTS
  • D.O.B: 18th December, 1892
  • D.O.A: 23rd August, 1915
  • D.O.D: 3rd November, 1942
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry, 2nd (South Midland) Yeomanry Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division

Scimitar Hill, Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, Turkey 21-23 August 1915

21-23 August 1915

More details about:
The Gallipoli Campaign 25 April 1915–9 January 1916 

On 21 August 1915, in an attempt to protect the forces at Suvla Bay from Turkish fire from the high ground surrounding the Bay, the Allies launched a concerted attack westwards on the Turkish line from Scimitar Hill (Hill 70) in the north, to Hill 60 in the south. The attack was timed for the afternoon in the hope that the sun would blind the Turks but in the event cloud blotted out the sun and haze obscured the Turkish positions. The attack proved largely ineffective and very costly. At Scimitar Hill, where there had already been heavy fighting on 9 August (see P H Hansen VC above), the British twice managed to reach its crest but were unable to hold it. Amongst those killed in the fighting was Captain G R O’Sullivan VC. As the British finally withdrew, scores of wounded were left on the slopes of the Hill, including Private F W O Potts and Trooper A W Andrews, 1st Berkshire Yeomanry, who lay there for two nights, hiding from the Turks. The only water to be had was from the water bottles of dead comrades. On the 23rd Potts managed to make it back to British lines dragging Andrews on a shovel.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to a wounded comrade in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Although himself severely wounded in the thigh in the attack on “Hill 70” on 21st August, 1915, he remained out over 48 hours under the Turkish trenches with a private of his Regiment who was severely wounded and unable to move, although he could himself have returned to safety. Finally he fixed a shovel to the equipment of his wounded comrade, and, using this as a sledge, he dragged him back over 600 yards to our lines, though fired at by the Turks on the way. He reached our trenches at about 9.30 p.m. on 23rd August. 

The London Gazette of 1 October 1915, Numb. 29312, pp. 9641-42

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