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DEXTER POTTS 

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 14232.
Regiment: 1st Bn. Cheshire Regiment Killed In Action Monday 2nd September 1918 Age 28County Memorial Poynton
(Commemorated\Buried VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL)
Grave\Panel Ref: Panel 16
France

15th Brigade, 5th Division, 1V Corps, 3rd Army
Commerated on panel 16 Vis-En-Artois memorial Pas de Calais 

This Memorial bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the Advance to Victory in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave. They belonged to the forces of Great Britain and Ireland and South Africa; the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces being commemorated on other memorials to the missing.

Son of Edwin and Hannah Potts. Edwin was a coal hewer They had 3daughters Mildred, Emma, and Mary. and 5 sons William, Dexter, Edwin, Sydney, and Arthur.

STOCKPORT ADVERTISER

News has been received by Mrs Potts of 65 Carnley, Street West Melton Yorkshire formerly of Park Lane, Poynton that her son Lance-Corporal Dexter Potts 14232 Cheshire Regiment was killed in action on September 2nd 1918,on the Western front Lance Corporal Potts who was 28 years of age joined the colours as early as September 2nd 1914 and was one of the first who volunteered from the Poynton district . Before enlisting he was employed at Lord Vernon’s Colliery , and was connected with the United Methodist Free Church and Sunday schools Much sympathy is felt in the village for his mother at the loss of her son who was widely known and respected. He also has 2 other brothers serving with the colours.  

A letter has been received from his Lieutenant dated September 6th 1918 in which he writes- “It is my sad and painful duty to you inform you that your son was killed in action on September 2nd inst. We had attacked an enemy position , and were holding it under rather heavy shell fire, your son was hit by a fragment of one of them, death being instantaneous . Lance Corporal Potts had proved himself as one of my best Junior N. C. O. s , and the officers of A Company wish me to convey their deep sympathy to you. I must also add my heartfelt and sincere condolence, and I pray that God  will give you strength to bear this awful blow Yours very sincerely John D Pinquey Lieutenant” 

 Dexter attested in Macclesfield  on the 2nd September 1914,into the Cheshire Regiment .He was posted to the 10th Cheshires on the 15th September 1914 He was 23 years old and his occupation was shown as a miner. He spent just over a year training with the 10th Cheshire’s at Codford camp in Salisbury  and also at Aldershot. Dexter embarked from Folkestone with the Battalion, landing in France on the 26th September 1915. They were concentrated  around the area of Nieppe, a village 4 kilometres north-west of Armentieres on the road to Bailleul. Dexter was promoted to Lance Corporal in April 1917. He was posted to the 1st Cheshires on the 16th July 1918 ,joining them in the field on the 23rd.

THE ATTACK ON THE VILLAGE OF BEUGNY

The village of Beugny is some 10 kilometres north east of the French town of Bapaume. By this stage of the war, the German army was in retreat but was far from beaten. It was fighting carefully planned rear guard actions from prepared positions and it was known that the village was heavily defended. 

The Cheshires moved into position during the evening of 1st  September, ready for the attack scheduled for 5.15 the next morning. The march up to the front line was, in itself, difficult as the guides lost their way and enemy planes were bombing close by. Just before the attack started, the enemy artillery opened fire. Captain L Ferguson wrote in his diary "The enemy guns opened on our trench and in less time that it takes to write they had just about blown us to hell. Great big shells fell right into the trench, causing at least 50% casualties before we started. We also got sneezing  gas and liquid fire mixed up with the H.E. I was uncertain what order to give.... but it was certain that if we stopped in the trench till 5.15 am none of us would be left to attack..... so I called to those who could hear me to get out and lie in "no man's land" till time was up. Shells were now falling like hail and I saw a number of fellows blown to bits....."       At 5.25 the order to attack was given and they were faced by a heavily fortified position manned by a very determined garrison. The Cheshire’s found that, although the British artillery fire had been heavy and accurate, German machine guns were still active. The Cheshires did  eventually enter the village but were forced out by a strong enemy counter attack, the village was still in German hands by nightfall. The Battalion consolidated overnight. Beugny was attacked the next morning and captured but the Cheshire’s were only in support for the attack and took no part in the actuual fighting. 51 Cheshire men were K.I.A on the 2nd.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on Dexter

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016