WW1 hero Fred Potts statue funding bid continues

Design of statue Image copyright Trooper Potts Memorial Trust
Image caption A design for the statue to Fred Potts has already been unveiled

A group of college students and staff have completed a 40-mile walk to raise funds for a £160,000 statue to commemorate the only man from Reading to win a Victoria Cross medal.

Fred Potts was recognised in 1915 for rescuing comrade Arthur Andrews during the World War One Gallipoli campaign.

Three students and two lecturers from Reading College set off for Buckingham Palace at 18:00 GMT.

The walk took them 15 hours and 10 minutes.

'Amazing act'

Students Tim Jones, Jack Fradley and Stacey Williams and lecturers Richard Duckett and Paul Emberlin, from the college's history department, tweeted live updates of their journey, which was expected to raise about £1,000.

It is hoped the statue will be unveiled in Reading, at a location yet to be announced, on 4 October 2015, close to the centenary of the rescue.

The two men were injured while advancing on the Turkish line and hid below the Turkish trenches for two days.

Eventually Trooper Potts, who had been shot in the thigh, used a shovel as a sledge to drag badly-injured Trooper Andrews to safety.

Image copyright Topfoto
Image caption It is hoped the team will replicate the scene outside Buckingham Palace (pictured) on 9 December 1915 after Fred Potts (second from left) received the Victoria Cross

Mr Duckett described it as "an amazing act of bravery".

Speaking before the walk, he said: "If they could spend 48 hours in the face of the enemy, I am sure we can spend a much shorter time, not being shot at or through the leg, walking to London."

Richard Bennett, from the Trooper Potts Memorial Trust, said about £62,000 had already been raised.

The memorial is also set to include a bronze roll of honour board listing the 371 members of the Berkshire Yeomanry who lost their lives during the 20th Century, he said.

He added a number of further fundraising events were planned, as well as a bid for Heritage Lottery funding.

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