PRIVATE THOMAS POTTER
11TH APRIL 1918 AGE 23
BURIED: CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ, FRANCE
On 28 March 1918 the 8th/10th Battalion Gordon Highlanders were in the support trenches near Tilloy when at 3 am:
"The enemy opened a terrific bombardment consisting of a large amount of gas & HE shells which lasted till 7 am. Soon afterwards an attack was launched under a terrific barrage. The 7th Cameron Highlanders who were there holding the front line were badly knocked about and we sent two companies to assist them and who did fine work there greatly checking the German advance. Fighting continued intermittently all day and at about 12.30 pm orders were received to withdraw to the Army Line as the enemy had turned the flanks of the Divisions on our Right and Left. This was carried out in good order, the men fighting a heroic rearguard action the whole way. As casualties were heavy the Battalion was relieved by the 8th Bn Seaforth Highlanders and withdrew to trenches behind Telegraph Hill."
War Diary 8th/10th Battalion Gordon Highlanders
Thomas Potter was wounded on 28 March 1918 and died as a German prisoner on 11 April 1918. It was April 1919 before his widowed mother received definite news of his fate. Buried originally in Dechy Communal German Extension, his body was exhumed and reburied in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery in 1923.
Mary Potter chose her son's inscription from a popular memorial verse:
Could I, his mother, have clasped his hand
The son I loved so well
Or kissed his brow when death was near,
And whispered, My son, Farewell,
I seem to see his dear, sweet face
Through a mist of anxious tears
But a mother's part is a broken heart
And a burden of lonely years.