Time is fast running out for Reading people who want to see the VC medal awarded to Katesgrove man, Trooper Frederick Potts.
As Xn reported earlier, The Victoria Cross, which was awarded to Potts in August 1915, has been part of the ‘Reading at War’ exhibition at Reading Museum, and will be returned to the Imperial War Museum on June 30. The rest of the exhibition continues until September 14.
The priceless medal will be replaced by a replica provided by the family of Trooper Potts and the Memorial Trust, which is spearheading the fundraising campaign to erect a bronze memorial statue, just outside Forbury Gardens.
To give the medal a final send-off the museum has arranged an illustrated talk at 2pm on Saturday, June 28, by Michael Naxton, curator of the Lord Ashcroft VC Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, where the Potts VC medal has its permanent home.
As well as details of the remarkable history of the VC medal, Mr Naxton will give an account of the special place Trooper Potts has among recipients of the medal, which is this country’s highest award for gallantry.
Cllr Paul Gittings Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said:
“The inclusion of the Trooper Potts VC medal in the ‘Reading at War’ exhibition has been fantastic. It’s truly emblematic of the gallantry shown by Trooper Potts and his generation. One hundred years after the Great War, it is the artefacts our forebears kept that help us to remember how much they did to win the freedom and stability we enjoy in this country today.”
Among other First World War themed activities between now and September, the museum will also stage a First World War Family Roadshow on Sunday, August 10. Members of the public can bring their First World War family heirlooms and discover more about them from a panel of experts.
The event’s organiser, Reading Museum’s Community Engagement Curator, Brendan Carr said:
“We can discover a good deal about how the First World War impacted on Reading people through the exhibition, which is based on the museum’s collections but there will be more to learn from the keepsakes in Reading homes.
“We have been working with Oxford University’s Europeana project to set up the Family Roadshow event. It is a good opportunity for members of Reading’s community to see how their own family’s stories and heritage fit within the wider story of the First World War.
“People from all over the world served in the war and so it could be a letter, a watch, a handkerchief or a photograph. Who knows what might be out there?