Sapper Herbert Potter: Research inspired by one of our posts

Back in July 1916 as we commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme we shared the story of Corporal Harry Hazel and at that time a comment was left on the blog that added to this story:

I was very interested to read your account of Harry Hazel, and how on 7 June 1915 he enlisted at Norwich as Sapper 85550 in the 208th (Norfolk) Field Company of the Royal Engineers. On 25th March 1915 my Great Grandfather Herbert Potter enlisted in the same company as Sapper 84711, just 839 men before so they maybe knew each other?

Herbert was treated for shell shock on 16 August 1916 in the Pozieres / Bazentin-le-Petit area, but he survived the war returning to his work as a boot maker in Norwich where after short retirement he died peacefully in 1958 aged 76. Herbert was born in Norwich in 1881 but spent a lot his youth in Bethnal Green.

Mr Potter has recently been back in touch with us with some photos of his Herbert Potter and wonders if anyone can help him with his questions surrounding some photos that were found in his grandmother’s belongings…

(assumed to be) Herbert Potter, group photo

(assumed to be) Herbert Potter, close up

This photo is dated 1917 and assumed to be of Herbert Potter , the man with the blue mark looks like my g. grandfather Herbert – and I don’t know why else that person would be marked? He was a Sapper however so I don’t know why he would be in an officers uniform though…

Group photo, thought to have been taken at Rippon

The unit photo was taken at Ripon I think? Can you identify this photo?

And finally:

Kitchen duty

I don’t know about what looks like the kitchen photo. It could be Herbert front left judging from the face shape but can anyone shed any more light on this?


We’re always pleased to hear from people and to know that our earlier posts are read so if anyone can help Mr Potter with his queries we’d be most grateful.


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