John Daniel POTTER


POTTER, John Daniel

Service Number: 727
Enlisted: 24 November 1914, Oaklands, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Mt Gambier, South Australia, 1884
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed In Action, Romani, Egypt, 1 June 1916
Cemetery: Kantara War Memorial Cemetery
Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Suez Canal, Egypt
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Mount Gambier War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

24 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 727, Oaklands, South Australia
2 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 727, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
2 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 727, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, SS Hessen, Melbourne
1 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 727, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Egypt and Palestine - Light Horse and AFC Operations

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School

John Daniel Potter

An event that is widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I, is the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Archduke was shot to death along with his wife by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 28th 1914. When Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, most Australians greeted the news with great enthusiasm. Volunteers rushed to enlist for an exciting war which was expected to be over by Christmas. For Australia, as for many nations, the First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 severely wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.  The fighting ended on November 11th 1918 when a general armistice was to by both sides. The war officially ended between The Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria) and the Allies (Britain, France, Italy and the United States) with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

John Daniel Potter (1884 - 1916), a Presbyterian, was born to Sarah and John Potter in their home in Mt Gambier, South Australia in 1884. He also had a younger brother named Joseph Potter (1886 - 1959) who was two years his junior and had returned to Australia after the War on the 4th of November 1915. He lived with his widowed mother and brother in Mt Gambier. Little to nothing is known of his life before the war except for the fact that Potter previously spent two years with a Scottish Infantry in Mount Gambier but later left the district and worked as a labourer at the time of enlistment. His place of education is unknown.

John Daniel Potter (1884 - 1916) enlisted at Oaklands, South Australia on the 24rd of November 1914 at the age of 30. The attesting officer was Lieutenant L. Harper. John Daniel was appointed to the 2nd Reinforcement, 3rd Light Horse Regiment “B” Squadron at Morphettville, by Lieutenant W.C. Kelly. The officers that commanded the 3rd L.H. Regiment were Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Milton Rowel, L.C. George John Bell and David Fulton. The unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board the HMAT A45 Hessen on the 2nd of February 1915.

In October 1914, the regiment left Australia, bound for the Middle East. After arriving in Egypt in December, they took part in the North African campaign defending the Suez Canal. They remained there until May 1915, when they left for the Gallipoli campaign with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). The regiment left their horses in Egypt, and arrived at the Gallipoli peninsula on 12 May 1915. Here, the regiment fought in the Landing at Anzac Cove, and the Battle of Sari Bair, but spent most of the campaign in a defensive posture. They soon joined the 1st and 2nd Regiments to form the 1st Light Horse Brigade.

The regiment left Gallipoli for Egypt on the 14th of December 1915, by which time they had earned four battle honours. John Daniel, however, disembarked with Reat. Party Alexandria on the 26th of December and joined the Western Frontier Force.  Back in Egypt, the 3rd Light Horse joined the ANZAC Mounted Division. When on active service, John Daniel disobeyed a lawful command given by his superior Officer in that he at Egypt on the 10th of March 1916 left camp and went into the town. When he had been warned at the evening stables by Lieutenant F.W. Coxall 3rd L.H Regt his troop leader that orders had been issued: that no man was to leave Camp. “Alternative - ‘Breaking out of Camp in that he committed the acts alleged in the particulars of the 1st charge.” He was found guilty and was awarded twenty-one days to Field Punishment on the 26th of March. He was then promoted to Lance Corporal on the 12th of May.

John Daniel Potter was killed in action while in Kantara, Egypt on the 1st of June the same year and was buried at the Kantara War Memorial.

According to his enlistment details, his mother, Sarah, lived at the Mile End, South Australia at the time of John Daniel’s death. His brother had returned to Australia on the 4th of November 1915 and passed away on the 31st of May 1959.