Sydney Frank (Frank) POTTER

Badge Number: 79903, Sub Branch: Tumby Bay

POTTER, Sydney Frank

Service Number: 744
Enlisted: 5 October 1915
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 1st Remount Unit (AIF)
Born: Adelaide, 16 June 1869
Home Town: Lipson, Tumby Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Adelaide
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Tumby Bay SA, 14 September 1933, aged 64 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Lipson Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide Grand Masonic Lodge WW1 Honour Board
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

5 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 744, 1st Remount Unit (AIF)
12 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 744, 1st Remount Unit (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '24' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Orsova embarkation_ship_number: A67 public_note: ''
12 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 744, 1st Remount Unit (AIF), HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Sergeant, SN 744
20 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 744, 1st Remount Unit (AIF)
Date unknown: Wounded SN 744, 1st Remount Unit (AIF)

Help us honour Sydney Frank Potter's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Geoffrey Stewart

Frank was born in Adelaide (SA) on 16 June 1869 to Abraham Wells Potter and Mary Martha Potter (nee Thomas).   He was the eldest of 7 children in the family, 2 boys and 5 girls.  His father came to Australia in 1853 after serving in India for 8 years in the British Army; on arrival in Adelaide he took employ as an architect before moving to Lipson and purchasing "Yarrandale" and several other properties.  He was also the licensee of the Burrawing Hotel at Lipson from 1883 to 1898; a task that his wife took over after his death.

Frank attended school in Adelaide until the family moved to Lipson in 1882, leaving at the age of 13 years to assist his father on the farm at Lipson.  Later he was also employed in the hotel.

Frank married Adeline Lilias Barraud on 11 June 1897 at Lipson; they had 2 children, both of them girls.  He continued to be employed on the Yarrandale property, which also had a post office and “off licence”.  

He then became the first licensee of the Tumby Bay Hotel on 26 March 1904, a licence which he held for a year before transferring it to his brother in law and returning to "Yarrandale".

He enlisted at Lipson on 5 October 1915 and was sent to Adelaide for processing; at that time he listed his trade as “farmer”. 

He was posted to 3rd Squadron, 1st Remount Unit; after a short period of training he embarked with this unit aboard HMAT “Orsova” from Melbourne on 12 November 1915 bound for Egypt.  On 25 June 1916 he was transferred to 1st Mobile Veterinarian Section before being dispatched to Etaples (France) aboard the “Golden Eagle”, arriving on 25 November 1916.  He remained in France for the remainder of the war, serving in various areas before being transferred again, this time to the 1st Veterinarian Evacuation Station, and promoted to sergeant, on 16 October 1918.

On 12 June 1919 he embarked aboard the “Port Darwin”, bound for Australia.  He disembarked at Melbourne and then travelled back to Adelaide by train, arriving on 29 July 1919

Again the difficulty and delay in the passage of information at this time is highlighted in a number of messages from his wife to the Army and their replies.  She was concerned because his original unit (1st Remount Unit) had returned to Australia, but there was no word from her husband and members of his unit advised that he had not embarked with them.  The reply from Army was that they were not aware of him being transferred from the unit and restating the unit address abroad; they would advise if further information came to hand.  Some time later the wife again wrote asking of news of her husband, and again no one could advise where he was!  Eventually a letter came from her husband to tell her that he had been transferred from the Remount Unit in 1916 (although the censor would not allow unit names to be included!).

He was eventually discharged on 20 September 1919 and made his way back to Lipson; again he took up residence at "Yarrandale". Unfortunately he lost his sight over the following years, supposedly because of his time in the desert in Egypt.

Frank died on 14 September 1933 and is buried in the Lipson Cemetery.  His wife died on 6 June 1942 and is laid to rest beside him.