Jon Cooksey, WFA Stand To! Editor, has been working on a documentary with BBC Radio Berkshire. It concerns Trooper Fred Potts of the Berkshire Yeomanry who won the VC on 21 August 1915 during the Battle for Scimitar Hill inland from Suvla Bay.
Wounded himself he rescued another seriously wounded man of the Berks called Arthur Andrews on the battlefield. Dragging Andrews on the blade of a shovel it took them more than 48 hours to travel 600 yards to the safety of the British lines. Potts was feted as a hero on his return to the UK and showered with gifts. He was one of the VC holders which formed the guard of honour at the burial of the Unkown Warrior.
Potts died aged 50 in 1943; Andrews survived until he was 89.
In 1913 Potts had saved a 5-year-old boy called Charles Rex from drowning in the Thames. Rex lived until age 87 so Potts' gift of life to both was not squandered. A truly remarkable and utterly modest hero.
Jon and the BBC arranged for the grandchildren of both Potts and Andrews to meet at the IWM over Fred Potts VC. An emotional moment for both families.
The documentary will go out at 11.02 am this Sunday, 8 November 2009, and will be available on the BBC iPlayer after that time.
A piece on the documentary by the producer is here.
A two-part slideshow of 'then' and 'now' images linked to a soundtrack using Fred Potts' own words read by an actor is available.