Ernest Potts, Driver M/279614, 282nd M.T. Coy. Royal Army Service Corps
Died of Influenza 17th February 1919 in Macclesfield, aged 30
Ernest Potts was baptised on 22 July 1888 at Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield, Macclesfield, the son of Eliza and Isaac Potts, a joiner of Hurdsfield. In 1891, two-year-old Ernest was living with his family at 18 Waterloo Street, Hurdsfield.
Ernest married Clara Annie Barber on 11 June 1910 at Christ Church, Macclesfield and by the following year they were living at 47 Chester Road, Macclesfield. Before enlisting, Ernest was employed at Mrs Leech’s Dyeworks.
Ernest enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment on 14 November 1916, but was transferred to the Army Service Corps.
Driver Potts died in Macclesfield on 17 February 1919; his death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 21 February 1919:
DEATH OF PTE ERNEST POTTS – Private Ernest Potts, Mechanical Transport, R.A.S.C., died on Monday morning while spending a fortnight’s leave from his military duties in France with his wife at 47 Chester Road, Macclesfield. Deceased arrived in Macclesfield a week last Saturday and two days later was taken ill with septic influenza. His condition became worse and he passed away as stated.
Pte Potts joined the colours on November 14th 1916, at which time he was employed at the Pearle Street dye-works. He enlisted in the 4th Cheshires, was afterwards transferred to the Mechanical Transport, and went to France on April 1st of the following year. Before the war he was a member of the West Park Bowling Club. Pte Potts was connected with St George’s Street Baptist Church, being a member of the Young Men’s Bible Class.
Semi-military honours were accorded at the funeral, which took place at the cemetery yesterday… the bearers were four soldiers of the Cheshire Regt and four former fellow employees… The mourners were: Mr I H Potts (father), Mrs S Green (sister), Miss F Potts, Messrs A Potts, T Hodge, J P Barber, S Green, W H Barber and Corpl Leonard Barber, South Wales Borderers. The wreaths included one from the deceased’s wife, the employees at Mrs Leech’s dyeworks, and St George’s Street Baptist Men’s Bible Class.
The death and funeral of Driver Potts was also reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on 21 February 1919:
SOLDIER VICTIMS OF PNEUMONIA – Another local soldier, Ernest Potts (29), of Chester Road, died on Sunday from pneumonia following influenza. He was interred at the cemetery yesterday afternoon, with military honours. He was formerly employed at Leach’s dyeworks, and leaves a wife and one child.
Driver Ernest Potts is buried in grave ref. Z. 18319 in Macclesfield Cemetery. His widow asked for the inscription “A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY LEFT BEHIND” to be added to his headstone.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (Find My Past): Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 21 February 1919
Macclesfield Advertiser: 21 February 1919