Charles Potter has not been positively identified. A possible match might be a Charles Potter born on the 13th April 1894 at Colney Heath and died on the 30th March 1979 at Potters Bar, but I have not been able to link him directly.
Charles Potter’s Police Service Record has not survived and there are only a few General Orders which relate to him and as a result his date of Appointment as Constable 319 is unknown, but it is likely to have been in 1914.
General Order 59 of the 10th April 1915 announced that PC 319 Potter was being transferred from B Division at Bishops Stortford to C Division at Watford on the 12th April 1915. He was one of 17 men being told to move on this Order.
General Order 98 of the 9th June 1915 was entitled The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915.
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.
General Order 118 of the 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable, 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered for military service. Charles is shown as PC 319 Potter C. C Division who enlisted into the 2nd Life Guards on the 11th June 1915 with PC’s 145 Abbiss and 84 Manton.
Army Service Record.
His Army Service Record has not survived but from his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll the following is known: Charles Potter enlisted with the 2nd Life Guards as Trooper 3696. PC 145 Frederick William Abbiss enlisted at the same time and was Trooper 3695.
Charles transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps as Private R/40624 on the 22nd December 1917. He was finally discharged from the Army on the 23rd April 1920 under Para 392 (16) Kings Regulations as he was no longer physically fit for War Service. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.
Like every other soldier Charles would have been granted 28 days leave on his demobilisation. He would have used this time to arrange his re-joining of the Police. Part of that process would have seen him undergo a medical examination to determine whether he was fit enough to carry out Police duties. The end of his leave period would have coincided with the date of his re-joining the Police.
Re-joining The Police And Resignation.
No record has survived recording exactly when Charles re-joined the Constabulary but as the following Order shows he quite clearly did so.
General Order 85 of the 1st April 1919 announced Charles’ resignation:
Police Constable 319 Charles Potter, C Division, having submitted on 17th March 1919, an application to be permitted to resign his appointment, the resignation is accepted and will take effect on 26th March 1919, his name being struck off the strength of the Force as of that date.
Again, no record has survived which offers any explanation for his resignation.