10. Brigadier Arnold William Potts (1896-1968), military leader
Brigadier Arnold William Potts was a military leader with a distinguished career, most notably leading the 21st Brigade during its defence of the Kokoda Trail during the Second World War.
Arnold Potts was born on the Isle of Man and migrated to Perth with his family in 1904. Educated at Cottesloe State School and later at Guildford Grammar School, Potts enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1915 and was posted to the 16th Battalion. He served at Gallipoli from July and was promoted to sergeant in October, at the age of just 19. Potts was sent to the Western Front and for his actions at Mouquet Farm and on the Somme Battlefield in France he won the Military Cross.
After being severely injured in 1918, Potts returned to Western Australia, buying his own farm in Kojonup and later married Doreen Wigglesworth in 1926.
During the Second World War, Potts, – a respected officer with the A.I.F., was promoted to temporary brigadier in April 1942, taking command of the 21st Brigade that held back the Japanese advance during bitter fighting on the Kokoda Trail. Conducting a battle in conditions so hostile they were beyond the ability of headquarters staff to imagine, Potts was recalled to Port Moresby and relieved of his command in October 1942.
Potts retired from the military following the end of the war and returned to Kojonup and farming in 1945. He became involved in numerous community organisations and was appointed O.B.E. in 1960. Arnold Potts is commemorated together with his wife Doreen who herself was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community.