Relatives of Trowbridge soldiers who died in the Great War have come forward to speak to historian Richard Broadhead, after seeing an article on his research in the Wiltshire Times.

Several people have decided to get in touch with Mr Broadhead who is about to publish a book on the lives of Trowbridge soldiers who fought in the First World War.

Trowbridge town councillor Graham Payne contacted Mr Broadhead to arrange a meeting in which they can discuss his wife Valerie’s great uncles who died while serving during the war.

Cllr Payne said: “My wife is related to three men who died during the war, her great uncles.

“We have known this for years, Mrs Potter – her great great grandmother – unveiled the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church. It was the first one in Trowbridge.”


An article featured in the Wiltshire Times in 1915 with the pictures of all five Potter brothers following the death of 18-year-old Arthur Charles Potter, who was killed in Gallipoli.

Robert Potter died at the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916 while serving on HMS Lion, while brother John Potter died on April 24, 1917 fighting the Bulgarians with the 7th Battalion Wiltshire regiment at Salonika, Greece.

The other two brothers survived the war.

Cllr Payne and Mr Broadhead plan to meet up this week so they can swap information they have on the Potter brothers.

Mr Broadhead is also helping David Meaden of Trowbridge to find out more about his family tree, and Mr Meaden said: “Mr Broadhead told me that the granddaughter of Ernest Meaden who is on Trowbridge War Memorial is Alleyne and is married to a Michael French. I’m trying to find her.”

Alleyne and David are third cousins, while Ernest Meaden is the nephew of David’s great grandfather.

Mr Broadhead said: “It’s nice when relatives ring up because it means a lot when I show someone a picture when they have never seen them before. It’s like seeing a long lost friend.”