Arthur Edward Potts

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Arthur Edward Potts
Colonel Potts
Born 24 October 1890
Northumberland, United Kingdom
Died September 1983
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Arthur Edward Potts CBE, ED (24 October 1890–September 1983) was a Canadian general officer, active in World War II.

Potts attended George Heriot's School in Edinburgh and subsequently studied at the University of Edinburgh (bachelor of science) and Cornell University (master's degree in agriculture). He worked as instructor at Ames College in Iowa.

In 1915, he left Ames College to enlist in Second Universities Company at McGill University and was attached to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a private. This unit was sent to France where Potts fought in the trenches and got wounded. In September 1916, he was appointed lieutenant. At the end of 1917, Potts was sent to the education office, to give lectures to soldiers about agriculture,[1] and soon he joined his battalion again. After being wounded on 7 September, he was sent to England for convalescence. Potts was still there when the war ended.[2]

After the war, Potts joined the University of Saskatchewan as head of the dairy department. Besides his normal work as "Professor of Dairying",[3] he also took over the university’s officer training corps and reorganized and retrained it.

Potts was promoted to the rank of colonel in 1934. In the same year, he became commander of the Saskatoon Non-Permanent Active Militia garrison and officer commanding of the 19th infantry brigade. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Potts received a request from then Major-General Andrew McNaughton to accept demotion and take over Saskatoon Light Infantry. Potts accepted and took the unit to Europe in December 1939.

In July 1940, he was promoted to Brigadier and took over the command of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade. He led that brigade in Operation Gauntlet, the commando raid at Spitsbergen[4]

In May 1942, he became General Officer Commanding 6th Infantry Division with the rank of major-general. That appointment took him from the United Kingdom to the Pacific shores in British Columbia. In 1943 was appointed commander of Military District 2 in Toronto. He stayed there till the end of the war.

After the war he joined the Department of Veterans Affairs. He moved to Kingston, Ontario in 1949, to become the Department’s district administrator.

Potts and his wife, the former Mary Ann Rattray Stewart, had six children including two sets of twins.

He retired in 1955 and died in September 1983.

Positions held[edit]

From To Unit Role Rank
1916 1918 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade Lieutenant
1934 14-01-1936 Saskatoon Non-Permanent Active Militia garrison/19th infantry brigade (militia) commander/officer commanding Colonel
15-01-1936 29-11-1939 19th Infantry Brigade (militia) Commanding Officer Colonel
30-11-1939 09-07-1940 1st Saskatoon Light Infantry Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel
20-07-1940 19-05-1942 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Officer Commanding Brigadier
15-11-1941 22-12-1941 1st Canadian Infantry Division Acting General Officer Commanding Brigadier
20-05-1942 11-10-1943 6th Canadian Infantry Division General Officer Commanding Major-General
12-10-1943 31-08-1945 HQ Military District 2 District Officer Commanding Major-General




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