Memorial unveiled for Dunkirk hero

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Mayor of Wirral and Jack’s family with the memorial. Pic © JMU Journalism

A Dunkirk and Battle of Britain hero from the Wirral has had a memorial unveiled in his honour.

Wallasey-born Sgt Jack Potter was one of the brave pilots flying Spitfires during World War II and was responsible for helping to save 200 service personnel from HMS Basilisk when it was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.

The tribute was revealed on Seacombe Promenade on Wednesday by Wirral Mayor Ann McLachlan, and Jack’s son, Robert Potter. Members of the family had travelled from as far as Australia to witness the event.

Mr Potter’s story was featured in the recent Dunkirk movie, as the pilot seen ditching his Spitfire into the sea during the film is based on Jack’s wartime experiences.

YouTube: Amy Harding

Cllr McLachlan told JMU Journalism: “There’s a big turnout, it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s important to do this here as Jack Potter grew up in Wallasey, he’s a local boy, and it’s the borough’s way of remembering him and thanking him for his service during the war. He did a fantastic job.”

Jack Potter Walk on Seacombe Promenade. Pic © JMU Journalism

The title of the memorial, “Jack’s ‘Day Out’ at Dunkirk’”, is named after an interview he once gave to the BBC where he described what it was like to be at the famous French wartime battle.

Cllr Jerry Williams, Wirral Council’s heritage champion, was the driving force behind the dedication after he managed to trace surviving family and friends of Mr Potter.

He said: “Jack survived the war and died in Brighton in 1977. Around this time I was corresponding with Battle of Britain Pilots, collecting signatures, and wrote to Jack. Sadly his relatives said he had just died, but they sent me a copy of his signature.”

About Amy Harding, JMU Journalism