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Tarrant 'really thrilled' to unveil statue of Reading hero

Statue honouring Trooper Fred Potts has been unveiled in Reading

A statue depicting the bravery of Reading's only winner of Britain's highest award for gallantry - the Victoria Cross - has been unveiled in the town's Forbury Gardens.

Hundreds of people gathered to witness the event and attend a special ceremony to honour Trooper Frederick Owen Potts, affectionately know as Fred Potts, one hundred years after he rescued a colleague, Trooper Arthur Andrews, at Gallipoli during World War One.

The television presenter Chris Tarrant, has spoken about the honour of removing the covering from the artwork. He was involved in the public awareness campaign and fundraising efforts to get the statue made.

The story of Trooper Potts was not widely known, but that has changed. The Trooper Potts VC Memorial Trust was set up in October 2010 to raise money for the statue. The organisation brought more recognition for the Trooper Potts story. A street has been named after him, and now, his legacy will live on with the completion and placing of the statue at Forbury Gardens beside a military roll of honour.

Pride of place for Trooper Fred Potts VC statue

Crowds assemble for unveiling of Trooper Potts statue

A special unveiling ceremony is taking place in Reading's Forbury Gardens

He was one of Reading's bravest sons, and today a statue commemorating Trooper Frederick Potts is being unveiled at the town's Forbury Gardens.

The soldier is the town's only recipient of the Victoria Cross. The statue has come about following years of fundraising and campaigning by the Trooper Potts VC Trust which was set up in 2010 to create an appropriate memorial in his honour.

The Victoria Cross was awarded for Trooper Potts' deeds in Gallipoli 21-23 August 1915 when he rescued his comrade, Trooper Arthur Andrews from certain death over a period of 48 hours.

The statue is being unveiled today Credit: Andrew Pate

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