CFHS code : HT49

Parish : Holy Trinity

Inscription : In Loving Memory of FRANCES WYCLIFFE the dearly loved wife of Rev PHILIP HENRY POTTER d 27 Oct [1918] aged 27

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information amended from Cambridge Family History Society Survey



Frances Wycliffe Potter (née Coleman)  (c. November 1890 – 27 October 1918)

Frances was born in King’s Norton, Birmingham and baptised at Christ Church, Southport on 21 January 1891. She was the daughter of Alfred and Mary (née Baxendell) and grew up in Edgbaston where her father was an electrical engineer, Frances attended Edgbaston High School and then trained as a deaconess at Carfax, Clifton in Bristol.  After completing the training she was appointed deaconess at St. James’ Church, Bermondsey and then at Holy Trinity, Derby.  In 1911 she was living with her sister Annie and brother in law Rev. James Goult at the vicarage in  Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

Frances married Rev. Philip  Henry Potter (1888-1957) at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge on 20 December 1917.  Her parents had moved to live at Cranmer Road, which is perhaps how they met. Philip was curate at Holy Trinity and the wedding was reported under the headline of  ‘Interesting Wedding’. Frances was given away by her father and was dressed ‘in her travelling costume of light grey material, with mole hair trimmings and hat to correspond’.   The best man was 2nd Lieutenant Rayner, who was a former member of the Perse School Bible class, which had been led by Philip Potter. Philip was also a scoutmaster, so scouts also attended the wedding.  The couple honeymooned in Malvern and then moved to Weymouth where Philip took up post as curate at St.Mary’s Church, Weymouth.  They returned to Cambridge at the start of  October 1918 when he  was appointed curate-in-charge of Holy Trinity whilst the vicar  (Rev. E.S. Woods) was serving at the front.

Frances and Philip lived at 17 Chesterton Road where she died aged 27 years old. Newspapers reported that she ‘contracted influenza, which turned to double bronchial pneumonia, and she passed away in the early hours of Sunday. Mrs Potter from her earliest years took the greatest interest in church work.  She was a keen Sunday School teacher, and was very successful among boys and girls, by whom she was greatly beloved.’

Her funeral took place on 30 October 1918 at Holy Trinity church. During the service the hymns ‘Jesus lives; thy terrors now’ and ‘Through the love of God our Saviour’ were sung.  She was interred at Mill Road Cemetery and newspapers noted that ‘a beautiful wreath was received from the parishioners of Holy Trinity, Derby’.

Philip Potter married for a second time in 1919 to Kathleen Mary Koszelski (1896-1947). He had three children, and served as Vicar of St. Barnabas for many years. After he was widowed for a second time in 1947 he retired to live in Windemere, where he died in January 1957 aged 68 years old.



Newspaper archives

by Claire Martinsen

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Frances Wycliffe Potter