On 12th January Lisa Ashford-Potter contacted me with the following message, “Hi, I wanted to share a photo of my great grandmother Margaret Wilson (maiden name) McDonald (1st marriage) Potter (2nd marriage). She owned a shop in Auchentibber which I think you have featured on your page previously. The photo I’m talking about is a woman standing outside the shop with a soldier from WW1, who I believe is either my great uncle Thomas Potter (appears on Auchentibber War Memorial), my grandfather or one of my great uncles. It is hard to tell if the uniform is Australian or Scot. (Uncle Tommy fought for Aus but my grandad and brothers fought for Scotland). I also have photos of my great Uncle Robert Potter and his wife Flora
Dixon. They lived at Auchentibber farm. “
I think the photo Lisa refers to is this one, which looking at the clothes and clean shaven faces, I believe dates between 1910 – 1914. (if this is Thomas Potter, then we know he died during WW1). Digging around a little further, I can confirm that Auchentibber War memorial does indeed have “Auchentibber – Pte Thomas Potter AIF” inscribed on it. The occasion of the photo may have been entirely due to Thomas about to depart on wartime duties. The family lived at Harris’s land at Auchentibber according to the 1901 census.
Thomas Potter born in 1894 would have been just 16 -20 years old in this photo. His father, William according to the 1901 census was a coal miner. His mother Margaret, or Maggie pictured in the circular frame. The family connection to the store itself is strong enough a connection to assume Thomas is pictured here with the other Potters in his family. (perhaps young Maggie, his sister who would be about 17 or 18 by then and older brothers Joseph and John.)
What the store photo probably represents is a rather sad farewell between brothers and a sister to their younger brother heading off to war and not to return.