The rare Great War Zeebrugge and specifically Ostend Raid 9th to 10th May 1918 - Ostend Destroyer Operations - Distinguished Service Medal and long service group awarded to Chief Petty Officer C. Potter, Royal Navy, who was serving aboard the Dover based destroyer H.M.S. Whirlwind during the raid, being one of only five men actually decorated for services whilst still aboard destroyers and not with the landing parties.
Group of 5: Distinguished Service Medal, GVR bust; (188035. C. POTTER. PO.1 CL: WHIRLWIND OSTEND 9-10 MAY.1918.); 1914-1915 Star; (188035, C. POTTER, P.O.1., R.N.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (188035 C. POTTER. P.O.1 R.N.); Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GVR Adm. bust; (188035 CHARLES POTTER. P.O. 1CL., H.M.S. DUNCAN.) Condition: Good Very Fine.
Charles Potter was born in Ashburnham, Sussex on 11th October 1879, and worked as a labourer before joining the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class aboard the training ship H.M.S. Impregnable from 26th March 1896, and was then posted to the training ship H.M.S. Lion from 31st March 1896, and rated as Boy 1st Class on 3rd December 1896, being then posted to shore training establishment H.M.S. Boscawen from 27th January 1897, and whilst with this establishment saw brief service for experience aboard the training ship H.M.S. Minotaur before being posted to Pembroke from 7th July 1897, and then posted aboard the battleship H.M.S. Jupiter from 12th August 1897, and was rated as Ordinary Seaman (Chatham No.188035) on 11th October 1897, and then promoted to Able Seaan on 16th May 1899. Whilst aboard Jupiter, Potter saw service with the Channel Fleet. Having qualified as a Torpedo Man on 16th May 1899, Potter was posted back to Pembroke I from 27th June 1899, and then to the Plymouth based gunner training ship H.M.S. Cambridge from 5th March 1900, and then qualified as a Seaman Gunner 1st Class on 2nd November 1900, being posted back to Pembroke I from 7th November 1900, and was then posted to the battleship H.M.S. Empress of India from 7th December 1900, and saw service aboard her with the Mediterranean Fleet, before being posted to the battleship H.M.S. Caesar from 14th September 1901, and saw further service in the Mediterranean, before returning to Pembroke from 7th October 1903, and then being posted to the base ship H.M.S. Wildfire from 25th November 1913, and returning to Pembroke from 12th May 1904. Potter was posted aboard the torpedo boat H.M.S. Acheron from 21st May 1904, and as such served out in Australia being involved in the Sydney harbour defence. Whilst aboard Acheron, Potter was promoted to Leading Seaman on 1st April 1905, and then to Petty Officer 2nd Class on 1st January 1906, before being posted to the cruiser H.M.S. Talbot, then based on the Pacific Station, and was then posted to the Mediterranean for service aboard the cruiser H.M.S. Minerva from 11th September 1906, but having been posted home to Pembroke I from 22nd September 1908, thus missed the latter ship's involvement in the Messina Earthquake relief work, but was instead promoted to Petty Officer 1st Class on 23rd November 1908, and was posted to the battleship H.M.S. Duncan from 9th August 1910, seeing further service with the Mediterranean Fleet, he was awarded the Royal Navy Long Service and Good Conduct Medal whilst serving aboard Duncan on 7th October 1912, being then posted back to Pembroke I from 27th May 1913, and was posted to the boy's training ship H.M.S. Ganges from 27th October 1913.
With the outbreak of the Great War, Potter was posted to Pembroke I from 4th August 1914, and was then posted aboard the armed merchant cruiser H.M.S. Macedonia from 8th August 1914, and saw service on anti submarine work in the Atlantic and qualified as a Gun Layer 2nd Class on 18th June 1915, before returning to Pembroke I from 11th August 1916, and then posted to the destroyer depot ship and old cruiser H.M.S. Blake, seeing service with the 11th Destroyer Flotilla aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Marmion from 30th January 1917, seeing service with the Grand Fleet, before being posted back to Pembroke I from 31st October 1917, and then posted to the base depot H.M.S. Attentive II and aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Whirlwind from 5th March 1918, and operating out of Dover as part of the Dover Patrol. Potter was as such aboard Whirlwind for the Zebrugge and Ostend Raid from 9th to 10th May 1918, when this ship led the port column of the attacking force, being detailed specifically for the attack on Ostend, and to patrol north of Zeebrugge. Having been detailed to rescue one of the motor launches used in the raid at Zeebrugge, which had a number of the Vindictive's men aboard, the Whirlwind was then involved in the rescue of the destroyer H.M.S. Warwick, which had struck a mine, and Whirlwind took Warwick in tow, the Warwick being unable to steer due to the mine explosion. Warwick was towed into Dover by Whirlwind at 4.30 am on the 10th May 1918. For his gallant and distinguished services in the Zeebrugge and Ostend Raid of 9th to 10th May 1918, and specifically in the incident's at Ostend, Potter was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in Admiralty Orders No.2798 of 1918, the award being published in the London Gazette for 28th August 1918, he being one of only five men who were awarded the medal for services In Destroyers during the Zeebrugge-Ostend Raid, with most of the awards going to the shore raiding parties. Potter remained aboard Whirlwind for the remainder of the war, and was promoted to Chief Petty Officer on 1st April 1919, being then demobilised on 13th November 1919.