THE FAMILY OF PRIVATE ARTHUR POULTER VC PRESENTS HIS VICTORIA CROSS TO HIS REGIMENTAL MUSEUM, THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S ( WEST RIDING ) REGIMENT.
"Yorkshire Post", 12 June 1999

Mrs. Harrison and brothers John and Leslie Poulter have decided to hand the Victoria Cross awarded to Private Arthur Poulter into the care of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment. The VC will be on display in the Bankfield Museum in Halifax from September 1999.



( select to enlarge )


Medal entitlement of Corporal Arthur Poulter
  • 4th Bn, Duke of Wellington's Regiment
    • Victoria Cross
    • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
    • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
    • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
    • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )

  • For the award of the Victoria Cross:

    [ London Gazette, 28 June 1918 ]. Lys Erquinghem, France, 10 April 1918, Private Arthur Poulter, 4th Bn, Duke of Wellington's ( West Riding ) Regiment.

    "When acting as a stretcher-bearer during the Battle of Lys, carried badly wounded men on his back through heavy machine-gun and artillery fire on ten separate occasions. During the withdrawal over the River Lys, he ran back under fire and brought in a wounded man who had been left behind. He then bandaged forty men under the same heavy fire and was dangerously wounded when attempting another rescue."


    As the late Mr. Poulter's family handed the VC back to the Army, his daughter Pat Harrison recalled the day when for a while the medal was no longer the property of the Poulter household. "My brother Tommy was about 11, and you know what kids are like - they'll swap anything. Well, the medal was in a drawer and Tommy knew this lad down the road had a bag of marbles and thought he would swap them for the medal."

    Mrs. Harrison of Wortley, Leeds said the transaction had passed cleanly until her mother heard of the deal and frog-marched her son back down the road. "She got the VC back, and the lad got his marbles back too." she said.

    The medal was always kept in a sideboard drawer and Mrs. Harrison said it was regularly taken out for local street festivals. It was even used locally to raise funds during the Second World War when it would be wrapped up and people would pay to guess what was inside. Mr. Poulter died in 1956 aged 62 after a career as a tram conductor. He would wear the VC once a year on his uniform next to a poppy on Remembrance Sundays. Mrs. Harrison said although the medal would be thrown into a drawer, he did not resent getting it. "To him, everyone who fought in that war deserved a VC" she said.

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    Iain Stewart, 19 August 1999