A.W. Potts Statue and Kokoda Track Memorial Bridge - Kojonup, Western Australia, Australia
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WanderingAus
S 33° 50.225 E 117° 09.612
50H E 514822 N 6255896
Quick Description: A statue and covered bridge erected in memory of Brigadier Arnold Potts and the men of the 2nd/16th Battalion.
Location: Western Australia, Australia
Date Posted: 2/7/2013 4:26:20 AM
Waymark Code: WMGAT7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
The bridge, erected near the statue of Brigadier Potts, has several panels telling about him and his men and their exploits on the Kokoda Track during World War II.

Brigadier Arnold Potts led the Australian Forces in defending Port Moresby along the Kokoda Track from the Japanese in WWII. They were outnumbered five to one. He was highly admired by his men for ignoring orders ‘Not to give ground’ (and surely be decimated) but instead led a fighting withdrawal thus starving the Japanese of vital supplies. The Japanese were forced to withdraw even though they were in sight of Port Moresby. Potts was never recognized for his success. In fact quite the reverse, he was removed from his position by General Blamey and his troops were accused of being "cowards who ran like frightened rabbits" by the General.

While the people of Kojonup quietly recognised this hero who lived and farmed in their midst, there was little obvious sign of his presence, apart from a small memorial tucked away in a hall and of course the obligatory road signs. This all changed when the Historical Society was challenged by members of the Army Museum in Fremantle. A community committee was formed and it was not long before they were able to tap into what had been a hidden sentiment of the locals and soldiers, family and friends of those who had served with this great man in the 2nd/16th Battalion and in other theatres of war. Arnold Potts had served in Gallipoli, Egypt – where he became an officer, and the Western Front where he was wounded in World War One. In World War Two he went to the Middle East, where he was decorated and promoted to Brigadier. After Kokoda he was pushed sideways to Darwin and Sarawak, before coming home to his wife and children on the farm in Kojonup.

The commissioning of artist and sculptor, Greg James resulted in a life sized bronze sculpture of “Pottsy” as the locals called him, dressed in army uniform, with binoculars and water bag on hand looking in the direction of his farm to the south east. The figure is fixed to a large boulder transported into Apex Park from his own farm. Enough money was donated to also construct a covered bridge which has several panels telling about Brigadier Potts and his men.

He was recognized by Major General Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, who unveiled the statue of Potts in Apex Park, Kojonup on 6th May, 2007. It was a day the town will remember with all its pomp and ceremony, reunion of old soldiers and large crowds - united in their pride of their hero.

Every Anzac Day, The Brigadier Challenge, a foot and bike race is held. “The Challenge will allow Brigadier Potts (sic) to be remembered with all those top young Australians who gave their lives to keep us free.” (quote from Nan Harper – daughter of Brigadier A.W. Potts). The Challenge consists of a 16km run (after his 2/16th Battalion) from the Potts’ farm into Kojonup. This is followed by a 96km (the length of the Kokoda Track) bike ride along the Broomehill Road and back, finishing at Apex Park.

There is no entry fees or prizes, as this is simply a personal and team challenge with the emphasis on finishing with your team intact!

As the advertisement for the Challenge states "Just remember...... no matter how tough it gets.....

at least you're not being shot at!"

Website pertaining to the memorial: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
Open 24 hours seven days


Entrance fees (if it applies): 0

Type of memorial: Statue

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blingg visited A.W. Potts Statue and Kokoda Track Memorial Bridge - Kojonup,  Western Australia, Australia 10/27/2014 blingg visited it