Lieutenant Poultney was a solicitor, from New York, whose mother was living at Montgomery during the war. The County Times gave a report on his background and war record.
Taken from the County Times Saturday, March 10th 1917......
This young officer who was killed whilst leading over the parapet and amongst the barbed wire of the trenches, was a solicitor who came over from New York to obey his country's call. Though physically unfit he was determined to join the army and underwent a serious operation which enabled him to pass the medical test. He was wounded at Thiepval during the “big push” in the battle of The Somme, but returned to his regiment in France as soon as he was fit for duty again. His age was 33. He was a qualified solicitor and the son of a prominent solicitor. His widowed mother, who is in a frail state of health, and his sister reside at Oakfield Cottage, Montgomery, and deep sympathy is felt with them. During his visits home his genial and unassuming nature made him many friends at Montgomery. He must have had a premonition of his fate, for in a letter forwarded to his bereaved mother by his senior officer, who spoke in the highest terms of his fallen comrade, the late 2nd Lieutenant Poultney wrote “Thank God that you have been able to spare one boy for St. George and Merrie England”
Lieutenant Poultney was killed in action on the 18th February 1917, aged 33, and is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial at Comines- Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, panel 6 & 7. The Ploegsteert Memorial (colloquially known as Plug Street) is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial for the missing soldiers who fought in the immediate area of the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. There are 11,000 men commemorated on this memorial. Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere. His mother’s grave in Montgomery Churchyard also has a memorial to Lt Poultney
The photograph above is taken from the County Times, March 10th 1917, and the article below gives the official report.
The inscription below is a little indistinct, but reads : John Bernard Poultney, killed in action in France, February 17th 1917. They live for evermore