Market Lavington Museum

Helena May Potter


Please put your hand up if you remember Mrs Elisha.

For many years Mrs Elisha was the infant teacher at Market Lavington School and she worked as an emergency supply teacher even after normal retirement. Mrs Elisha had led a very long working life, which started before she married Bill at a time when she was Helena May Potter.

Helena May (always known as May) was born in 1903 in Market Lavington. Her parents were Edwin and Mary. Her grandfather, another Edwin Potter ran the horse bus, which plied between Market Lavington and Devizes.

It seems that May wanted to be involved in whatever was going on from an early age.

Towards the end of the first world war she was a teenage girl – too young for military service and one guesses that she’d have wanted front line service which was not, then, an option for women. So May joined the land army so that she could assist other women with agricultural work.

Perhaps her parents thought she looked quite charming dressed as a land girl, for a studio photo was taken.

Helena May Potter, a land girl in 1918 - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This photo was taken in 1918 and if May’s parents thought she looked charming, they were surely right.

Hands up again if you remember Mrs Elisha! Why not contact us and tell us about your memories?