Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   2nd Lieutenant William Porter
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 14/12/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 6th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 31
Summary      
William Porter was the son of William and Mary Porter. William was born about 1885. Second Lieutenant William Porter was serving with the 6th Battalion (att. 1st Battalion) of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. William was 31 years old. The CWGC records William as the son of William and Mary Porter, of "Beechview," Balmoral Avenue, Belfast.
2nd Lieutenant William Porter
Further Information
William Porter was the son of William and Mary Porter. They were married about 1871. William was born about 1884 in Belfast.
William attended Dungannon Royal School, entering in 1898.
The 1901 census lists William as age 16 living at house 10 in Balmoral Avenue, Belfast. William Porter Senior was a City Rate Collector. William was still a scholar.
Family: William Porter, Mary Porter, Annie Bingham (born about 1871), Robert W Bingham (Son in Law), William Porter (born about 1885), May Porter (born about 1888), James Porter (born about 1890), Lewis Porter (born about 1892), Edith Porter (born about 1895).
William emigrated to Canada where he was in business in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
William Porter returned on a visit to Dungannon in 1913 and joined the Dungannon Ulster Volunteers Force. His brother in law, Robert W Bingham, was the company commander. He was very popular and quickly became a half company commander.
1914
Along with over one hundred members of the Dungannon U.V.F., he joined the Ulster Division at the outbreak of war as a Private. He was quickly granted a commission.
From the Dungannon Courier, Thursday 3rd September 1914:
The departure from Dungannon on Wednesday afternoon (2nd Sept 1914) of over 100 members of the Dungannon Battalion, Ulster Volunteer Force for Omagh for the purpose of joining the new 5th and 6th Battalions of the Inniskilling Fusiliers was marked by a scene of great enthusiasm. The men paraded at the Royal School and headed by the Dungannon Brass Band, and escorted by a large number of members of the battalion, carry rifles and wearing full equipment, marched to the railway station. The station premises were thronged by an enormous crowd and as the train steamed off, hearty cheers were raised, the band playing “See the Conquering Hero Come” and “Auld Lang Syne” and detonators were exploded. A number of battalion officers have enrolled with the men and accompanied them including Mr Robert Stevenson (second in command) Messrs R H Scott, W T Dickson and V Acheson (Company officers) and Mr W Porter (half-company officer).
1915
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 7th January 1915: Commissions for Dungannon Volunteers
Messrs W Porter and J F Hunter, of A Company and Mr Stewart Moore of D Company, Dungannon Battalion Ulster Volunteer Force, have received commissions in the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The new officers joined the Inniskillings in August last as privates and worked their way up until they received their commissions. Lieutenant Porter is a brother-in-law of Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster of Dungannon Royal School, and as a half company commander of A Company, was very popular with officers and men. He was in Canada for a number of years, and is well known in rugby football circles. Lieutenant Hunter is a son of Rev Dr Hunter, who is at present engaged in missionary work in China on behalf of the Presbyterian Church. Lieutenant Moore is a well-known sportsman, and was a frequent visitor to Elm Lodge, Dungannon, the residences of Captain R H Scott, of the 6th Inniskillings, and company officer of D Company, Dungannon U.V.F.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915: Commissions for Dungannon Volunteers
Messrs W Porter and J F Hunter, of A Company, Dungannon Battalion Ulster Volunteer Force, have received commissions in the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, as also has Mr Stewart Moore, who enlisted from D (Bush) Company, Dungannon Battalion Ulster Volunteer Force. The three gentlemen joined the Inniskillings in August last as privates in August and worked their way up until they received their commissions. Lieutenant Porter is a brother-in-law of Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster of Dungannon Royal School, and as a half company commander of A Company, was very popular with officers and men. He has been in Canada for a number of years, and last year on his return played as half back in Dungannon Rugby Football Team, and with followers of the handling code, was also extremely popular. Lieutenant Hunter is a son of Rev Dr Hunter, who is at present engaged in missionary work in China on behalf of the Presbyterian Church. Lieutenant Moore is a well-known sportsman, and was a frequent visitor to Elm Lodge, the residences of Captain R H Scott, of the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 2nd August 1915:
Second-Lieut. William Porter, 6th Inniskillings, brother-in-law of R.W. Bingham, Dungannon, has been wounded in the Dardanelles.
In August 1915, his relatives in Dungannon received intimation from Second Lieutenant William Porter, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, that wounds received in the Gallipoli Peninsula operations were not serious. He was wounded in the chest and was in hospital in one of the islands in the Aegean Sea for a time.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 1st September 1915: Lieutenant William Porter
Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster Dungannon Royal School, has received official intimation that his brother-in-law, Second Lieutenant William Porter, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been wounded in action at the Gallipoli Peninsula. The date and nature of the wounds are not stated. The casualty has however, taken place since 9th August. Lieutenant Porter, who is a younger son of Mr William Porter, Beechview, Balmoral Avenue, Belfast, was formerly in business in Winnipeg. He came to Dungannon on a visit almost two years ago, when the Ulster Volunteer Force was in full swing, and at once threw himself into the movement. He was exceedingly popular, and was soon appointed half-company officer of A Company Dungannon Battalion, of which his brother-in-law, Mr Bingham, was a company commander. On the outbreak of war he volunteered with a Dungannon contingent of U.V.F. men and enlisted as a private in the 6th Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, subsequently being granted a commission.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 9th September 1915:
His relatives in Dungannon have received intimation from Second Lieutenant William Porter, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, that wounds received in the Gallipoli Peninsula operations as already notified, are not serious. He was wounded in the chest and is in hospital in one of the islands in the Aegean Sea.
From the Tyrone Courier, dated 30th September 1915:
Sec-Lieut William Porter, 6th Inniskilling Fusiliers, (brother-in-law of R.W. Bingham; Dungannon), who was wounded in the chest during the landing at Suvla Bay, has returned home from hospital and is almost recovered.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd October 1915:
Second Lieutenant William Porter, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was shot in the chest during the recent Suvla Bay operations has returned home from hospital and is almost restored to health. He is a younger son of Mr William Porter, Beechview, Balmoral Avenue, Belfast and brother-in-law of R W Bingham, headmaster Dungannon Royal School. Particulars about Lieutenant Porter recently appeared in this paper.
After being wounded at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, he subsequently served in the west of Ireland before going to the western front.
1916
Second Lieutenant William Porter was serving with the 6th Battalion (attached to the 1st Battalion) of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. William was 31 years old.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 13 July 1916:
2nd Lieutenant William Porter, Inniskilling Fusiliers, killed, was a son of Mr William Porter, Beechview, Balmoral, Belfast and a brother in law of Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster of Dungannon Royal School. He was originally in the 6th Inniskillings, and was wounded at Suvla Bay, subsequently serving in the west of Ireland before going to the western front. He came home from Canada to join the Ulster Volunteers, and subsequently joined the Ulster Division from the Dungannon U.V.F., in which he was a half company commander. He took a great interest in sport and was a popular figure on the rugby football field.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 15th July 1916: Second Lieutenant William Porter
Newspaper report
Second Lieutenant William Porter, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, killed in action, was the youngest son of Mr William Porter, Beechview, Balmoral Avenue, Belfast, and a brother in law of Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster of Dungannon Royal School. The late Second Lieutenant Porter was severely wounded in the chest during the landing at Suvla Bay in August last and after his recovery was engaged on the Irish west coast defences and ultimately was attached to a battalion in France. He evinced the greatest possible interest in the U.V.F. movement, having returned especially from Canada to take part in it, and was a half company commander in the 'A' Company, Dungannon Battalion. He was a keen and popular sportsman and an enthusiastic rugby footballer, taking part during the season 1913-14 in the Junior Cup and Provincial Cup contests.
He was a brother in law of Mr R W Bingham, B.A., headmaster of Dungannon Royal School.
The CWGC records William as the son of William and Mary Porter, of "Beechview," Balmoral Avenue, Belfast
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References and Links
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1 1901 Census lists Porter family Lists William as age 16 living with the family at house 10 in Balmoral Avenue, Windsor Ward, Antrim
2 1911 Census lists Porter family Does not list William as living with the family at house 88 in Balmoral Avenue, Windsor Ward, Antrim
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020