Lance Corporal Harry Porter


This North Irish Horseman, recorded as 'Harry L. H. Porter' on the Medal Index Cards and Rolls, is probably the Henry Spencer Holmes Porter born on 19 February 1880 at Curryfree, Glendermot, County Londonderry, the first of three children of medical doctor and surgeon in the Army Medical Corps David Leslie Porter and his wife Caroline Elizabeth (née Hamilton). His father died in Egypt in 1885 while on the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum. At the time of the 1901 Census, Harry was living at Curryfree with his maternal grandmother and an uncle. Ten years later he was living with his mother at nearby Stranabrosny, County Tyrone, and working as a mechanical engineer.

Porter enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 January and 12 April 1917 (regimental number between 2385 and 2390 – later Corps of Hussars No.71792). He remained at the regimental reserve camp at Antrim until January 1918, when he embarked for Egypt with a draft of around fifty North Irish Horsemen from the Antrim camp. There he was attached to the 1/1st Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal Regiment), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign. Records suggest that he may have trained as an officer cadet at some point during his service.

Porter was demobilised on 5 October 1919. He was granted a pension for a disability contracted while in the army, assessed at 20 per cent in October 1920.

After the war he lived at Glencush House, Dunnamagh (Donemana), County Tyrone. (Glencush was the home of his uncle, Dr William Hamilton.) He died at Route Hospital, Ballymoney, on 12 August 1938.


Porter's brother Leslie Vernon Lushington Porter (see image below) also served in the war, as a captain in the Royal Flying Corps. Proprietor of Leslie Porter Ltd, Automobile Engineers and Agents and motor-sport driver, he joined the RFC in November 1915, embarking for France with No.45 Squadron almost a year later. On 22 October 1916 while flying a Sopwith 1½ Strutter on an offensive patrol between Bapaume and Peronne he was shot down and captured, dying of wounds two days later.


Captain Leslie Porter. (Image sourced from Imperial War Museum website.)