Lance Corporal William Porter


The background of this man is not certain, other than that he was from St Johnston, County Donegal. On that basis he was one of the following:

William Porter, born at Drumenon, St Johnston, on 23 August 1896, the second of seven children of farmer William Porter and his wife Annie (née Orr). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Drumenon with his parents and five surviving siblings, and working on the family farm.


William Porter, born at St Johnston on 8 July 1898, the fifth of six children of merchant William Porter and his wife Mary (née Middleton). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at St Johnston with his parents and siblings.

Porter enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 26 October and 6 November 1914 (No. UD/96). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment.

Porter was probably one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt, to be handed over for use by mounted units there. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training, and after just a few days were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which had been renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Porter was issued regimental number 41633.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918.

Porter was wounded during the Advance to Victory offensive in the second half of 1918, probably in the successful attack near Bailleul on 24 August.

On 5 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


This page last updated 18 March 2023.