No. 1463, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 23)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
James Porter was born on 6 January 1893 in the townland of Ballymullen and he was a son of Joseph and Margaret (Maggie) Porter (nee Thompson) who were married around 1885/1886.
The Porter family lived in Ballymullen, Ballylisbredan, Dunlady, Ballyskeagh Cottage, and Ballyrogan.
Joseph Porter worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Maggie had six children:
Maggie (born around 1887/1888; married Thomas Mawhinney on 17 August 1907 in Regent Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards – aged 19)
Robert (born around 1889/1890 – from census)
James (born 23 January 1893 in Ballymullen; baptised in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church)
Mary (Minnie, born 27 November 1897 in Ballylisbredan)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 16 March 1900 in Dunlady)
Jane (born 19 May 1903 in Ballyskeagh; died 27 January 1907 from shock after burns accidentally received 14 hours earlier)
Mary, Elizabeth and Jane were baptised in Regent Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War James Porter worked as an agricultural labourer. He enlisted in Belfast and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (1st County Down Volunteers) in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Rifleman James Porter went to France in October 1915 and he was 23 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Initially he was reported as missing in action and in June 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action ‘on or since that date’.
Rifleman James Porter’s brother and sisters placed a For King and Country notice in the 7 July 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
Peace, perfect peace, the future all unknown,
Jesus we know, and He is on the Throne;
It is enough, earth’s struggles soon shall cease
And Jesus calls us to Heaven’s perfect peace.
Rifleman James Porter (No. 1463) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on Newtownards and District War Memorial.