One hundred years ago today, just months before the end of World War 1, ‘Jack’ Porter was killed in action in Belgium. Jack played an important role in our family, having been married to Amy Richardson, sister to Annie, our gt Grandmother.
|John 'Jack' Porter as a young man|
John James Porter known as Jack, was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire on 26 February 1882, the son of John Henry and Frances Porter. His father was a shoemaker and operated a shoe store. A bright boy, Jack attended St John’s College, Cambridge and studied to become a teacher. Whilst at St John’s he won a swimming race and was awarded a set of silver spoons. By 1901 he was employed as a National School teacher.
|Amy and Jack Porter|
Amy met Jack sometime in the early 1900s and by 1908 he was an Assistant schoolmaster at St. James School House in Fortis Green Road at Muswell Hill, near north London. They married at the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Muswell Hill North on the 16 April 1908. Amy’s employee and long-time friend Percy Livingstone Parker and her sister Helena Richardson, witnessed the marriage. They were obviously devoted and Amy fondly referred to her husband as "My Jack".
From 1911 Jack was the Headmaster at Gosberton Clough School at Spalding. Following the eruption of hostilities in Europe which resulted in World War 1, many young men joined up. Jack, although married was in his early 30s when he enlisted in the London-Scottish on the 13 February 1915 and departed for France following his training on the 21 June 1915. His number was 511051 in "B" Coy, 2nd/14th Battalion and he was appointed to the rank of Sgt-Major and miraculously managed to survive the horrendous circumstances of the war to the final stages. In the early part of 1918 he was serving in Jerusalem.
|Jack enlisted in the London-Scottish "B" Coy, 2nd/14th Battalion in 1915|
Unfortunately Jack was “Killed in Action” in Belgium on the 21 August 1918 aged 36 years. Older members of the family used to say he died the day the Armistice was signed however he died several months prior to this. Jack was buried at site A.8 at the Locre No. 10 Cemetery at Heuvelland, West-Vlaandereb in Belgium. Following his death Amy is listed as living at 161 High Street, Watford.
Amy was heartbroken with the death of her husband. She records in her diary on the 4 December 1918, "left home for business, alone and sad."
|Documents from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archives|
Following her mourning for her beloved husband Amy made a decision to travel to Australia to visit Annie, Ern and her nephew Bill. She travelled by boat and arrived in Australia via Fremantle in WA. In October 1929, Amy visited Jack’s grave at Locre Cemetery at Heuvelland, West-Vlaandereb in Belgium.
Amy and Jack did not have any children, and although she married again, Amy conveyed to her family how much she cherished Jack, her first love. Subsequent generations are justifiably proud of Jack, his contribution and ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. To find out more about Amy, read the following post.
|Certificate for John James Porter from CWGC|