Gunner Thomas Porter

Regiment: 146th Heavy Battery, The Royal Garrison Artillery
Service No: 1476
Date & place of birth: March 1878 in Rogate, Sussex
Date & place of death: 27 October 1916 (aged 38) at Base Hospital, Rouen.

Thomas Porter had joined the Royal Artillery at the age of 19 in October 1897 and served seven years with the Colours and five years in Reserve prior to rejoining the Army in 1914.

Family background

Born in Rogate in the spring of 1878, in 1881 Thomas was living with his parents at Wenham Cottage, Rogate. Like their son, John and Harriet Porter, had both been born in Rogate. John was a cowman and Thomas was the youngest of three boys. John Porter died in 1884 and by 1891 Thomas, his mother Harriet, George his eldest brother and a sister, Harriet, had moved to Red Lion Cottages at Durleigh.

Thomas joined the Army in 1897 transferring to the Army Reserve in 1905 and by 1911 he was living with his wife Violet Emily at 4 North Road, Rogate and was employed as a jobbing gardener.

Thomas and Violet [née Boxall] were married in Petersfield on 15 May 1910. Violet was born in Grimsby in 1889 to John and Catherine Charlotte Boxall but by 1901 the family was living in West Street, Rogate.

Military Service

Thomas Porter joined the Royal Artillery at the age of 19 years and 7 months on 19 October 1897. He was considered fit to be a Gunner the following day at Fort Rowner, Gosport. In May 1898, he was posted to Malta serving three years on the island before a posting to India which lasted a further four years. In November 1905 he returned to the United Kingdom and was transferred to the Army Reserve on 20 November 1905 from which he was discharged on 18 October 1909.

Thomas rejoined the Army on 31 August 1914 in Portsmouth, at the age of 37, serving in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Between August 1914 and January 1916 he was stationed in Britain but was posted to France between January and March 1916. He returned to France on 21 June 1916.

Death & Commemoration

Thomas died from his wounds on 27 October 1916 in the base hospital at Rouen, in France. He is buried in St. Sever Communal Cemetery Extension, Rouen. He is commemorated on the Rogate War memorial.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project