John Robert PORTEOUS

PORTEOUS, John Robert

Service Number: 1290
Enlisted: 24 March 1915, Liverpool
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 20th Infantry Battalion
Born: Pyrmont, New South Wales, Australia, 9 January 1865
Home Town: Newcastle, Hunter Region, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Shell wounds, Bois Grenier, France, 23 May 1916, aged 51 years
Cemetery: Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier
Plot IV; Row C; Grave 2.
Memorials: Wauchope Rawdon Island School and District Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

24 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1290, 20th Infantry Battalion, Liverpool
31 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 20th Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1915: Involvement Sergeant, 1290, 20th Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1915: Embarked Sergeant, 1290, 20th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Sydney
22 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1290, 20th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
1 Oct 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 20th Infantry Battalion
18 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 20th Infantry Battalion, HMT Ingoma, Alexandria for Marseilles - arriving 25 March 1916
23 May 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, 20th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Michael Silver

John Robert Patterson Porteous was actually 50 years old when he enlisted in March 1915. He stated his age as 43 years and 2 months.

One of nine children of Scotsman Archibald Porteous and his Lancashire born wife Isabella Fyfe, he married Ida Emily James (1868-1933) at Balmain in 1886. They had a son Archiball Conrad Fyfe Porteous (1896-1983) who enlisted in April 1917 and served as a Private ( 4218) with the 6th Battalion AIF.

As Sergeant JR Patterson, he landed at Gallipoli with the 20th Battalion in August 1915. Promoted to Second Lieutenant in October, he was amoungst the last to leave the peninsula during the evacuation in December.

Transferred with the 20th to the Western Front in March 1916, Lieutenant Patterson moved into the front line trenches at Bois Grenier on 14 April 1916. Over the next month the 20th was in and out of the front line trenches undertaking improvement works.

It was relatively quiet, with occassional enemy shelling. But during the afternoon of Sunday, 23 May 1915 the occassional enemy shelling caught up with John Patterson.  He was mortally wounded when a shell exploded in the frontline trench.

He was taken from the trench by bearers of the 7th Field Ambulance but died before reaching the advanced dressing station.

Lieutenant JR Patterson was laid to rest at Brewery Orchard Cemetery, Bois-Grenier.