April 24 - 30 2016: Issue 260

The Porter Family- Newport: Five Soldier Brothers Who Served During World War I

  'Episode after Battle of Zonnebeke 1918'  - Battle of Polygon Wood -Australian soldiers in trenches at the Battle of Polygon Wood. The Battle of Zonnebeke, 1918- Photo by Capt. Frank Hurley

Foundation Newport SLSC members Carl and Sidney Porter, along with fellow members in brothers Albert Edward, William James and Robert Daniel Porter, are a family of young men who all served in the ‘Great War’ – World War One. 

Of the five young men who went overseas in also relatively young A.I.F. only two came home. None of the three who did not have any known grave. Two were killed in action in France, amid some of the most terrible battles that occurred there, and the one other, the first to be lost, died at Hill 60, Gallipoli, Turkey, on 22 August 1915, aged 25.

Apart from the Memorial in Trafalgar Park at which wreaths are placed to honour those who have served, the names of Newport residents who have served Australia during times of conflict may not be readily seen on Honour Boards unless you visit Newport SLSC’s clubhouse or were fortunate to see Mona Vale Library’s National Trust Heritage Festival event of 2015 when a photographic display of the 'Honour Rolls of Pittwater’ was available from May 4 to 17.

As Mona Vale Library said around this time last year, “Honour rolls were often the first type of memorial erected to honour those who enlisted in WWI.”

The Honour rolls featured were found in local churches, schools, surf clubs and shire offices. Mona Vale Library were hoping members of the public would come forward with any information about the soldiers honoured on these boards.

As part of this year’s ANZAC Day preludes we wish to honour the men behind the names, from one family, who appear on these Newport honour boards and share an insight into the service they gave to Australia. 

The first Honour Board at Newport from World War I was the result of collaboration between William Fairley, principal of Newport Public School and Carl Porter, after whom Porter’s Reserve in Newport is named. 

Right: Stone Memorial from Mona Vale Methodist Church, from MVL Local History Unit - Image No. MV240.

The Board for WWII was arranged by Mr. Sanderson a later principal at Newport PS, and Mr. Porter.

Carl Horwood Porter was the third youngest son, of seven sons and two daughters, of Robert and Ann Porter (nee Ratley). NSW’s BDM’s lists all their children Birth records at Manly. 

Mr. Robert Porter Snr. came to Newport from Manly – he was a maintenance man on the roads, appearing in a Warringah Shire Council minute of meeting as early as their 12th Meeting in 1906 , 'attesting to the accuracy of his worksheet'. Acounts passed for payment at this Meeting were: '£9 - 2 - 10' - Robert Porter. 

Mr. Porter's work stretched from the 9 mile peg to Barranjoey as well as to Bayview and Church Point. He also ensured Newport Public school had adequate firewood during the colder months for years when this was the means for keeping pupils warm.

PORTER-RATTLEY. - At Waverley, in the Wesleyan Church, by the Rev. K. A. Corner, Robert Porter, late of Hoddesdon, Herts, to Ann, third daughter of Mr. David Rattley, of Stroud. Family Notices (1884, August 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13559577 

Hoddesdon is a town in the Broxbourne borough of the English county of Hertfordshire, situated in the Lea Valley. It grew up as a coaching stop on the route between Cambridge and London. - Wikipedia 

Ann was born in 1859 to David (some sources state ‘Daniel’) Rattley and Ann Horwood, the 3rd eldest daughter of seven girls and two sons. Her parents married shortly before immigrating to Australia, arriving on board the "Rose of Sharon" on  April 13, 1855. They couple were devout Methodists; a faith Carl also practiced, and gave to his sons, and promulgated in word, action and attitude, even after or especially because of what he had experienced.

The children of Robert and Ann Porter, and year of birth:

20261/1894 PORTER CARL H ROBERT        ANN      MANLY

4582/1899 PORTER LUCY M ROBERT        ANN      MANLY

12236/1885 PORTER FRANCES M ROBERT ANN     MANLY

13099/1886 PORTER ROBERT D ROBERT ANN     MANLY

20940/1890 PORTER WILLIAM J ROBERT ANNIE  MANLY

14196/1901 PORTER SEPTIMUS E ROBERT ANN     MANLY

32040/1896 PORTER WALTER S ROBERT ANNIE MANLY

32041/1896 PORTER ALBERT E ROBERT ANNIE MANLY

21623/1892 PORTER SYDNEY G ROBERT ANNIE MANLY

The family’s home, in the Avenue, Newport, is on early cartographic sales maps dated 1900, and was called simply “Home” during a prolonged era when people gave names to their homes. This choice may indicate a family that wanted just that, a home, or that the warmth and love that fills a house and makes it a home thrived there.

 Section from: Sales plan for land in Mona Vale, New South Wales. "A.W. Stephen, licensed surveyor RPA, 47 Castlereagh Street". Sales plan of Mona Vale estate, Pittwater. Mona Vale [cartographic material]. Mona Vale estate, Pittwater [cartographic material] 1900 - 1909. MAP Folder 103, LFSP 1554. Courtesy National Library of Australia.

The article that began inspired an investigation into the Porter brothers service:

FIVE SOLDIER BROTHERS.

PRIVATE BERT PORTER, . 10. PRIVATE CARL PORTER, PRIVATE SIDNEY' PORTER, 23. PRIVATE ROBERT D. PORTER, 20. SONS OF MR. ROBERT PORTER, OF NEWPORT, MANLY. PRIVATE WILLIAM JAMES PORTER, 25 (wounded).

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Porter, of Newport, have reason to be proud of their sons, five of whom have enlisted and are at, or on their way to the front. 

The first of the sons to get into khaki was William, aged 23. He went away from Sydney with one of the first contingents, and going through the famous landing at Gabe Tepe on April 25 scatheless, he was in the trenches for nearly four months before he was wounded. His parents were officially advised of his casualty at the time, but since then no news has reached them as to his condition, notwithstanding the fact that a number of inquiries have been made. 

Robert, the eldest son, aged 29, was the next one to see his path of duty. The other three sons, Sydney, aged 23, Carl, 21, and Bert, 19, left recently with one of the contingents from Sydney for the front. FIVE SOLDIER BROTHERS. (1916, January 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15638624 

Private (Pte) William James Porter, 13th Battalion, was a policeman prior to enlistment. He embarked with B Company from Melbourne on HMAT Ulysses on 22 December 1914. 

Right: Studio Portrait William James, courtesy Australian War Memorial

He was killed in action at Hill 60, Gallipoli, Turkey, on 22 August 1915, aged 25.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine. 

Robert Daniel Porter enlisted on July 2nd, 1915, at Liverpool - listing his age as 28 years and 8 months and stating he had done a 5 year apprenticeship with G S Brock, listing his trade as ‘Carpenter’. He left Australia on October 5th, 1915, arriving 6/1/1916 at Tebel Kebir. 

Appointed Lt. Corporal ‘In The Field” 26.10.1916

5.12.1916 – admitted to Hospital ‘Influenza’ – at New Zealand Staff Hospital (in the Field) – was transferred to Ambulance Train and sent to No 6 General Hospital in Rouen. He finally was released on December 19th and ‘marched to his unit’ and listed as ‘ex-Hospital’ on 5/1/1917 in France. 

Promoted to Corporal 6.2.1917

Transferred to England as Instructor on 22.3.1917, attended Number 1 Officers DNCO’s School and qualified 18.6.1917. In command at Musketry school at Tidsworth – ex 1st Eng., Btn. Durrington 2.7.1917

On 8.10.1917 he was ‘absorbed on strength to 1st Btn. A.I.F. sent to France 20.11.1917

22.11.1917 – sent to hospital – sick  – his condition listed as ‘Influenza’ once again. 5.2.1918 – sent to hospital again - sick.

On the 17.4.1918 he was wounded in action, his files records '20.4.1918 – requests to be returned to unit'

5.6.1918 – promoted to Sergeant

On the 18.9.1918 he is wounded in action again and sent  to B’ham War Hospital Rednal on 28.9.1918 –"(S.W. abdomen and GSW Bullet in right hip) – 2nd incident – invalided to UK"

On the 30.8.1918 he is Awarded Military Medal.  24.1.1919 – sergeant returned to Australia per “Gargha” or ‘Yargha’

Sydney (spelt in his records ‘Sidney’) George Porter enlisted on October 4th, 1915. He enlisted at Holdsworthy, was assigned to 14th Rein., 3rd Battalion, listing his age as 23 and his occupation as ‘Labourer’. He embarked on the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley” on January 15th, 1916. He was transferred from Alexandria on 29/3/1916, per ‘Transylvania’ to France.

On June 14th he was wounded ‘slightly’ – then, on June 16th he was wounded in action at Wimereux (GSW – Gun Shot Wound, to the chest, and another to right hand) – 17/6/: admitted to 2nd. Australian Field Ambulance and transferred to England per “St. Denis” where on the 25th of June, 1916 he was admitted to York House Hospital, 1st Auxiliary Hospital. A telegram sent to his father listed this wound as ‘severe’, who wrote in July 1916 inquiring if there was any further news.

On October 1st, 1916 he left England and was assigned to the 53rd Battalion in France.

He too is noted as doing the Musketry Course in January 1917 and he too was sent to hospital sick on April 7th, 1917 only his condition is listed as ‘S.T. ABR Feet’ – more commonly known as ‘Trench Foot’, a condition many soldiers fighting in the First World War suffered from. This was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and insanitary conditions and where men had to stand for hours and days in waterlogged trenches. If untreated, trench foot could turn gangrenous and result in amputation. Trench foot was a particular problem in the early stages of the war. As an example, during the winter of 1914-15 over 20,000 men in the British Army were treated for trench foot. Brigadier-General Frank Percy Crozier argued that: " The fight against the condition known as trench-feet had been incessant and an uphill game."

Sydney’s clearly did not get better, as on April 18th he was diagnosed with ‘I.C.T. – left foot’ and transferred to England again, this time on the H.S. ‘Princess Elizabeth’.

He was discharged on June 11th, given some furlough, and told to report to Perham Downs in July. Soon afterwards he was sent back to France and rejoined the 53rd Battalion in the Havre.

On the 28th of September 1917 he was listed as ‘killed in action in the field’: ANZAC Section G.H.Q. British Expeditionary Force.

The 53rd Battalion was raised in Egypt on 14 February 1916 as part of the "doubling" of the AIF. Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 1st Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 1st, the 53rd was predominantly composed of men from the suburbs of Sydney. The battalion became part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division. 

The battalion arrived in France on 27 June 1916, entered the front line for the first time on 10 July, and became embroiled in its first major battle on the Western Front, at Fromelles, on 19 July. The battle of Fromelles was a disaster. The 53rd was part of the initial assault and suffered grievously, incurring 625 casualties, including its commanding officer, amounting to over three-quarters of its attacking strength. Casualty rates among the rest of the 5th Division were similarly high, but despite these losses it continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months. 

The 53rd spent the freezing winter of 1916-17 rotating in and out of trenches in the Somme Valley. During this period the battalion earned the nickname "the Whale Oil Guards" after the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Croshaw, ordered the troops to polish their helmets with whale oil (issued to rub into feet as a trench foot preventative) for a smart turn out on parade. In March 1917, the 53rd participated in the advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. It was spared the assault but did, however, defend gains made during the second battle of Bullecourt. Later in the year, the AIF's focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 53rd's major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September.  

Third Battle of Ypres

The Third Battle of Ypres was the major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. It was planned to break through the strongly fortified and in-depth German defences enclosing the Ypres salient, a protruding bulge in the British front line, with the intention of sweeping through to the German submarine bases on the Belgian coast. The battle comprised of a series of limited and costly offensives, often undertaken in the most difficult of waterlogged conditions - a consequence of frequent periods of rain and the destruction of the Flanders' lowlands drainage systems by intense artillery bombardment. As the opportunity for breakthrough receded, Haig still saw virtue in maintaining the offensives, hoping in the process to drain German manpower through attrition. The main battles associated with Third Battle of Ypres were: 

- Pilckem, 31 July to 2 August 

- Langemarck, 16-18 August 

- Menin Road, 20-25 September

- Polygon Wood, 26 September to 3 October 

- Broodseinde, 4 October

- Poelcapelle, 9 October

- Passchendaele (First Battle), 12 October

- Passchendaele (Second Battle), 26 October to 10 November.

Australian Divisions participated in the battles of Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. In eight weeks of fighting Australian forces incurred 38,000 casualties. The combined total of British and Dominion casualties has been estimated at 310,000 (estimated German losses were slightly lower) and no breakthrough was achieved. The costly offensives, ending with the capture of Passchendaele village, merely widened the Ypres salient by a few kilometres.

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917. The leading soldier is Gunner James Fulton and the second soldier is Lieutenant Anthony Devine. The men belong to a battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade. Australian War Memorial E01220. Frank Hurley Photograph. 

The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, 5 miles (8.0 km) from a railway junction at Roulers, which was vital to the supply system of the German 4th Army. The next stage of the Allied plan was an advance to Thourout–Couckelaere, to close the German-controlled railway running through Roulers and Thourout.

Further operations and a British supporting attack along the Belgian coast from Nieuwpoort, combined with Operation Hush (an amphibious landing), were to have reached Bruges and then the Dutch frontier. The resistance of the German 4th Army, unusually wet weather, the onset of winter and the diversion of British and French resources to Italy, following the Austro-German victory at the Battle of Caporetto(24 October – 19 November), enabled the Germans to avoid a general withdrawal, which had seemed inevitable in early October. The campaign ended in November, when the Canadian Corps captured Passchendaele, apart from local attacks in December and the new year. In 1918, the Battle of the Lys and the Fifth Battle of Ypres were fought before the Allies occupied the Belgian coast and reached the Dutch frontier.

A campaign in Flanders was controversial in 1917 and has remained so. The British Prime Minister Lloyd George opposed the offensive, as did General Ferdinand Foch the French Chief of the General Staff. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commanding the British Expeditionary Force, did not receive approval for the Flanders operation from the War Cabinet until 25 July. Matters of dispute by the participants, writers and historians since the war, have included the wisdom of pursuing an offensive strategy in the wake of the Nivelle Offensive, rather than waiting for the arrival of the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

The choice of Flanders over areas further south or the Italian front, the climate and weather in Flanders, the choice of General Hubert Gough and the Fifth Army to conduct the offensive, debates over the nature of the opening attack and between advocates of shallow and deeper objectives, have also been controversial. The passage of time between the Battle of Messines (7–14 June) and the opening attack of the Battles of Ypres, the extent to which the internal troubles of the French armies motivated British persistence with the offensive, the effect of the weather, the decision to continue the offensive in October and the human cost of the campaign on the soldiers of the German and British armies, have also been argued over ever since.

Battle of Polygon Wood 

Australian infantry with small box respirator gas masks, Ypres, September 1917. Photo by Captain Frank Hurley. - This image is available from the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: E00825 

The Second Army altered its Corps frontages soon after the attack of 20 September, for the next effort (26 September – 3 October)so that each attacking division could be concentrated on a 1,000 yards (910 m) front. Roads and light railways were extended to the new front line, to allow artillery and ammunition to be moved forward. The artillery of VIII Corps and IX Corps on the southern flank, simulated preparations for attacks on Zandvoorde and Warneton. At 5.50 a.m. on 26 September, five layers of barrage fired by British artillery and machine-guns began. Dust and smoke thickened the morning mist and the infantry advanced using compass bearings.[108] Each of the three German ground-holding divisions attacked on 26 September, had an Eingreif division in support, twice the ratio of 20 September. No ground captured by the British was lost and German counter-attacks managed only to reach ground to which survivors of the front-line divisions had retired.

Australian soldiers at the Battle of Polygon Wood. Australian soldiers in trenches at the Battle of Polygon Wood. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Polygon_Wood 

At the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916, where the battalion took part in the first stages of the Allied attack they suffered over 600 casualties, a total which equated to around a third of their total casualties for the war. 

Sydney is also listed in AWM records as having ‘No known grave’.
His name is listed: The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 53), Belgium
The Menin Gate Memorial
(so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.
The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.
Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Battle of Fromelles, 19–20 July
The Battle of Fromelles was a subsidiary attack to support the Fourth Army on the Somme 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the south, to exploit any weakening of the German defences opposite. Preparations for the attack were rushed, the troops involved lacked experience in trench warfare and the power of the German defence was "gravely" underestimated, the attackers being outnumbered 2:1. On 19 July, von Falkenhayn had judged the British attack to be the anticipated offensive against the 6th Army. Next day Falkenhayn ordered the Guard Reserve Corps to be withdrawn to reinforce the Somme front. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground and deflected few German troops bound for the Somme. The attack was the début of the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front and "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history". Of 7,080 BEF casualties, 5,533 losses were incurred by the 5th Australian Division; German losses were 1,600–2,000, with 150 taken prisoner.
Soldiers of the 53rd Battalion, Australian 5th Division, waiting to attack during the Battle of Fromelles, July 19, 1916. Only three of the men shown survived the attack and those three were wounded. Credit line: Donated by Lance Corporal C.H. Lorking of the 53rd Battalion - This image is available from the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: A03042

 
Battle of Zonnebeke 1918 Hurley - Battle of Polygon Wood -Australian soldiers in trenches at the Battle of Polygon Wood. The Battle of Zonnebeke, 1918- Photo by Capt. Frank Hurley

Albert (Bert) Edward Porter was 18 years and 11 months when he enlisted on the 15th of September, 1915, at Holdsworthy, listing his occupation as “Labourer” – his height was 5 feet 6 ½ inches, his weight 138 pounds. Due to his age he was required to get the signature of both his parents on a consent form. Albert was assigned to the 14th Rein., 3rd Battalion.
His file is scant - listing soon after the information above "Killed in action between 22nd and 27th of July 1916 ‘in the field’ in France.

Effects that came home; a Testament, a devotional book, balaclava, a writing pad, 15 coins and some buttons, a handkerchief and a letter.
His parents later received three medals – the British Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal and a Memorial Scroll.

From Australian War Memorial records:
Private (Pte) Albert Edward Porter, 3rd Battalion, of Newport, NSW. A labourer prior to enlistment, embarked with the 14th Reinforcements from Sydney on RMS Osterley on 15 January 1916, was transferred at Alexandria via the Transylvania' on 29/3/1916, arriving in Marseilles 4/4/1916. He was killed in action at Pozieres, France, on 22 July 1916, aged 19.

He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Australian War Memorial at Villers Bretonneux France.

The 3rd Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. Like the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions it was recruited from New South Wales and, together with these battalions, formed the 1st Brigade. 

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves and served there until the evacuation in December. In August, the battalion took part in the attack on Lone Pine. For his valorous action in defending Sasse's Sap at Lone Pine on 9 August, Private John Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. In March 1916, it sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion took part in operations against the German Army, principally in the Somme Valley in France and around Ypres in Belgium. The battalion's first major action in France was at Pozieres in the Somme valley in July 1916.

From Wikipedia:
The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme, German: Schlacht an der Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and Frenchempires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of theRiver Somme in France. It was one of the largest battles of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. A Franco-British commitment to an offensive on the Somme had been made during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. The main part of the offensive was to be made by the French army, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

When the German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, many French divisions intended for the Somme were diverted and the supporting attack by the British became the principal effort. Thefirst day on the Somme (1 July) was a serious defeat for the German Second Army, which was forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank and by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. The first day on the Somme was also the worst day in the history of the British army, which had c. 57,470 casualties, mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. 

Battle of Fromelles, 19–20 July
The Battle of Fromelles was a subsidiary attack to support the Fourth Army on the Somme 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the south, to exploit any weakening of the German defences opposite. Preparations for the attack were rushed, the troops involved lacked experience in trench warfare and the power of the German defence was "gravely" underestimated, the attackers being outnumbered 2:1. On 19 July, von Falkenhayn had judged the British attack to be the anticipated offensive against the 6th Army. Next day Falkenhayn ordered the Guard Reserve Corps to be withdrawn to reinforce the Somme front. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground and deflected few German troops bound for the Somme. The attack was the début of the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front and "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history". Of 7,080 BEF casualties, 5,533 losses were incurred by the 5th Australian Division; German losses were 1,600–2,000, with 150 taken prisoner.

Second phase: July – September 1916
Battle of Delville Wood, 14 July – 15 September
The Battle of Delville Wood was an operation to secure the British right flank, while the centre advanced to capture the higher lying areas of High Wood and Pozières. After the Battle of Albert the offensive had evolved to the capture of fortified villages, woods, and other terrain that offered observation for artillery fire, jumping-off points for more attacks, and other tactical advantages. The mutually costly fighting at Delville Wood eventually secured the British right flank and marked the Western Front début of the South African 1st Infantry Brigade (incorporating a Southern Rhodesian contingent), which held the wood from 15–20 July. When relieved the brigade had lost 2,536 men, similar to the casualties of many brigades on 1 July.

Battle of Pozières Ridge, 23 July – 7 August
The Battle of Pozières began with the capture of the village by the 1st Australian Division (Australian Imperial Force) of theReserve Army, the only British success in the Allied fiasco of 22/23 July, when a general attack combined with the French further south, degenerated into a series of separate attacks due to communication failures, supply failures and poor weather.[29] German bombardments and counter-attacks began on 23 July and continued until 7 August. The fighting ended with the Reserve Army taking the plateau north and east of the village, overlooking the fortified village of Thiepval from the rear.
Australian casualties for the Battle of the Somme are listed as 23,000, with July 1916 listing the most casualties of the conflict at 196,081 with 158,786 being British and their allied forces (Australia and allies).

Carl Horwood Porter enlisted on October 13th, 1915, listing his occupation as ‘bread carter’, his age as 21 and his birthplace as Manly. He embarked on January 15th, 1916 aboard the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley" with the rank of ‘Private’ as part of the 3rd Battalion, A.I.F. He too is transferred per the ‘Transylvania’ and disembarked in Marseilles. 
On the 24/7/1916 he has a gun shot wound to his left arm and is sent to the 12th General Hospital 1916 Rouen before being transferred to Westham Hospital two days later.

Carl, suffering from an eye condition from an early age (stated as ‘recurrent iritis’, which began in his right eye at age 8, in his War Records and recurred every year and each attack last from 6 weeks to 2 months), came home blind. 

Iritis is inflammation of the iris (the coloured part of the eye) which may be caused by trauma to the eye, or as a complication of many diseases such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and collagen vascular diseases such as lupus.

His war records regarding treatment for his eye state he “had bronchial pneumonia when in the trenches in February 1917, was sent to No.7 Canadian Gen. Hosp. Etaples (Étaples or Étaples-sur-Mer - a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France) and was there 2 months. In July 1917 the right eye is still badly infected and he has ‘intense photophobia’.
By September 1917 both eyes are rated 6/9, both irises ‘conjucted’ and he needs to wear dark glasses. He is sent to London, goes through ‘drops’ treatments and further deterioration of his sight but then is ‘A.W.L.’ from the end of 1917 until January 22nd 1918 and forfeits a days pay as penalty.
Perhaps he wanted to look around at all he could while he could.
On the 13th of June 1919 he married Clara Clark of 7 Fernhill Street, Woolwich(father Thomas – Gardener)at Bartford, Kent Registry Office, and was granted ‘Furlough’.
On the 26th of July 1919 he was returned to Australia per the HMAT A64 ‘Demosthenes’, disembarking on the 19th of September, 1919.


That three sons were sent on the same ship at the same time, the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley" on January 15th, 1916, indicates why the above article was published. 

Of the brothers who stayed home, the seventh son, Septimus (born 1901 and too young to serve), was the first pupil of Newport PS to pass the “Q.C.”, winning a place at Manly Commercial School as a result. 

Walter, twin to Albert, passed away whne quite young:

PORTER.-October 3, 1938, at Manly, Walter Stanley, dearly loved son of Mrs. A. Porter, of Newport, and beloved brother of Robert D., Carl H., Sep E., and Lucy M. (Mrs. C. Sturman), aged 41 years. For ever with the Lord. Family Notices (1938, October 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17524551

Of the four Porter boys sent to Northern France none escaped a gun shot wound (G.S.W.) and only Carl, due to the problem with his eyes, and Robert, who suffered through at least three cases of having Influenza, two 'wounded in action'; the second time including a gun shot wound to his abdomen, and having displayed qualities 'in the field' that lead to him sent to be trained to be an officer and absent from the battlefield, came out of those arenas alive.

Robert, having survived two incidences of being wounded, was also lucky to survive his bouts of Influenza too - the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed three times more the people than had died as a result of the Great War (WWI). Some records estimate that somewhere between 20 and 40 million people died as a result, others state the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population then) resulted, and 500 million people across the world were infected. This is still cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. 

What marked this pandemic is that most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system). The strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups. (Vilensky, J. A.; Foley, P.; Gilman, S. (2007). "Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical review". Pediatr Neurol 37 (2): 79–84. doi:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.04.012. PMID 1767502)

This influenza was called 'Spanish' as wartime censors were minimising the reports of this disease causing illness and death coming out of France, Germany, Britain but had no problem with its effects in Spain being reported.

The virus was in Australia by late 1918. Hospitals soon filled to capacity and other buildings were taken over to house and nurse the sick. Volunteers and nurses succumbed to the virus - estimates state that around 12, 500 Australians died during the pandemic.

With this many millions of people lost through conflict, or this deadly virus as people were returning home once peace was declared, why people wanted to party by the 1920's, or renew their faith more deeply, can be understood.

Carl Porter had four sons who served in the Second World War, one of whom was 412681 Flying Officer Sydney Larner Porter, 23 Squadron RAAF, who was accidentally in a flying accident off the coast of Queensland, near Horne Island on 4 May 1944, aged 23.
Image No: PO7663.004 courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Flying Officer (FO) Sydney Larner Porter, 23 Squadron RAAF, of Newport, was a produce salesman prior to enlistment.

All Four sons were members of Newport SLSC, one serving as Captain post WWII.

Another fitting tribute, on the weekend the 2015-2016 Surf Life Saving Seasons closes is this image from the 1945-1946 Season of Newport SLSC members, with 'N. Porter - Captain' - sitting 5th from left:
From and courtesy of Newport SLSC's - Newport Surf Life Saving Club - The First Century 1909 2009 - compiled by Guy Jennings.

A small insight into Carl H. Porter's focus as his sight diminished:

A Seaside Resort
NEWPORT BEACH.
From Manly to Palm Beach a number of small but growing villages line the picturesque seashore, and a settled population, together with the week-enders and those who take their longer holidays at the sea, have led successive ministers to watch for openings for the church's ministries on this coastline. There are only two circuits, Manly and Dee Why, but they have between them opened Methodist causes in almost every centre.
Recently a church hall was opened at Collaroy, with encouraging results. The latest development is at Newport, where some time ago Mr. Carl . Porter, a blind soldier, began a church service in his home. Later Mr. Stan Porter opened a Sunday School in the back room of a shop, and at his death, Mrs. Colwell, widow of the late Rev. Fred. Colwell, continued the work in a hall over the Surf Club's premises, and has won the sympathy and interest of old and young in her splendid endeavour to build up both Sunday School and Church service. A gratifying success has attended this missionary work. The scheme matured, and at the meeting of the Management Committee of the Home Mission Society, held last week, permission was given for the erection of a school church. The sum of money in hand collected from various sources will be augmented by a loan from the Church Development Fund, to be repaid within a period of five years. Thus in the Dee Why Circuit, which was originally part of the Manly Circuit, there will be churches at Dee Why, French's Forest, Brookvale, Mona Vale, South Creek Road, Narrabeen, Collaroy, and Newport. Rev. B. H. Willis and his people are to be warmly congratulated on this latest development of the circuit.
Sunday last was observed as thanksgiving day in the Manly Circuit, with special thank offerings for the further reduction of church trust debts. At the Manly Church inspiring services were conducted by the Revs. F. H. Rayward and A. M. Sanders, former superintendents of the circuit. The present minister, the Rev. R. H. Doust, received and dedicated the thank offerings. These amounted to £168, in addition to £23 received in the ordinary collections, a total of £191 for the day. This splendid result, coupled with the thank offerings from the other churches of the circuit, means that the trust debts have been reduced by well rover £1,000 in a little more than two years. A Seaside Resort. (1939, October 28). The Methodist (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155356995

Opening of New Church at Newport
The Newport development from a Sunday School in a house ten years ago, then in a surf shed, to a Church hall opened last Saturday, was a thrilling story as told by the superintendent minister, Rev. B. H. Willis, at the dedication service addressed by the ex-President, Rev. R. H. Campbell. A brief report of the steps leading up to the Church hall appeared in 'The Methodist' a few weeks ago. Mrs. Colwell, widow of late Rev. Fred Colwell, who has done a magnificent service in keeping the children together in Sunday School, and helping the Church service, was requested to turn the key end open the hall. Memories of the early struggles to establish the cause, and the blessing of God that he’d rested upon all the efforts to provide a Church building for school and church purposes, overcame her emotions, and she spoke but a few words. The hall was quite full for the service of dedication. Rev. B.H. Willis presided, and he was assisted by Mr. W. Cress well O'Reilly, Student Dean (who has been engaged in the circuit for the long vacation), and Rev. F. W. Hynes. Rev. R. H. Campbell preached the sermon. 'The Church of the Living God' was the basis of an inspiring address. The Church hall was the outcome of the Home Mission Church Development policy, in which Mr. Campbell had been so deeply interested, and he was naturally elated and grateful at this latest success of the policy. The sum of £160 was loaned to Newport Trust free of interest for five years. With subscriptions and organised efforts, £120 was raised. The Church cost £300.The minister and his wife, and the ladies and the men of the Church, worked hard to bring the scheme to fruition, and they were abundantly rewarded by the manifest interest of a large company at the opening, including Methodists from other parts. They believe that the new Church will make an effective witness in this sea-side resort, and they will not rest until the whole of the money is raised to liquidate the remaining debt. It will be a satisfaction to all who are watching the progress of Sydney Methodism that within a very short time the Dee Why Circuit has built two new churches — one at Collaroy, and this one at Newport. Opening of New Church at Newport. (1939, December 16). The Methodist (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155353153 

All the loved ones Carl Porter lost during these two horrific conflicts only seemed to strengthen his resolve to love others more deeply and do more for them. 

In 1969 Carl Horwood Porter was awarded the British Empire Medal, Civil Division, ‘For, services to blind ex-servicemen’.

Mr C. Porter was President of the Newport P & C Association, continued doing what he could at Newport, for others.
He passed away in 1979.
For you; sir -

Methodism, or the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate Church after Wesley's death. Because of vigorous missionary activity, the movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide. 

Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include Christian perfection, an assurance of salvation, the priesthood of all believers, the primacy of scripture and works of piety. Methodism also emphasises "social holiness", missionary zeal, charity, and service to the poor and vulnerable. These ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Jesus Christ's command to spread the Good News and serve all people. Most Methodists teach that Christ died for all of humanity, not just for a limited group, and thus everyone is entitled to God's grace and protection; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism. It denies that God has pre-ordained an elect number of people to eternal bliss while others are doomed to hell no matter what they do in life. However, Whitefield and several others were considered Calvinistic Methodists.

John Wesley is studied by Methodist ministerial students and trainee local preachers for his interpretation of Church practice and doctrine. At its heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one's heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one's neighbour as oneself.

The Methodist movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition tend toward a less formal worship style, while American Methodism—in particular the United Methodist Church—is more liturgical. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition; Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church, and many other eminent hymn writers come from the Methodist tradition.

Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organized religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the making of the working class (1760–1820). In the United States it became the religion of many slaves who later formed "black churches" in the Methodist tradition.

Methodism was endowed by the Wesley brothers with worship characterised by a twofold practice: the ritual liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer on the one hand and the informal preaching service on the other.

It is a historical position of the church that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason, it is said, one reads and is able to interpret the Bible coherently and consistently. By reason one asks questions of faith and seeks to understand God's action and will. Methodism insists that personal salvation always implies Christian mission and service to the world. Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbours and a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world. 

From: Methodism. (2016, April 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from  https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Methodism&oldid=716607792 

Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph Memorial Pavers:

Mona Vale Village Park Memorial

 The Porter Family- Newport: Five Soldier Brothers Who Served During World War - Anzac Day 2016 Tribute - A J Guesdon, 2016