William Scotney Porter

Private, 22492, 2/7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) (formerly 5/31398, Training Reserve Battalion), died of wounds, 28th March 1918, aged 19.

Born at Sheffield in December 1898, William Scotney Jnr was the only son of William Scotney Snr and Mary Ellen Porter. Although he did have an elder half-brother Fred.

His father was a bricklayer’s labourer in Sheffield when William was born. In 1911 the family had moved to Scunthorpe where his father worked in the ironstone mines.

When William enlisted in the Army in 1917 his parents were living at 15 Mauds Hill Terrace, Lincoln. However when he died, or at least shortly after when the Army were corresponding with them, they were working for Alderman James Stephenson at Brasted Farm, Althorpe.

William was a farm horseman at Pyewipe Farm, Redbourne, when he attested for the Army at Kirton Lindsey in January 1917, aged 18 years and 30 days. Mobilised on 28th March, he arrived at the Lincolnshire Regiment Barracks in Lincoln on 3rd April. From where he was posted to the 8th Training Reserve Battalion at Rugeley Camp.

Transferred to the 7th Training Reserve Battalion on 18th August, he was further transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) on 20th November 1917, where he serving on the Tyne Defences in North Shields. Posted to France on 31st January 1918, he arrived at Etaples the following day and joined the 2/7th Duke of Wellington’s, ‘in the field’ on 11th February.

The 2/7th Duke of Wellington’s were in 86th Brigade in 62nd Division. On 24th March with the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, pushing the British back across the Somme battlefield, the battalion had been ordered to assist in protecting Bucquoy by forming a defensive line near Rossignol Wood. Attacked in these positions on 26th and 27th March, on 28th March they came under an intense German artillery bombardment before further attacks were launched on their line.

Details are necessarily vague but at some point in these attacks, William was seriously wounded. A piece of shrapnel penetrating his chest, he was taken to 2/1st West Riding Field Ambulance on 28th March. Transferred to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Doullens, Private William Porter died there the same day. He is buried in Doullens Communal Cemetery.