Born: 21st June 1893, Woolwich, Kent.

Died: 1st January 1915; age 21; KiA with submarine in North Sea.

Occupation: Barber.

Enlistment Details: Location: Chatham; Date: 15th September 1913 – signed up for 12 years. Height: 5ft g 3/4 ins, fresh complexion, brown hair & blue eyes. Tattoo – Sailor on right forearm.



Pembroke II – Stoker II – 15th September 1913 – 23rd January 1914.

Formidable – Stoker II – 24th January 1914.

Formidable – Stoker I – 13th August 1914 – 1st January 1915.


Rank: Stoker First Class; Service Number: K/20691

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Formidable’.


Memorial Reference:


Chatham Naval Memorial,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William John Porter, of 27, Sirdar Road, Bramford Road, Ipswich.




1891   6, Park Road, Plumstead, Kent.


William was 2 years old and living with his parents & brother.

William John Porter, 24, a Labourer for Kent Water Works, born Charlton, Kent.

Mary Ann Esther Porter (nee O’Donnell), 21, born Battersea, London.

Thomas Porter, 7 months, born Plumstead.


1911   18, Lee Street, Plumstead, Kent.


William was 21 years old, a General Labourer. He was living with his aunt & uncle + cousins.

Henry Watson, 49, a General Labourer, born Dartford, Kent.

Mary Dagmar Watson (nee Porter), 42, born Charlton, Kent.

Dorothy Dagmar Watson, 1, born Plumstead.

Elsie Louisa Watson, 7 months, born Plumstead.

Mary Dagmar Watson, 13, born Plumstead.

1 boarder.


In 1912, Ashton under Lyne, Cheshire, William married, Sarah June Day, born 1893, Ireland. They had 1 son:

William James Porter, born September 1914, Stalybridge, Cheshire.



William’s widow, Sarah, and his young son, William, immigrated to Fall River, Bristol, Massachusetts U.S.A. in 1915. Where Sarah already had family. William attended school in Fall River. In 1933 he completed a Secretarial course at Thibodeau College of Business Administration. He became a Naturalized American in 1936.

William spent 40 years in the United States Foreign Service. Held the Rank of Ambassador in four countries – Algeria, 1962; South Korea, 1967 – 1971; Canada, 1974 – 1975 and Saudi Arabia, 1976 – 1977. In 1973 & 1974 William became the third-ranking post in the State Department, as Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

William became the Chief American delegate to the Vietnam peace talks in Paris, 1971 & 1972. He was chosen by President Richard M. Nixon.

He died in March 1988, at Fall River, Massachusetts.


H.M.S. ‘Formidable’

H.M.S. ‘Formidable’




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