Harry Porteous | RBS Remembers

RBS remembers

Harry Porteous

Photograph of Harry Porteous as a young bank apprentice, 1905 © RBS


Harry Morton Porteous was born in Edinburgh on 6 December 1888, the son of Alexander Porteous, a surveyor, and his wife Ellen. He was educated at George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh.

In January 1904 Harry started work as an apprentice at Edinburgh West End branch of National Bank of Scotland. Six months later he moved to the discount office at the bank’s head office in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. In 1906 he transferred to the head office inspector’s department.

Outside work Porteous was a so-called ‘Saturday afternoon soldier’, a volunteer in the Edinburgh Territorials, for ten years. He rejoined his old regiment as soon as Britain entered the First World War on 4 August 1914. Men with his military experience were sorely needed in 1914, and in December that year he was commissioned into the Highland Light Infantry. He continued his training in England.

On 23 April 1915 Harry married Helen (‘Nell’) Motion at Glasgow Cathedral. Two months later, he went with his battalion to France. He was killed in action two months later, on 25 September 1915, at the Battle of Loos.




Pat Sanderson November 10 2014 2:08PM

Such a brave young man, like all of them, such a sad story, my heart goes out to his wife, who had so little married life together, my aunt married during the second world war, was married only 6 weeks when her husband was killed and she was left a widow and pregnant. War is such a waste of young lives. My gran was widowed with a young child in the first world war.


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