The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Private H J Portwain


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Private Harry James  PORTWAIN, 8595, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

Born Walworth, London, Surrey, enlisted 5th March 1907, Maidstone, Kent, age 18, height 5ft 5 inches, weight 120lbs. Formerly brush maker.

Previously served in 3rd Battalion, Special Reserves, Royal West Kent Regiment, 6608 from 11th January 1907.

Son of William & Ann Portwain, 18 Odell Street, Albany Road, Camberwell, SE.

Postings - Home, 5th March 1907 to 1st December 1908; India, 2nd December 1908 to 16th May 1918; EEF, 17th May 1918 to 5th June 1919; Home, 6th June 1919 to 2nd July 1919; Reserve, 3rd July 1919 to 31st March 1920.

23rd August 1916, promoted Corporal; 9th September 1918, reverts to Private at own request.

3rd July 1919, Transferred to Reserve and Demobilized to 18 Odell Street, Albany Road, Camberwell, SE, 31st March 1920, discharged.

9th April 1921, residing at 69 Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, NE.

7th July 1923, Recruiting Officer, Maidstone, Pte 8595 Pte H J Portwain seeking re-enlistment.

AWARDS: DCM & Russia - Medal of St George


London Gazette 14th November 1916.

His Majesty The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to the under mentioned Warrant Officers, Non-commissioned Officers, and Men, for gallantry and distinguished service in the Field:

Private H J PORTWAIN, 8595, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He  carried messages under very heavy fire, displaying great courage and determination. Later, he carried ammunition to the front, line.

London Gazette 15th May 1917.

War Office, 15th May, 1917.

The following formed part of the Russian Decorations awarded in July, 1916, to the British Forces for distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign: 

His Majesty the King has given unrestricted permission in all cases to wear the Decorations and medals in question.

The Medal of St. George, 2nd Class.

8595 Private Harry James Portwain, Royal West Kent Regiment.


This page was last updated on 01-May-2012.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason