January 02 – Colonel Harry Porter epitome of an Ulster Gunner. Roll of Honour

As President of the Belfast Junior Chamber of Commerce Harry Porter organised the first Lord Mayor’s Show. Harry joined the 8th (Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Supplementary Reserve) in 1939 as a Gunner and went with the Regiment to France where it took part in the campaign in North West Europe in 1940. Evacuated at Dunkirk, as a sergeant, he and the Regiment participated in the air defence of London during the Battle of Britain before moving to the Far East in May 1942, where they saw service in India and during the campaign in Burma 1943-45. By the end of the war he was a Major. Among those remembered today are William McCreary from Portstewart who served with Canadian Infantry in WW1 and VC winner William Kenny from Saintfield and Donaghadee. William Bradbury, a naval surgeon from Lisburn was posted to the Royal Naval Division in WW1. In WW2 he would head the medical response to D Day at the navy’s main hospital at Haslar.

1 Comment

  1. The Libyan port of Tripoli was only in Axis hands for 22 days in January 1943 before it was liberated by Eighth Army on the 23rd.
    Although the Official History records that 11th Hussars, the Cherrypickers, were the first British troops to enter the city, that wasn’t the case. As the Cherrypickers’ armoured cars moved slowly into Tripoli the cavalrymen were surprised by jeers from men in khaki drill and shouts, in northern Irish accents, of ‘Wat kept ye?’ Had the Hussars been able to identify accurately the origins of the accent they would have known that they were being shouted at by the Derry Boys of 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment RA (SR). The three battery (24, 25 and 26) recce parties were already in Tripoli and the Regiment’s guns, previously under command of the CRA 51st (Highland) Division (a rare attachment for a heavy AA regiment) were soon in place to defend the harbour against the Luftwaffe.

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