Text and photograph from University of Glasgow Roll of Honour
James Hunter Porteous was born on 3rd March 1890 in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire. His father, Robert, was an Iron Moulder, and the family lived at 6 Dumbarton Road in Clydebank before moving to 8 Montrose Street in Kilbowie.
James was educated at Clydebank School, where he attained the Junior Student’s Certificate in July 1909. The Junior Student’s course involved a set number of hours of instruction in the art of teaching, and was a standard qualification for entry to teacher training college.
In the autumn of 1909, James enrolled at the Glasgow Provincial Training College (forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde) for a three-year course of teacher training offered in conjunction with the University of Glasgow. Students taking this course were required to study concurrently at the University. If successful, they obtained two qualifications: the Teacher’s General Certificate, entitling them to teach in primary schools, and an Arts degree. In his first year he studied Latin and Mathematics, followed in his second with classes in English Literature before taking English Higher and Logic in his final year.
In 1912 James qualified for the Teacher’s General Certificate in the summer of 1912. He became a Teacher at the Dalmuir School under the Old Kilpatrick School Board, and was involved in the St James’ Parish Church Company of the Boys’ Brigade.
James was quick to sign up to join the war effort, and was made a 2nd Lieutenant on the 2nd September 1914, and served with the 6th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Captain James Hunter Porteous was killed in action on the 22nd August 1917, and is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. His gravestone reads “A secret thought, a silent tear, keep his memory ever dear”.
Captain Porteous is remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, on the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, and on the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.