Capt. Leslie Porter – The man who died twice
History Hub Ulster Chair, Gavin Bamford recently came across a late 1920s/early 1930s photograph of a motor garage posted on a local history Facebook group. The garage was at 20-24 Great Victoria Street, Belfast. The photograph was posted by Merlin Porter who is the great-grandson of Leslie Porter. Many readers of the Facebook page started commenting on the photo adding to the history and stories around the business.
There are a number of articles and biographies around the internet about Leslie Porter, his motor racing days and his life and death later in the Great War. Captain Leslie Porter was a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and was reported by the Belfast News Letter on 27th October 1916 as missing. It was to be a further three months before his family found out the truth about his death. The Belfast News Letter reported on 22nd January 1917 that Captain Porter, Royal Flying Corps, the well-known Belfast airman and motorist, who has been missing since 22nd October, is now known to have died in the hands of the Germans two days later on 24th October 1916.
What was the story of Leslie Porter and his motoring businesses? This article is mostly researched from the British Newspaper Archives and includes many contemporaneous newspaper reports written in the style of journalism from that period.