WILLIAM KEITH PORTER
Over the course of a couple of years I researched my Father's time in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves. It has become quite a normal thing to research into your relations and create family trees down the ages. Unfortunately my Father died in May 2004 before I showed any great interest in these matters. He had been an only child and his parents had collected a certain amount of items and information. These were of the first point of contact to me. As my Mother is still alive we were able to request my Father's records form the Navy and this put a little more meat on the bones. My parents were not married when he was at war, and although they knew each other they weren't even going out until right near the very end of the period covered so Mum has been able to flesh out only a little more detail.
It seems that in common with many of those who served their country at this time they did not talk much of their experiences to anybody. It has been quite a personal journey with many side tracks as I have been caught up in information that I found interesting but nothing to do with my Dad's story. It ended up becoming a much longer history than I expected as it was just so my brothers and I could have some permanent record of his exploits to keep and pass on in the future. It is Dad's personal story. There are no great revelations but wasn't sure about allowing others to read it.
What changed my mind was the vast amount of information that people have made available on the internet, through many sources, and were therefore available to me. There were several times when I was stuck in my tracing of his time, only to regain the scent via somebody having put their personal history to be available for others. I hope therefore by making this available to others not only will I set my Fathers place in history but hopefully add to the resources for others to utilise the internet for future use.