James Porteous was a 28 year old Petty Officer 1st Class (Captain of the Foretop) on HMS Active during the Zulu War.
He served ashore with the ship's naval brigade during the War with the Gaikas, Galekas and other Kafir tribes, 1877 to 1878, and again during the Zulu War.
On 15 December, '78,while encamped at Fort Pearson, Porteous was preparing a meal for his tent mates when the knife slipped, injuring the joint of one finger. The injury resulted in amputation of the finger on the 21st January, and Porteous was released back to duty.
Two days earlier, at the request of Commander Campbell, Porteous was seconded to the naval brigade of HMS Tenedos. He was then unable to accompany the Active's brigade when it marched out with Colonel Pearson's column. (Porteous was replaced by Tobias Percy, AB.)
When Lord Chelmsford's forces crossed the Tugela to relieve Pearson's forces at Fort Eshowe, Porteous went with them as part of the Tenedos brigade which manned the left rear corner in the laager at Gingindlovu on 2,April, '79. It was during this battle that he suffered a slight gunshot would to the left shoulder.
James Porteous was entitled to the South Africa General Service Medal with clasp 1877-8-9. Confirmed on Medal Roll.
Petty Officer Tom