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  • Thomas Porteous Black
Person Details
08 Apr 1878
Shotts, Lanarkshire
Thomas Porteus was born on 8th April 1878 in Shotts, Lanarkshire , the first son of George Banks Black (d. 26/5/1915), stationmaster, and Margaret née Brown (d. 28/5/1938), and one of nine children. His father worked his way up on the railways from a Surfaceman to a District Superintendent, beginning in the north of Scotland, then moving by 1891 to Newcastle, and by 1901 to Darlington, returning to end his career at Aberdeen, Thomas was educated at Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, and then Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Darlington. Upon completing his secondary education he travelled to the Dardanelles, visiting Constantinople, Scutari and the Crimea, and so most likely passed Cape Helles and the Gallipoli peninsula where he would fight in 1915. He married his wife Agnes E.D. Mackie at Aberdeen in 1901. In the 1911 census they are shown living at 60 Ebers Road, Nottingham , he is shown as 32 yrs head of the family, a Registrar at University Nottingham College he is living with his wife Agnes 27 yrs (born 1884 Cathcart Renfrewshire) His wife Agnes died in February 1914 aged 30 years, her death is recorded in the Nottingham Registration district. His probate proven at Nottingham, on 19th October 1915 , shows him as Thomas Porteus Black 60 Ebers Road, Nottingham , Captain in His Majesty's Army, died 9th August 1915 at the Dardenelles, his effects of £1753. 4shillings were left to William Brown Black, dental surgeon.
Educated at Darlington Grammar School. Graduated M.A., Durham, 1901; M.Sc., Durham, 1903; He gained his PhD in 1905 while studying in Strasbourg . In 1907 he left Durham University to take up a position as a Demonstrator Lecturer in Physics at Nottingham University College and became Registrar at Nottingham University College, 1911-15.
09 Aug 1915
698974 - CWGC Website
A Coy 9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Joining first the Robin Hood Rifles Volunteer Corps he then took a leading part in establishing the Officers’ Training Corps at the Nottingham University, and is reported to have undertaken special training with the Black Watch to equip himself for higher duties. Thomas became an officer in the OTC (Officer Training Corps), he quickly became involved in the war effort, and when the war started he joined up and served with the 9th battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment. He was first commissioned as temporary Lieutenant on 3 October 1914 but was soon promoted to Captain on 31 December 1914. After training the battalion set sail for Gallipoli on 30 June on the “Empress of Britain” and arrived at Gallipoli on 21 July, and was ordered into trenches at Cape Helles to acclimatise. The battalion was landed at Suvla Bay on 7 August 1915, at dawn on 9 August 9th the Sherwood Foresters received orders to advance and to link up with allied forces at Anzac Bay. Captain Thomas Proteus Black was killed at Suvla Bay Gallipoli on 9 August 1915, as the 9th Sherwood Foresters were ordered forward against Turkish lines near Hetman Char in the Dardanelles. He has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Helles Memorial
Article published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 23rd August 1915:- “CAPTAIN T. P. BLACK. “REGISTRAR OF NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY COLLEGE. “News was received in Nottingham to-day that Captain T. P. Black, of the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, and Registrar of Nottingham University College, has been killed in action. The War Office notification to his mother at Aberdeen states that he met his end some time between the 7th and the 11th of August. “Dr. Thomas Porteous Black was born in Aberdeen some 35 years ago. He received his early education at Darlington Grammar School, and in 1895 proceeded to Durham University. Here, for three years, he studied classics, finally taking his B.A. degree with honours in classics. He entered the Armstrong College, Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1900, and for three years pursued his studies there in mathematics and physics, obtaining his B.Sc. degree with honours in physics. Dr. Black subsequently became a student at Strasbourg University, Germany, where he secured his Ph.D. degree in physics and mathematics. In the meantime he had proceeded to his M.S. and M.Sc. at Durham. “In 1902 the late officer was appointed demonstrator and lecturer in physics at the Armstrong College. In 1906 he was appointed demonstrator in physics at the Nottingham University College, and in 1911 he was appointed registrar, in succession to Mr. P. H. Stevenson. He took a prominent part in establishing the Officers’ Training Corps at the college, and in order to equip himself for the higher duties did special training with the Black Watch. He was a first lieutenant in the O.T.C. when gazetted to the 9th Sherwoods as a lieutenant on October 1st, 1914, and was promoted captain on December 31st. “Captain Black’s invariable courtesy and tact had earned for him general regard and esteem. His wife predeceased him by some 18 months, and he leaves no children. He had made his home in Ebers Road, Carrington Article published 30th August 1915 in the Nottingham Daily Express “THE LATE DR. BLACK. “Memorial Service at Mansfield-road Presbyterian Church. “In memory of the late Captain T. P. Black, more familiarly known to Nottingham people as Dr. Black, the registrar of the Nottingham University College, who was killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula between August 7th and 11th, a special service was held at the Mansfield-road Presbyterian Church yesterday, [29th August 1915] at which the deceased was wont to worship. “The minister, the Rev. Dr. Forbes, paid a touching tribute to the gallant officer. Dr. Forbes' text was Acts xx, 24th verse: “Neither count I my life dear unto myself.” He said: “Our friend, Captain T. P. Black, who has fallen fighting for us at the Dardanelles, was of the noble company of the heroic Apostle, who could not be moved away from his high purpose. His spirit urged him on to lay down his life and make the great Renunciation. “Here I speak of him as a friend of eight years or so. I have known him through his years of waiting, through years of comparative success, and in that defeat of hope – his recent great bereavement. He was always one and the same fine spirit; always considerate of others, always careless of himself. I never knew a man more appreciative of any little kindness or any little service, and it is the simple truth to say his generous spirit magnified all such things till his gratitude was often embarrassing. Such was the manner of the gallant soul we knew who has flung his life away in battle with the Turk. Nay, rather let us say he ha completed and crowned his life by losing it.” Article published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 17th November 1915: - “UNIVERSITY COLLEGE REGISTRAR. “SCHOLARSHIP AS MEMORIAL TO LATE CAPT. T. P. BLACK. “A representative committee met yesterday afternoon [16th November 1915] at Nottingham University College to found a memorial to the late registrar, Captain Black. “It was resolved to raise by subscription a fund of £300 to found a research scholarship in science at the University College, in order to commemorate the work and services of Captain Black. “Principal Heaton paid a warm tribute to the services of the late registrar in the successive offices which filled — first as a lecturer in physics, and then upon undertaking the important work in which he was involved in the reorganisation of the college. He expressed his conviction that to Captain Black, more than to any other, was due the great extension and advance of the activities of the college. In conjunction with the Principal, Captain Black had further carried through the foundation of the East Midland Educational Union. “The Dean of Lincoln suggested the erection of a memorial tablet in a suitable position in addition to the scholarship, and this suggestion was approved. “It was announced at the close of the meeting that subscriptions amounting to £50 had been promised.” above articles are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on


  • Thomas Porteous Black
    Courtesy of Brian Szowkomud - Thomas Porteous Black
  • Thomas Porteus Black - Photograph shows the panel upon which Thomas Porteus Black name is commemorated on the Helles Memorial
    Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 - Thomas Porteus Black - Photograph shows the panel upon which Thomas Porteus Black name is commemorated on the Helles Memorial
  • Thomas Porteus Black - Photograph showing the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
    Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. - Thomas Porteus Black - Photograph showing the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli