As a young soldier, James Hunter Porteous from Clydebank was eager to fight for king and country when the First World War broke out.

On a fateful day in September 1914, he signed up and marched to war as a second lieutenant with the 6th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Like many young men from the district, James had no regrets about his decision to join up, but probably was unaware of the horrors lay ahead in the killing fields of northern France.

His valour was typical of many young men who went fight in the Great War, leaving families and loves ones behind.

James was born on March 3 1890 in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.

His father, also James, was an iron moulder, and the family eventually lived at 6 Dumbarton Road, 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.

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.

But by then, the dark clouds of war were gathering over Europe and James felt compelled to do his bit for the country.

Almost three years later, on the 22 August 1917, the young teacher was killed in action at the height of the notorious battles that became infamous for the huge number of deaths and casualties.

His resting place is at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery where his gravestone reads “A secret thought, a silent tear, keep his memory ever dear”.

Now as the centenary of the war's end draws close, it is most fitting that the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of this young teacher is inspiring school pupils in his home town of Clydebank.

Pupils at Clydebank High researched James story in a project to honour the fallen of the First World War.

The Community Archive Project brings together current pupils, students from Strathclyde University and the website.

Robert Jennings, who was a pupil from 1995 to 2001, and history teacher Paul Hamilton, are leading the research.

Mr Jennings said: “Clydebank High School is one of the longest-established institutions in the town, having been founded as ‘Clydebank School’ in 1873.

“The project is interested in all areas of the school’s history, but with the approaching 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we are especially interested in the pupils and teachers who went to war.

“One such pupil was Captain Porteous.

"Today’s pupils who are working as part of the project will now be able to connect personally with the story of their own direct predecessors educated in Clydebank.”

Fascinating research has also been carried out by Old Kilpatrick Community Council into the 49 names commemorated on the village war memorial.

The men served in the armies of Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa and died in places as far away as Dar-es-Salaam, where William McHaffie serving in the South African Transport Corps, died of cerebral malaria and as near as Berkshire, where James Hogg died of his wounds in an army hospital.

Some received a formal burial, most were buried where they fell.

Daniel Hendry, a new husband and father is buried alongside 11 of his comrades in the town cemetery in Annezin, northern France.

After he left for war his wife Kate and infant son, also called Daniel, stayed close to family in Old Kilpatrick.

Kate’s brother John Mulgrew had been killed in action a few weeks earlier.

On October 5, 1915, three months after he arrived in France, Daniel died of his wounds.

Early in the following year infant Daniel died at home of tuberculosis. In less than a year Kate had lost a brother, a husband and a son. She was still only twenty two.

The magnitude of WW1 casualties suffered by troops from Clydebank and surrounding towns and villages was amply illustrated during a five-year research project conducted by West Dunbartonshire Council to update names for inclusion on Clydebank War memorial.

Bailie Denis Agnew, who was closely involved with the research involving the British War Graves Commission and Imperial War Museum, told the Reporter the area’s contribution to the war effort was enormous.

He said: “During our thorough research for names of those not listed elsewhere, it was astonishing to see the numbers who had been killed during the First World War.

“Few words can be said to convey the amount of loss.

“In all, 1100 were killed from the area during WW1 and that had a devastating affect on the towns and villages.

“Sadly, the young men who came back were physically and psychologically damaged by their experiences.

“We have a duty to put wrongs right and let the relatives of those who died know that their kin are being recognised as heroes, for there must have been thousands of acts of bravery that went unrecorded.

“That’s why I feel very strongly that the act of remembrance for the dead in both world conflicts, not forgetting those who died in the Clydebank Blitz, should continue, even although 100 years have passed since the outbreak of the First World War.”