Eric Porter Reg # 12073-O.391

My friend, Tim Joeckel, in Germany who collects all things RCMP, it never ceases to amaze me on what he can find, has done it again!. He recently sent me photos of some WWII Provost Corp kit he just acquired. A tunic (with badges in a pocket), beret, forage cap and kit bag were part of the collection. The Reg # of the member was inside the tunic and I checked my “Unofficial History of Regimental #s and Force Triva” and found the information below on Reg # 12073-O.391

What a great find. I could not find a photo of Eric Porter wearing his Provost kit. But read on. It is another one of those cases of the connecting dots…..Eric Porter served in the Peace River area of Alberta and in particular at Manning Detachment my first detachment out of training (nine months and four days…but who was counting?). As young guy out of training we did not give much thought to those who proceeded us.

I wonder what Eric Porter would think of his kit re-surfacing some 78 plus years later?


Photograph of retired RCMP Superintendent Ric Hall (Source of the photo – Ric Hall’s Photo Collection).

Eric Porter (Reg # 12073) was born on October 18, 1907 at Grand Junction, Colorado. After immigrating to Canada from the USA, he joined the RCMP at Edmonton, AB on November 1, 1933, and soon afterwards he was on the train heading to “Depot” in Regina, SK for Basic Recruit Training.

After “Depot” Eric Porter’s first transfer took him to Alberta and over the next five years he bounced from Peace River, to McLennan, to Notikewin (Manning my first posting) and to Edmonton. On July 4, 1939, he was moved to Vancouver, BC. to experience a new environment in policing but WWII was just around the corner.

Leading up to WWII, Commissioner L. H. Nicholson pushed forward the idea that RCMP members be granted permission to create the No. 1 Provost Corps and to accompany the 1st Canadian Infantry Division to Europe.

Constable Porter was determined to contribute to the war effort and soon he volunteered for overseas service. In the fall of 1939, Constable Porter moved from Vancouver, BC to ‘N’ Division in Ottawa, ON to train with the No. 1 Provost Corps. His brief training course consisted of military law, army drill and how to drive the Norton motorcycle.

In Europe, Porter served honourably from 1939 to 1945 and he attained the rank of Captain with the No. 1 Provost Corps. He was demobilized in 1945 and he returned to the RCMP. He was reputed to have performed extremely well in Europe, so upon his return to Canada he was posted to police duties in Calgary, AB and he was promoted to Corporal. One month later, he was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1946, Eric Porter received his Commission to Sub-Inspector, (O.381) and he was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Branch in Ottawa, ON. The job at Headquarters gave Porter a broader exposure to the national scene as well as a wider lens to view criminal cases which fell under the jurisdiction of the RCMP.

On December 1, 1948, Porter was promoted to Inspector (O.381) and he was transferred once again in the role of Duty Officer at “Depot” Division in Regina, SK. Traditionally, the Duty Officer is a Junior Inspector’s appointment. He is given the responsibility of monitoring reports of criminal activity within a specified area and then reporting the events to the Commanding Officer. After one year at “Depot” Porter was transferred to the role of Duty Officer in Winnipeg, MB.

In 1952, Porter was transferred to an administrative job in Headquarters in Ottawa, ON then a few months later he was moved to St. John’s, NL as the Assistant Criminal Operations Officer. In 1957, Porter was transferred as the Officer Commanding (OC) of Calgary Sub-Division, then in 1959, he was appointed Commanding Officer of “Depot” Division in Regina, SK. He was promoted to Superintendent in 1960.

In 1962, Porter was transferred back to Calgary, AB in the role of Criminal Operations Officer. In 1965, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent and he was moved again as the Commanding Officer of ‘H’ Division in Halifax, NS. After a long and varied police career, Eric Porter retired in November, 1968.

Eric Porter was a highly successful and experienced police officer and he accepted an unusual number of relocations across Canada over the span of his career. In sum, Eirc Porter was transferred about 17 times over his 35-year RCMP career.

All in all, Chief Superintendent Porter dedicated himself to the service of Canada during war and peace. He was awarded The War Medal, The France & Germany Star, The Italy Star, The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, and the RCMP Long Service Medal, Gold Clasp & Stars.

Eric Porter’s last wish was for his ashes to be scattered from an airplane over Fort Walsh, SK. His wish was completed by his friend David Vidalin, Reg # 14719.