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Oldric Spencer Portal

Captain Oldric Spencer PORTAL
The Household Battalion 1st Life Guards

Date of birth: 12 October 1883
Date of death: 3 May 1917

Killed in action aged 33
Buried in the St Nicholas British Cemetery Plot II.B.16

Oldric Spencer was born at Whitchurch, Hampshire, the eldest of the three sons of Spencer Portal , bank note paper manufacturer, and his wife, Mary Laura Florence Mure, of Bere Hill, Whitchurch.

In 1712, his forbear Henri de Portal, a Huguenot refugee from France, established a paper mill at Bere Mill in Whitchurch, producing exceptionally hard and close-textured paper. The quality of the paper was considered so high that within twelve years, he was supplying the Bank of England, a tradition that still continues. Spencer Portal held various directorships and became the 4th Baronet.

Oldric went to Summer Fields, Oxford in 1903, and Eton in 1906 where he received his Racquet Choices, and came up to Christ Church in 1912. At the outbreak of war he was gazetted a Second Lieutenant in the Household Battalion of the 1st Life Guards on August 25th 1914, and saw action in France and Belgium.

In 1916, his younger brother, Raymond, was killed at the Battle of Jutland, when HMS Invincible was sunk.

Oldric was killed in an unsuccessful attack on Roex whilst attempting to relieve a battalion in which his friend Michael Bowes-Lyon, who was taken prisoner, was serving.

Probate was granted to his father on September 24th 1917. He left £175-2s.

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