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Selwyn Havelock Watson Craig Porter
Selwyn Porter (left in service cap) and other 24th Brigade officers at Beaufort, Borneo in August 1945
Born (1905-02-23)February 23, 1905
Died 9 October 1963(1963-10-09) (aged 58)
Place of birth Tintaldra, Victoria, Australia
Place of death Mentone, Victoria, Australia
Allegiance Australia Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1924–1954
Rank Major General
Commands held 2/31st Battalion
30th Brigade
Maroubra Force
24th Brigade
6th Brigade
3rd Division

Second World War

Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches
Other work Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police, 1955–1963

Major General Selwyn Havelock Watson Craig Porter CBE DSO (23 February 1905 – 9 October 1963) was an Australian Army officer and chief commissioner of Victoria Police.

Early life[]

Born on 23 February 1905 in Tintaldra, Victoria, Porter was educated at Wangaratta High School before taking up a position as a clerk in the State Savings Bank of Victoria.[1]

Military career[]

Porter began his military career in 1924 when he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Citizens Military Force, serving with the 58th Battalion. By 1936 he had reached the rank of major.[2] Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Porter joined the Second Australian Imperial Force that was raised for overseas service and was allocated to the 2/5th Battalion as second in command. Deployed to the Middle East, he temporarily commanded the 2/6th Battalion and led them as the Australians advanced past Derna, for which he was Mentioned in Despatches.[1] Later he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given full command of the 2/31st Battalion and led them through the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, for which he later received the Distinguished Service Order, before being wounded in the thigh.[1]

He then returned to Australia and was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier and sent to Port Moresby where he was placed in command of the 30th Brigade, which had been sent there in response to Japan's entry into the war. Following the Japanese landing at Buna, Porter led the 30th Brigade and then later the divisional-sized Maroubra Force along the Kokoda Track and then around Sanananda.[1][2] In November 1943 Porter took command of the 24th Brigade and led them through the fighting at Finschhafen. In early 1945 he was attached to the 9th Division's planning staff, before leading his brigade during the invasion of North Borneo.[1][2]

Following the end of the war, Porter returned to Australia and briefly returned to civilian life. In 1947 he was appointed a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. When the Citizens Military Force was re-raised in 1948, Porter was given command of the 6th Brigade and then later promoted to major general in command of the 3rd Division. During 1953–54 he took up a position on the Military Board as the CMF representative.[1]

Later life[]

In 1955 he was appointed as chief commissioner of Victoria Police, a post that he held until his death on 9 October 1963 from a coronary occlusion.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Johnston 2002, pp. 20–21.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "386601 / Colonel Selwyn Havelock Watson Craig (Bill) Porter, CBE, DSO". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 


Preceded by
Alexander Duncan
Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police
Succeeded by
Rupert Arnold

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