John Henry JOHNSTON (1899-1918)

9th Infantry Brigade AIF

MAIN MENU. 34th BATTALION PAGE.


Memorial Plaque

34th BATTALION A.I.F.

Lance Corporal: 2597 John Henry JOHNSTON.


Born: March 1899. St John's, West Maitland, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:31858/1899.

Died: 3rd March 1918. Killed in Action Warneton, Belgium.


Father: Henry Johnston. (18..-1915)

Mother: Catherine Johnston. nee: Byrne. (18..-1924)


INFORMATION

John Henry Johnston enlisted with the 5th Reinforcements, 34th Battalion AIF on the 21st August 1916 and embarked from Sydney onboard the S.S. "Port Napier" on the 17th November 1916 and disembarked on Devonport, England on the 29th Janusry 1917. John was marched to the Durrington Army Camp at Lark Hill. He was allocated to Camp No: 11 but was sent to the Fargo Hopsital on the 13th February until the 29th March 1917. The next three months were spent training before he proceeded overseas with the Battalion from Southampton on the 19th June 1917.

He was marched in at Harve, France ant Detatched to the 9th Field Engineers on the 25th of September and rejoined the 34th Battalion on the 25th of October. John was appointed Lance Corporal in the field on the 8th of December and on the 14th of Janusry treated the the 9th Australian Field Ambulance for Scabies which was rampant in the lines and effected a large majority of the men due to the poor hygene in the trenches. John was dischared to duty on the 21st of January and returned to the front line.

WARNETON

3rd March 1918.

9:00am. Weather dull and very cold. Our Artillery fairly active throughout the day, Enemy Artillery quiet. 11:45am. 9th Infantry Brigade Raiding Party of 300 strong racked enemy trenches opposite 33rd Battalion Sector on our right. Raid very successful 1 Officer 11 other ranks being brought back prisoners. 34th Battalion casualties in the raid were 1 other ranks Killed 3 other ranks Wounded. There was no Artillery retaliation on our Sector.

34th Battalion War Diary

John was originally reported as "Missing" but was the only soldier Killed in Action during this raid on the enemy trenches. John is remembered with honour and is commemerated in perpetuity by the Commonweath War Graves Commission at the Berks Cemetery Extension in Belgium.

Letter received by his mother and was published in the Maitland Weekly Mercury; 18th May 1918 from Lieutenant: Russell Stanley BROWN and Lieutenant: Edgar Ernest BRUNKER. both stated "Your son was killed on March 3 by a shell, which entered his dugout while he was asleep, and was killed instantly and that Lance Corporal JOHNSTON had been out on a covering party for some wirers, and had only returned a short time when he was killed.

Royal Berks Cemetery Extension

ROYAL BERKS CEMETERY EXTENSION, BELGIUM.

John was originally buried at the "Chateau Rosenberg Military Cemetery Extension" but this was on private land owned by a French Family who requested that all the graves be moved from their land. The Graves were all moved to the "Royal Berks Cemetery Extension" at Ploegsteert in 1930. John's Grave lies at Plot 2, Row A, Grave 31.

John's Memorial Plaque was Donated to the Harrower Collection by Gary Mitchell of Woodrising via Newcastle on the 1st September 2013 and is on display at the Swansea RSL Club

Family Information

John was a single 18 year old Engine Cleaner from 60 Rose Street, West Maitland upon enlistment. He was under age at the time of enlistment as records now show. His parents Henry and Catherine Johnston were married in 1884 at West Maitland, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:5618/1884. and they had 5 children. Margaret J Johnston born 1884 at East Maitland, N.S.W. Birth Cert:24251/1884. Ethel M Johnston born 1886 at West Maitland, N.S.W. Birth Cert:25846/1886. Margaret I Johnston born 1889 at West Maitland, N.S.W. Birth Cert:25838/1889. Catherine Johnston born 1882 at West Mailtand N.S.W. Birth Cert:21245/1892. John Henry Johnston born 1899 at West Mailtand N.S.W. Birth Cert:31858/1899 and died March 1918 Warneton, France during World War 1.

Family Records received and information from Peter Bogan, East Maitland. January 2017.

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Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia)

Under Construction; 03/09/2013-27/01/2017.


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