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41126   Private James Frazer Johnston
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Dated added: 25/03/2018   Last updated: 25/03/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 19/05/1897
Died: 25/03/1918 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 20
Summary      
James Johnston was the eldest son of Joseph and Mary Jane Johnston. James Frazer Johnston was born in Clogher on 19th May 1897. He was first of five children, all sons. His father was a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary. By 1898, the family had moved to Carrickmore. His father retired in 1910 and the family moved to Blacklion in County Cavan, where they opened a drapery shop. James Johnston enlisted in Enniskillen in March 1915. During the battalion's retreat from St Quentin in the German Spring offensive of March 1918, Private James Johnston received a head wound. Private James Frazer Johnston was serving with the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he died of his wounds on Monday 25th March 1918.
Private James Frazer Johnston
Further Information
James Johnston was the eldest son of Joseph and Mary Jane Johnston. Joseph Johnston married Mary Jane Frazer about 1896, probably in County Cavan.
James Frazer Johnston was born in Clogher on 19th May 1897. He was first of five children, all sons.
His father was a constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.). By 1898, the family had moved to Carrickmore.
The 1901 census James Fraser as age 3, living with the family at house 13 in Carrickmore Town, County Tyrone.
Family: Joseph Johnston, Mary Jane Johnston, James Frazer Johnston (born 19th May 1897, Clogher), Joseph Johnston (born 7th February 1899), William Robert Johnston (born 31st March 1901), John George Johnston (born 26th March 1902), Hamilton Johnston (born 26th October 1903).
Joseph retired in 1910 and the family moved to Blacklion in County Cavan, where they opened a drapery shop.
The 1911 census lists James Frazer as age 13, living with the family at house 21 in Black Lion Town, Tuam, County Cavan.
James Johnston enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron at Enniskillen in March 1915 (Regimental No 229).
In 1916 or the first half of 1917 he embarked for France, where he joined the squadron as a reinforcement. In June 1916 the Inniskillings squadron had joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, which served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August the following year.
In September 1917 the 2nd Regiment was dismounted and most of its officers and men were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Johnston, like the majority of the men, was transferred to the battalion on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41126, and posted to A Company.
During the battalion's retreat from St Quentin in the German Spring offensive of March 1918, Private James Johnston received a head wound.
Private James Frazer Johnston was serving with the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he died of his wounds on Monday 25th March 1918. Private Johnston was buried just south of Roye (map reference 66.d.S.3.a.4.5) in the Roye-St Gilles German Military Cemetery, where 85 United Kingdom soldiers were buried by the Germans in March and April 1918.
Private Herbert Brownlee was with Private Johnston when he died. He was captured and became a prisoner of war for the remainder of the war.
After the war was over and Private Brownlee has been released, he came to the shop in Blacklion. He told the family he had comforted James as he was dying, and said he was calling for his mother. Herbert gave them James’ watch and cap badge.
Private Johnston was buried just south of Roye (map reference 66.d.S.3.a.4.5) in the Roye-St Gilles German Military Cemetery, where 85 United Kingdom soldiers were buried by the Germans in March and April 1918.
In 1920, his body was exhumed and re-buried in Roye New British Cemetery at the Somme in France. The family still have the original wooden cross, which was replaced. His inscription reads:- WHETHER WE LIVE OR DIE WE ARE THE LORDS. ROMANS CHAP.14 VERSE 8
Private James Frazer Johnston is commemorated on Enniskillen War Memorial. He is also listed in the Fermanagh War Memorial Book of Honour on page 545.
The CWGC record Private J F Johnston as the son of Joseph and Mary J Johnston of Blacklion, County Cavan.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Clogher Clogher Born in Clogher 54.412075 -7.171891
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 Census lists Johnston family Lists James Fraser as age 3, living with the family at house 13 in Carrickmore Town, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Johnston family Lists James Frazer as age 13, living with the family at house 21 in Black Lion Town, Tuam, Cavan
3 Facebook - North Irish Horse in the Great War Details of Private Johnston including photos
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private Johnston
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
6 North Irish Horse Details of Private Johnston including photos
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Johnston's gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018