4th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
10/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
John E Johnston was the son of David Johnston J.P. Herbert was born in County Tyrone (probably Roughan, near Newmills) on 18th April 1888. In 1911 John Edwin Johnston was a student at Queen’s University, Belfast. The family lived at Grace Hall in Lurgan. 2nd Lieutenant John E Johnston was serving with the 4th Battalion attending the 10th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment when he died on 10th July 1916.
John Ernest Johnston was the eldest son of David Johnston J.P.
John Johnston was born on 18th April 1888. He was one of six children, all born in the Clogher area.
The 1901 census records the family as living in Tullyanaghan, Magheralin, County Down. His mother had died. John is not listed as living with the family. David Johnston was described as a Horse Dealer and Farmer.
His father had remarried about 1901 to Martha Johnston
Known family: David Johnston, Martha Johnston (2nd wife), John Ernest Johnston (born 18th April 1888), David Percy Johnston (born 23rd January 1890), Walter Irwin Johnston (born 23rd March 1891), Anna Millie Johnston (born 5th October 1893), Herbert Curry Johnston (born 9th June 1895), Winifred Margaret Johnston (born 16th January 1897).
John was educated at Lurgan College.
The 1911 census records John 'Ernest' as 22 years old and a student. The family still lived in Tullyanaghan, Magheralin, County Down. His father had remarried about 1901 to Martha. David Johnston is described as a Horse Dealer and Farmer.
In 1911 John Edward Johnston was a student at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is included in their Book of Remembrance as being with the Faculty of the Arts between 1909 and 1911.
The family lived at Grace Hall in Lurgan.
John Johnston was in Australia when the war broke out, and journeyed home at his own expense to join the army as a private.
Lieutenant John Johnston arrived in France in February 1916.
2nd Lieutenant John Ernest Johnston was serving with the 4th Battalion, attached to the 10th Battalion, of the South Staffordshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 10th July 1916.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 20th July 1916:
Lieutenant John Ernest Johnston, South Staffordshire Regiment, reported missing, is the eldest of the three soldier sons of Mr David Johnston, J.P., Grace Hall, Lurgan. He was in Australia when the war broke out, and journeyed home at his own expense to join the army as a private. His brothers are Corporal David Percy Johnston, Royal Engineers, and Sergeant Herbert Curry Johnston, 10th Royal Irish Fusiliers.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 28th July 1916: Roll of Honour - Officers
Lieutenant J E Johnston, South Staffordshire Regiment, previously reported missing, is now unofficially reported killed. He was the eldest son of Mr David Johnston, J.P., Grace Hall, Lurgan, who has two other sons in the army. The deceased was educated at Lurgan College and Queens University. In a letter which has been received by Lieutenant Johnston's father, the writer says:-
'I am told by those who were with him that he died a glorious death, leading his men in a successful assault on the enemy's tranches when all the officers of his company were either killed or wounded.'
John’s brother, Corporal Herbert Johnston, served with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers and was killed in action on 18th August 1917.
Another brother, David Percy Johnston, served with the Royal Engineers and gained a commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery.
2nd Lieutenant John Ernest Johnston has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme in France. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.
Second Lieutenant John Johnston is commemorated on Lurgan War Memorial.
Second Lieutenant John Ernest Johnston is also commemorated on Queens War Memorial in the grounds of the university.
2nd Lieutenant John Ernest Johnston and his brother Herbert are also remembered on their parents’ headstone at First Lurgan Presbyterian Church. Photo courtesy of Martin White