Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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26383   Private Edwin Charles Johnston
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 19/06/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 7th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 21/08/1898
Died: 17/03/1916 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 17
Summary      
Edwin Charles Johnston was the son of David and Elizabeth Johnston, of Broomhill, Almavanog, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. Edwin was born about 1899 in County Armagh. His father was a farmer. Private Edwin Johnston was wounded by shrapnel in the trenches and died a week later in hospital. Private Edwin Charles Johnston was serving with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of wounds on 17th March 1916, age 17.
Further Information
Edwin Johnston was the second son of David and Elizabeth Johnston. David Johnston married Elizabeth Rountree on 16th December 1896 in the district of Armagh.
Edwin Charles Johnston was born on 21st August 1898 in the Loughgall area. He was one of four sons.
The 1901 census lists two year old Edwin as living with the family in Altnavannog, Bernagh, Tyrone. His father was a farmer.
Family: David Johnston, Lizzie Johnston, Fredrick G Johnston (born 7th September 1897, Loughgall) Edwin Charles Johnston (born 21st August 1898, Loughgall), Herbert “Bertie” J Johnston (born 1st July 1900, Dungannon), Alfred Johnston (born 18th June 1902, Dungannon).
The 1911 census shows 12 year old Edwin as still at school. He was living with the family in Altnavannog, Bernagh, Tyrone.
Edwin was a member of Derrycreevy section, Dungannon Battalion of the U.V.F.
Edwin enlisted in Dungannon around October 1915.
Medal card
1916
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st March 1916:
Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, has received official intimation that his second son, Private Edward Johnston, 7th Battalion Royal Inniskillings Fusiliers, is in hospital in France, suffering from a serious fracture of the skull, caused by an accidental fall in the trenches. He was a member of Derrycreevy section, Dungannon Battalion U.V.F., and his elder brother, Fred Johnston, an old Dungannon Royal School boy, is in France with the Ulster Division.
Private Edwin Charles Johnston was serving with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was injured. He had only been at the front for three or four weeks.
Private Johnston suffered a serious fracture of the skull, around 10th March 1916. It was initially reported erroneously that it had been caused by an accidental fall in the trenches.
Private Edwin Johnston died in hospital a week later on 17th March 1916 due to wounds sustained by shrapnel in the first line trenches.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 23rd March 1916:
Mr. David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, has received intimation that his second son, Private Edmund Johnston, 7th Inniskilling Fusiliers, has succumbed to a head wound. He had sustained fracture of the skull by an accidental fall in the trenches in France. In a letter received from Captain Holmes, chaplain to the forces, he says : —“Your brave lad I have just laid to rest. I wrote you a short time ago, to let you know he was wounded. His was a head wound, and he passed away in spite of the best skill and nursing which was given him. I trust you will always find comfort in the fact that he laid down his life in a just cause. I enclose a memorial card. I am glad to have some little chats with him, and you will be pleased to learn how calmly and bravely he faced death, and as I feel sure in the faith of the Saviour. May God comfort and maintain you in this your time of sorrow.” The deceased soldier, who was very young, had volunteered about 6 months ago and had only been at the front three weeks. He was an enthusiastic member of the Derrycreevy section of the U.V.F. His elder brother, Fred, an old Dungannon Royal School boy, is serving with the Ulster Division in France.”
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 25th March 1916: Private Edward Johnston
Private Edward Johnston, 7th Inniskillings, (previously reported wounded) has succumbed to wounds in a French hospital. The deceased soldier was quite a young lad and had only been four weeks at the front. He had been a useful member of the Derrycreevy half-company of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F., and his elder brother, Mr Fred Johnston, a Dungannon Royal School boy, is serving in France with the Ulster Division. In a letter received on Tuesday by his father, Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, Captain R Holme, Chaplain to the Forces, says:-
'Your brave lad I have just laid to rest. I wrote you a short time ago, to let you know he was wounded. His was a head wound, and he passed away in spite of the best skill and nursing which was given him. I trust you will always find comfort in the fact that he laid down his life in a just cause. I enclose a memorial card. I am glad to have some little chats with him, and you will be pleased to learn how calmly and bravely he faced death, and as I feel sure in the faith of the Saviour. May God maintain you in this your time of sorrow.'
The greatest sympathy is being evinced for Mr and Mrs Johnston throughout the district.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 4th May 1916:
Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, has received a letter from an officer in the Inniskilling Fusiliers that his son Private Edwin Johnston, was wounded by shrapnel in the first line trenches, and died a week later in hospital. It had previously been reported that the deceased had met his injuries through accidentally falling into a trench.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 24th June 1916: Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Lance Corporal Fred Johnston, of the Dungannon (No 4 Company), 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Tyrone Volunteers) has been promoted corporal. He is a son of Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, and was educated at the Dungannon Royal School. His younger brother, Private Edmund Johnston, was recently killed in action.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 6 July 1916: Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Mr David Johnston, Broomhill, Dungannon, has received official intimation that his elder son, Corporal Fred Johnston, Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division), has been wounded in action. He is a former Dungannon Royal School boy, and volunteered when the Ulster Division was formed. His younger brother, Edmund, was recently killed in action.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 8th July 1916: Dungannon Royal Schoolboy Wounded - Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Mr David Johnston, Broom Hill, Dungannon, received an official intimation on Friday that his elders son, Corporal Fred Johnston, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Ulster Division), has been wounded in action. He is a former Dungannon Royal schoolboy, and volunteered when the Ulster Division was formed. His younger brother, Private Edward Johnston, 7th Inniskillings, was recently killed in action in France. Writing to Corporal Johnston's mother, Rev. W J Robinson, C F, Wesleyan chaplain says:-
Your son in the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers has been admitted to hospital suffering from a fresh wound in the left thigh. It is not at all bad and he is bright and lively, able to sit up and to take food. I am thankful to God for His goodness to your dear son of whom I am very fond. He is a fine young fellow and has lately given his heart to God. Please do not worry at all about him, there is no need, and I am not concealing anything from you. He is going today to a hospital down the line.
An entry from Ireland's Memorial Records:
Johnston, Edwin. Reg. no. 26383, Rank, Private, 7th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; died of wounds, France, March 17, 1916; born Broomhill, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.
1918
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th February 1918: Dungannon Man Wins Military Medal - Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Sergeant Fred Johnston, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been awarded the Military Medal and promoted to his present rank for his bravery and coolness at the Battle of Cambrai, is the eldest son of Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon. He had been educated at the Dungannon Royal School. His younger brother, Private Edward Johnston, was killed in action early in 1916.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated 14th February 1918: Dungannon Man Obtains Military Medal - Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Sergeant Fred Johnston, 9th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been awarded the Military Medal and promoted to his present rank for his bravery and coolness at the Battle of Cambrai when his officer had been killed, he rallied and took command of the section, is the eldest son of Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon. He had been educated at the Royal School and had volunteered into the Ulster Division on it's formation. His younger brother Private Edward Johnston of the same Regiment was killed in action early in 1916. Sergeant Johnston's Company Officers have written him congratulating him on his well earned distinction.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 30 May 1918: Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Sergeant Fred Johnston M.M., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who is officially reported wounded and missing, is the eldest son of Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, and was a student at Dungannon Royal School. His younger brother Private Edmund Johnston of the same regiment was killed in action in 1916.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 27 June 1918: Dungannon Military Medallist Captured Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
Sergeant Fred Johnston, M.M., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who had been reported wounded, and missing since 24th March 1918, has now intimated to his father, Mr David Johnston, Altnavannog, Dungannon, that he is a prisoner of war at Stendal, Saxony, and has been very severely wounded. He was educated at Dungannon Royal School and his younger brother, Edmond Johnston, was killed in action early in 1916.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 31st August 1918: Back from Germany - Corporal Fred Johnston (brother of Edwin Johnston)
It is officially announced that the following soldiers who were prisoners of war in Germany have arrived in England:- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – B Davis, F Johnston M.M.
His elder brother, Fred Johnston, also served. Sergeant Fred Johnston M.M. survived the war
Memorials
Private Edwin Charles Johnston is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetery, France. There were several Casualty Clearing Stations in Lillers. His inscription reads: EVER REMEMBERED BY HIS FOND PARENTS & DEVOTED BROTHERS SEVERED ONLY TILL HE COME
Private Edwin Johnston is commemorated locally on Dungannon War Memorial.
The CWGC record Private Edwin Charles Johnston as the son of David and Elizabeth Johnston of Broomhill, Altnavannog, Dungannon, County Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Broomhill, Altnavannog Killyman Census listing in Altnavannog, Bernagh 54.474801 -6.732094
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
16/12/1896 M Rountree Elizabeth Parent M/1896/Q1/162/3/9b
16/12/1896 M Johnston David Parent M/1896/Q1/162/3/9a
07/09/1897 B Johnston Frederick Sibling U/1897/12/1002/16/465
21/08/1898 B Johnston Edwin Casualty U/1898/12/1002/17/96
01/07/1900 B Johnston Herbert Sibling U/1900/112/1012/23/118
18/06/1902 B Johnston Alfred Sibling U/1902/112/1012/24/28
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Johnston family Lists Edwin C as age 2 living with the family at house 15 in Altnavannog, Bernagh, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Johnston family Lists Edwin C as age 12 living with the family at house 1 in Altnavannog, Bernagh, Tyrone
3 BillionGraves.com Photo of Private Edwin Johnston's gravestone
4 Forum discussion (GWF) Information on Private Edwin Johnston
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
6 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Edwin Johnston's gravestone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021