In memoriam

Private John Johnston



John Johnston was born at Water Street, Enniskillen, on 25 July 1894, the last of three children of carpenter John Johnston and his wife Sarah Jane (née Wilson). His father died later that year. At the time of the 1901 Census he was living in Water Street with his mother and siblings. I have not been able to locate him in the 1911 Census.

Johnston enlisted in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Finner Camp, County Donegal, in September 1914 (No.14073). Late the following month, however,  he transferred to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron (No.UD/84). He embarked for France on 6 October 1915 with his squadron, which was serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Johnston, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. Johnston was issued regimental number 41107.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

In January 1918 the 9th (NIH) Battalion moved to a new sector in front of St Quentin. While there, on 11 February, Johnston died of wounds. He may have sustained the wound the previous day when, according to the battalion war diary:

Front quiet except for occasional shelling. One man wounded by enemy sniper.

Private Johnston was buried near the village of Cugny (map reference 66.D.R.14.d.3.2). After the war his body was exhumed and re-buried in the Grand-Seraucourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France, grave V.G.4. His gravestone inscription reads:



Image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project,


This page last updated 21 February 2023.