Private John Joseph Johnston


John Joseph Johnston was born on 14 June 1888 at 12 Unity Street, Belfast, the first of three children of ship's mate William Johnston and his wife Sarah (née Fehrenbach). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 42 Brougham Street, Belfast, with his mother, a great aunt and his sisters, and working as a stationer.

Johnston enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 20 January 1915 (No.1411). It was soon found, however, that he suffered from flat feet. A medical board reported that:

[He] cannot run or march properly. Complains of considerable pain. Has not been able to do his duties since enlistment ... being engaged in dining hall. In consequence of these defects in my opinion he will be useless as a soldier as yet he is practically untrained.

Johnston was discharged on 2 April 1915, being 'not likely to become an efficient soldier, recruit within three months of enlistment considered unfit for service' (paragraph 392(iii)(c), King's Regulations). His military conduct was recorded as 'very good'.

Following his discharge Johnston returned to his work as a stationer. By 1955 he was living at 4 Adela Street, Belfast with his wife Mary. He died there on 10 March and was buried in the Milltown Cemetery.


Belfast Telegraph, 11 March 1955