Private Robert Stephenson (Bertie) Johnston


Robert Stephenson (Bertie) Johnston was born at Brookhill, Kinlough, County Leitrim, the first of twelve children of farmer James Johnston and his wife Fanny (nee Whitten). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Kinlough with his parents and ten surviving siblings.

Johnston enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 12 and 20 February 1914 (No.900 – later Corps of Hussars No.71152). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Johnston remained with the regiment throughout the war. In July 1919 he was awarded a French decoration, the Medaille d'Honneur Avec Glaives en Bronze (for a person risking their life to come to the rescue of others in danger).

On 4 March 1920 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.