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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Two Johnston Roberts Royal Irish Rifles


Pere

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Johnston Robert, 6359, Lance-Corporal, 1st Royal Irish Rifles, and Johnston Robert, 6728, Rfm., 1st Royal Irish Rifles were both KIA on 9th May 1915.

Two Johnstons Roberts are listed on the town's memorial, one as senior the other as junior.

Are they father and son/brother? Both were born in Newtownards, County Down.

Pere

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There's two Robert Johnstons listed in the 1911 Census of Ireland. Both live in Mill Street Newtownards but at different houses. I think it unlikely that they were father/son, although they might have been cousins or uncle/nephew.

Alternatively, Johnston (or it's variants) is not uncommon and neither is the name Robert. Given this, it's entirely possible that neither of these two related at all and it's just a coincidence that they had the same name and were killed on the same day.

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Thanks PGL.

It is the mention on the memorial of Johnston (Sen.) (Mill Street) and Johnston (Jun.) (Mill Street), which I assume means Robert senior and Robert junior, that made me consider the possibility of a close family relationship.

Pere

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Obviously Pere I can't be 100% sure but given that the two men didn't live at the same address (although they lived in the same street), I would tend to rule out the father/son relationship and go for uncle/nephew or cousins instead. For no other reason than a hunch, I would be more inclined to say cousins. Since both men served in the 1st Royal Irish Rifles, some way to distinguish them was required so one cousin was "Senior" and the other was "Junior". Here are links to the Census:

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/page..._Street/269675/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/page..._Street/269647/

Hope it's useful. :)

[Edit for spelling.]

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PGL

Yes that’s my web site. I’ve still a few ‘public’ memorials, e.g. Limavady, Ballymoney, to add then it’s onto ‘private’ memorials.

At the moment I’m attempting to link families listed on the Ards memorial. It’s very slow progress.

Pere

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