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Lilya1

Hi,

I have a question that I was hoping someone could help with.

My relative, Joseph Johnston 288165 1st Class Stoker DOD: 19th March 1916 HMS Colleen Cobh Ireland.

I was wondering if Royal Marines wore tags (dog tags essentially) with their reg number? I know it probable seems like a silly question, but I just wondered what time of ID he would of worn. He didnt die in Battle, but I just wondered those who did, how would they have been identified?

I have a letter on behalf of the King of England, which my great grandmother received, stating his death and the medals he was awarded, she didnt receive the letter until 1924, however there was also a snippet of paper, which said that she would of been contacted should they have an of his belongings for collection, but that if she was not contacted it ment they did not have anything of his. I just always wondered what it would have been, had there of been anything.

My mam thinks I should try contact someone or place in Cork to see if (i know needle in a hay stack) they have anything.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Thank you,

Lilya

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GraemeClarke

Lilya

I dont think he was a Marine.

His service record is here

http://www.nationala...&resultcount=13

if you want to part with £3.50,

Ancestry records indicate he died of illness, his vessel being H.M.S. "Goliath", however she was sunk in 1915 (see http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=32234 and http://www.google.co...iw=1600&bih=785) however I cannot see his name on the list of survivors.

H.M.S. Colleen was a depot at Queenstown (see http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=27935)

Re the dog tags, see this site http://pathsofglory.co.uk/identity_discs.htm

Regards,

Graeme

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Lilya1

Hi Graeme,

Thank you so much for your quick response, I really appreciate it!!!

Thank you!!

Lilya

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centurion

List of casualties for that date definitely shows his ship as Colleen however given that this was a depot ship he could have been on Goliath at some time. Colleen might have been the ship on whose books he was entered and not actually where he was physically serving. Colleen was transferred to the Irish Free State in 1923 (scrapped 1950) and I wonder if that was the reason for a letter dated 1924 (tidying up loose ends?)

Was the letter headed King of England? Not normal styling in 1924 (and indeed not since before the crowns of England and Scotland were united.)

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horatio2

It is entirely possible that, when he died, he was borne on the books of COLLEEN for service in, say, a trawler or destroyer based at Queenstown. However, there was no WW1 GOLIATH other than the battleship sunk in the Dardanelles in 1915 and she would never have been a tender to COLLEEN (or any other ship as she carried her own accounts).

The GOLIATH entry on Ancestry linked to his death seems to be a red herring.

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Lilya1

List of casualties for that date definitely shows his ship as Colleen however given that this was a depot ship he could have been on Goliath at some time. Colleen might have been the ship on whose books he was entered and not actually where he was physically serving. Colleen was transferred to the Irish Free State in 1923 (scrapped 1950) and I wonder if that was the reason for a letter dated 1924 (tidying up loose ends?)

Was the letter headed King of England? Not normal styling in 1924 (and indeed not since before the crowns of England and Scotland were united.)

Thank you for the info!! I really appreciate all the help I can get.

I found his service records from the National Archives, and there is no mention of the HMS Goliath, the list however is endless of the ships he served on, he registered on the 24th March 1898.

In relation to the letter my great grandmother Bridget Johnston received, it was dated 22nd April 1924, The address is Admiralty London, SW1. It states:

J.Johnston Sto 1 RN 288165

I am directed by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to transmit to you the accompanying 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal which would have been conferred upon the above named had he lived, in memory of his services with the British forces during the great War.

In forwarding these decorations I am commanded by the King to assure you of his majesty's high appreciation of the services rendered.

I am to request that you will be so good as to acknowledge the receipt of these decorations on the attached form.

I am, Madame,

Your obedient servant,

O Murray

Mrs. B. Johnston

It is entirely possible that, when he died, he was borne on the books of COLLEEN for service in, say, a trawler or destroyer based at Queenstown. However, there was no WW1 GOLIATH other than the battleship sunk in the Dardanelles in 1915 and she would never have been a tender to COLLEEN (or any other ship as she carried her own accounts).

The GOLIATH entry on Ancestry linked to his death seems to be a red herring.

Hi,

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.. I managed to get his service records, and yep.. he didnt serve on the Goliath. It states he was on the HMS Colleen from 1914 until death.

Thank you!

Lilya

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KevinBattle

Hello, Lilya and welcome

Is there a specific reason for you to mention "Royal Marine" as Joseph was a seaman stoker down in the engine room. Also why ask about dog tags, do you have one that might be his?

It sounds as though you are in Ireland, have you been to visit his grave? It would have been known as Queenstown during the Great War, and was a major naval base.

Many smaller ships didn't have enough men to keep records etc, so they were allocated a depot ship which handled all the necessary administration. That's what "Colleen" was, so he would have served aboard a smaller vessel that she was responsible for. The most likely would have been a fishing boat requisitioned for mine sweeping. There is reference to a French tug "Goliath" assisting in the rescue of survivors from the "Britannic" in late 1916, but HMS Goliath had been sunk in 1915, so there seems to be some mix up in the records.

I assume this is where you got the Goliath link?

At least you have his birth date and location, plus his widow.

Name: Joseph Johnston. Rank: Stoker 1st Class. Birth Date: 25 Jul 1878

Birth Place: Moate, Westmeath, Ireland. Branch of Service: Royal Navy.

Cause of Death: Died from disease. Official Number Port Division: 288165 (R.F.R. Dev B.3142) (Dev).

Death Date: 19 Mar 1916. Ship or Unit: HMS Goliath. Location of Grave: C 24 53.

Name and Address of Cemetery: Civil Cemetery Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland.

Relatives Notified and Address: Wife: Bridget 65 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin

In 1901 Census, he was aboard HMS Magnificent in Gibraltar. The Census return only shows his age as 22, single and from Ireland, but the transcription seems definitely to link him to Moate, West Meath. This was done by an Ancestry member with an Arabic sounding user name and also linked to a Brigid Byrne Death Registration in 1956, which I would assume to be his widow remarrying....?

I haven't found him so far in 1911, but there is a 30 year old Edward Johnston from County Meath, boarding with James Dunn and family at 19, Todd Street, Bolton as a general labourer together with a John Charnley, also from County Meath. Now, it may not be a relation, but it's an unusual spelling....

Anyway, hope this helps a bit

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Lilya1

Hello, Lilya and welcome

Is there a specific reason for you to mention "Royal Marine" as Joseph was a seaman stoker down in the engine room. Also why ask about dog tags, do you have one that might be his?

It sounds as though you are in Ireland, have you been to visit his grave? It would have been known as Queenstown during the Great War, and was a major naval base.

Many smaller ships didn't have enough men to keep records etc, so they were allocated a depot ship which handled all the necessary administration. That's what "Colleen" was, so he would have served aboard a smaller vessel that she was responsible for. The most likely would have been a fishing boat requisitioned for mine sweeping. There is reference to a French tug "Goliath" assisting in the rescue of survivors from the "Britannic" in late 1916, but HMS Goliath had been sunk in 1915, so there seems to be some mix up in the records.

I assume this is where you got the Goliath link?

At least you have his birth date and location, plus his widow.

Name: Joseph Johnston. Rank: Stoker 1st Class. Birth Date: 25 Jul 1878

Birth Place: Moate, Westmeath, Ireland. Branch of Service: Royal Navy.

Cause of Death: Died from disease. Official Number Port Division: 288165 (R.F.R. Dev B.3142) (Dev).

Death Date: 19 Mar 1916. Ship or Unit: HMS Goliath. Location of Grave: C 24 53.

Name and Address of Cemetery: Civil Cemetery Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland.

Relatives Notified and Address: Wife: Bridget 65 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin

In 1901 Census, he was aboard HMS Magnificent in Gibraltar. The Census return only shows his age as 22, single and from Ireland, but the transcription seems definitely to link him to Moate, West Meath. This was done by an Ancestry member with an Arabic sounding user name and also linked to a Brigid Byrne Death Registration in 1956, which I would assume to be his widow remarrying....?

I haven't found him so far in 1911, but there is a 30 year old Edward Johnston from County Meath, boarding with James Dunn and family at 19, Todd Street, Bolton as a general labourer together with a John Charnley, also from County Meath. Now, it may not be a relation, but it's an unusual spelling....

Anyway, hope this helps a bit

Thank you so much for your response!! I really appreciate it!!!

I dont have any dog tags or Medal's, my mam told me she remembers when she was a little girl being told his medals were pawned. Joseph was married to my Great Grandmother Brigid (Bridget) spelt differenlty in some records. I have no idea when or where they got married and thats part of the puzzle I am trying to figure out!!

I havent yet been to Cobh to visit his grave, but I am so looking forward to it. I'm going to bring him some Forget me not flowers. (Yes I do live in Ireland your right!)

You're right Brigid re-married after Joseph died, they didnt have any children. When brigid re-married she married William Quinn and had my Grandmother Brigid and a son Thomas. My mam said it was Thomas who pawned the medals.

I know I am not a direct decendent of Joseph, but I just can't forget him, my Grandmother when she was alive, told me how much her mother loved him, and that being married to him were the best years of her life. When he died and she re-married to William, my grandmother said even though it was her father, he wasnt the nicest man alive, he gave away and sold most of the gifts that Joseph had sent Brigid, over his travels but some how she managed to hold onto the letter mentioned above and a set of pink vases' and a little porcelain cat. I think for the reason that he made her happy, I have to find him, and make sure he is never forgotten!!

The info on ancestory that you found, is myself and my sister (right again, arabic names!!)

I will also check out the Edward you mentioned.

I will also try to upload his service records as soon as I figure out how to!! lol

Thank you so much!!

Lilya

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TomásD

Hi Lilya, 

I am checking to see if you are still responding to this thread about Joseph Johnson/Johnston. 

TomasD

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DavidOwen
14 hours ago, TomásD said:

Hi Lilya, 

I am checking to see if you are still responding to this thread about Joseph Johnson/Johnston. 

TomasD

Welcome to the forum Tomas

Lilya hasn't logged on since 2013 but if you click on her profile name and select message (the envelope icon) you can send her a private message. Once you send it an email will be sent to Lilya's registered email address alerting her to the message.

Regards

David

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