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Remembered Today:

2nd Lt. W. Johnstone, Black Watch


kenmorrison

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I wonder if anyone can help me with family details for a man named on the Kirkcudbright War Memorial in South West Scotland as:

 

2/LT. WILLIAM JOHNSTONE, BLACK WATCH.

William Johnstone – age ?? – Second Lieutenant, 8th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

William of Craignelder near Newton Stewart had served with Tientsin Volunteer Corps in China. He enlisted in the Black Watch as a Private and was commission from the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps in May 1915. William joined his battalion in France in December 1915 but was killed four months later by a grenade. (Source: London Gazette 4/5/1915 p.4394 and Medal Roll)

Born ?

He named as his legatees his sister Margaret Johnstone and his brother James Thomas Johnstone of 16-22 William Street, New York City, USA.

(Source: Army Registers of Soldiers effects and CWGC Headstone schedule)

He was killed in action on 30 March 1916 and is buried in Rifle House Cemetery, Belgium.

Many thanks 

Ken

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 18/12/2017 at 15:20, kenmorrison said:

I wonder if anyone can help me with family details for a man named on the Kirkcudbright War Memorial in South West Scotland as:

 

2/LT. WILLIAM JOHNSTONE, BLACK WATCH.

William Johnstone – age ?? – Second Lieutenant, 8th Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

William of Craignelder near Newton Stewart had served with Tientsin Volunteer Corps in China. He enlisted in the Black Watch as a Private and was commission from the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps in May 1915. William joined his battalion in France in December 1915 but was killed four months later by a grenade. (Source: London Gazette 4/5/1915 p.4394 and Medal Roll)

Born ?

He named as his legatees his sister Margaret Johnstone and his brother James Thomas Johnstone of 16-22 William Street, New York City, USA.

(Source: Army Registers of Soldiers effects and CWGC Headstone schedule)

He was killed in action on 30 March 1916 and is buried in Rifle House Cemetery, Belgium.

Many thanks 

Ken

 

 

   Hi Ken- I had a chance to see his officer file at Kew yesterday-which is scrappy,as they are all compiled from bits and pieces after the main series of officer files was burnt in 1940.

    Hope it helps

 

 

 

SECOND LIEUTENANT  WILFRED  JOHNSTONE, BLACK WATCH    WO 339/48363

APPLICATION FORM- RESERVE OF OFFICERS

    Born 21st April 1888.

Address given as 32 Albert Street, Newton Stewart

   Address for contact (24 hours)- L.Sutro, 22 Micning Lane, City

    Occupation given as Buyer (Micing Lane was the centre of the City of London commodity trading markets and commdities auctions)

   Educated at St. Andrew’s Birkenhead   and Newark High School, Newark, New Jersey, USA

 

   Previous military experience-  Volunteer,  Tientsin British Volunteer  Corps.   18th August 1914 to 5th November 1914.

     Given permission to leave unit and return to England and join British Army

      At time of application was training with Inns of Court  Officer Training Corps (but,apparently, not formally a member)

    Asked for commission in Black Watch or another Scottish regiment.

     Signed off at 30th April 1915

 

APPLICATION FOR COMMISSION- NEW ARMIES

    Address given as c/o Mrs McMatser, Newton Stewart  or J.T.Johnstone (brother) at 19 Locust Street, Flushing , New York. Brother’s work address for contact was laso given as 16-22 William Street, New York City)

      Johnstone stated he had lived abroad for about 12 years , the last 5 being in China. Thus, Good Character from Adjutatnt ,Tientsin Volunteers would take some time.

    Asked for commission in “Any kilted Scottish regiment, preferably one with HQ in the south of Scotland

   Note from F.R.Grigson, from Inns of Court(on barrister’s headed paper)- Johnstone  had been  “attending regularly and promises well”- Signed off at 30th April 1915

 

9th June 1916- Letter from WO to Mrs M. Johnstone- Johsntone buried at Rifle House.  She is sister and serving with 3rd General Hospital, Stobhill, Glasgow

 

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Using this, and by rummaging around census and BMD records, I've been able to put together some of his family history (I think!)

 

In chronological order:

Robert Johnstone married Mary Davies in Birkenhead, Cheshire in the March Quarter of 1880.

In 1881 at 442 Beckwith Street, Birkenhead were

Robert Johnstone, 30, a Stone Mason born in Scotland

Mary Johnstone 25 b. Merionethshire, James T. Johnstone 8 months, William Johnstone 25 (brother) and David Davies 12 (bro in law)

In 1891 at 88 Bentick Street, Birkenhead were:

Mary Johnston 34 (Widow ) b. Corwen Merionethshire, James Johnston 10, Maggie Johnston 7, John Johnston 5 and Willie Johnston 3. (born c.1888)

Frederick James Marks married Mary Johnstone in Birkenhead in 1893.

In 1901 at 8 Maple Street, Birkenhead were

Frederick J. Marks 36 (Widower) his son Josiah Marks 7 and his step-children James Johnstone 20 (a Commercial Clerk) Maggie Johnstone 17, John Johnstone 15 (Commercial Office Boy) and William Johnstone 12.

 

I now need to track William's father Robert back to south-west Scotland but I'm getting there.

 

Again thank you so much for taking the trouble to dig out the info. from William's file at Kew.

Ken

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An update - William's father, Robert, was born in Dumfries in 1851 but the family were living in Kirkcudbright in 1861 and in 1871 when Robert, aged 19, was a stone mason and his brother William, aged 16, was an apprentice plumber. So the link to Kirkcudbright is made!

 

William McMaster lived at 32 Albert Street in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire in 1915 together with his wife Matilda - and William had married Matilda Johnston in 1873 in Kirkcudbright.

I'm not sure what the relationship was between Matilda and "my" Johnston/Johnstone family was, but there obviously was one, and that'll do for now.:rolleyes:

 

Ken

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Ken

I can help on Mary (Davies, Johnstone) Marks as her brother William was my great grandfather. I have the family back to the late 1600s up to now. I have James Johnstone's history in NYC. He was a wealthy man. There was a son, Josiah Marks born 1894. He ended up in the 2/5 East Lancashire Regiment. He is listed as killed March 21, 1918 on the CWGC site but actually was captured, probably badly wounded, and died in German hand in April. I am just now starting to find out where his grave is located.

Keith

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Hi Keith - Good to hear from you.

So Josiah Marks was a half-brother?????

I see there is some info on the Red Cross PoW site https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Search#/3/2/224/5059205/British%20and%20Commonwealth/Military/marks

and it does seem likely that he was captured/buried by the Germans at Roisel.

CWGC has "Roisel town was occupied by British troops in April 1917, and evacuated after a strong defence by the 66th (East Lancashire) Division in the evening of the 22nd March 1918."

 

Ken

Edited by kenmorrison
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Hi Ken

I'm guessing that you are tracing the Johnstone family.

Yes Josiah Marks was a half brother with his father being Frederick J Marks. He was living at 19 Master St, Burnley when he joined up. This is according to the WW1 Burnley site. Unfortunately I have no idea how he got there or who he was living with. Also it appears that Master St no longer exists. According to the ICRC he died April 14, 1918.

I just have to find out what happened to the step father Frederick, sister Maggie and brother John.

It's funny, I have found no family that was even scratched in WW1 so far and here we have 2 KIA.

If you want more info on James just ask.

Keith

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Hi Keith - originally I was researching the men named on the Kirkcudbright War Memorial when I became "involved" with the family history.

So Josiah Marks is a bit of a side issue for me but having looked at your research into the Burnley connection I have to ask - are you sure that this is the same man?

Soldiers Effects names his widow as ANNIE - and Josiah Marks married Annie Harvey in Burnley on 23 December 1899. His father's name is shown as JOHN and both were miners. (the church marriage register is on-line on Ancestry)

In 1911 Josiah and Annie were living at Robert Street, Burnley.

 

Just a thought.

Ken

 

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Thanks for the info Ken. I haven't found the soldiers effects so I was unaware that he was married. I was basing my identification on his photograph. My Josiah Marks was born in 1894 so they are not the same men. William Johnstone is a cousin however.

Thanks again.

Keith

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  • 3 months later...

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