1899, Battle of Elandslaagte

JOHNSTON, ROBERT, Captain, was born 13 August 1872, son of Robert Johnston, QC, of Laputa, County Donegal. He was educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and joined the 5th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 1890-94. He served in South Africa 1899-1901, and was dangerously wounded in the Siege of Ladysmith. He won the Victoria Cross at Elandslaagte, and also received the Queen's Medal and bars and King's Medal for his services in this campaign. The Imperial Light Horse was recruited mostly from men from the gold mines of the Hand, and was commanded by Colonel Chisholm and Majors Karri Davis and Sampson, the last two being well known in connection with the Jameson Raid. His Victoria Cross was gazetted 12 February 1901: "Robert Johnston, Captain, Imperial Light Horse. On the 21st October 1899, at Elandslaagte, at a most critical moment, the advance being momentarily checked by a very severe fire at point-blank range, these two officers very gallantly rushed forward under this heavy fire and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement which decided the day to be carried out. On this occasion Captain Mullins was wounded". In 1902 he was Commandant at a concentration camp at Middelburg. In 1903 he was District Commissioner on the Eastern Transvaal. In 1911 he joined the Irish Prison Service. He was Commandant of the Prisoners of War at Oldcastle 1914-15, and was appointed Governor of His Majesty's Convict Prison at Maryborough in 1915, but again seconded for prison service in 1916 to resume duty at Oldcastle. Appointed a Resident Magistrate, Ireland, 1918. Major Johnston was in the Irish Rugby XV in 1893, and in the English Rugby XV in South Africa in 1897. He was very fond of fishing and golf.

VC, QSA (2) Eland DofL, KSA (2), 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, 1911 Coronation Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal.

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