My thanks to Janet Carolan, the Dollar Academy archivist, for information on Halbert Johnstone's scholastic work, and also a great photograph of him with the school's First XI cricket team.
He appears in the 1881 Scottish census, aged 7 and living with his 83 year-old grandmother, Mary Johnstone, and her son, William, and daughter-in-law. William was the minister of Kirtle Chapel, Kirtlebridge (now closed).
Halbert, or Bertie/Berty as he was known at school, attended Dollar Institution - it became Dollar Academy in 1918 - from at least 1885 to 1889. In 1885, his marks in Class II for Arithmetic were only 33%, but in the next two school years it improved, averaging c.55%, and by 1888 he was 33rd out of 45 boys.
In 1891 Bertie, then aged 17, was working as a clerk in Glasgow.
Three of Bertie's brothers were also at Dollar Institution - Ralph Johnston [different spelling of surname] (born in Japan, 1.2.1876) from 1886 to 1891, and Robert Johnston [again without the e], born in Ecclefechan, just up the road from Kirtlebridge, both of them in the 1891 census as boarding with the headmaster of the Institution. The third brother, Bruce, was at the school from 1892 to 1895.
The photo of the cricket team dates from 1889, when Bertie was aged approximately 15. He's standing second from the right, with the professional to his left.