Lance Sergeant William Johnston

Lance Sergeant William Johnston ,3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards. He was killed in action on 9th October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial Belgium. He was the brother of the above Maxwell Johnston and is also commemorated on the Preston, Duns  Memorial.  He had been born in London and was the son of Robert and Mary Johnstone of Angus Cottage, Preston and The Crooks, Hirsel, Coldstream. He fell in an attack to push the British front line nearer to the Passchendaele Ridge which was to be captured before the Winter set in. In this period the Battalion suffered 130 casualties with 6 Officers and 57 Other Ranks being killed. Before the war he was first apprenticed to Mr Maxwell of Munches, Dalbeattie as a gardener before enlisting in the Metropolitan Police in February 1913. The photography shows some of the atrocious conditions on the battlefield. The weather was wet and the heavy shelling had smashed the fragile drainage systems in Flanders.

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