Private James Johnstone

Private James Johnstone, 1st Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in France, aged 33, during the Battle of the Somme on 14th July 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme, France. He had been born in Coldstream and was the son of the late Robert and Margaret Johnstone formerly of Coldstream. He was the husband of Mary ( Tocher ) Johnstone of 42 Duke Street, Coldstream Before enlisting in 1914 he had been employed as a plasterer by Robert Rule of Ford, Northumberland. He had joined the 2nd Battalion in France in December 1914 and was wounded in February 1915. After recovery he was posted to the 1st Battalion at Gallipoli and went with them to France in March 1916. On 14th July the Battalion were not involved in any offensive operations but as they were in front line trenches they would be subjected to intermittent shelling and sniping. Private Johnstone is not listed on the War Memorial but as he was born in Coldstream we felt he was worthy of inclusion here. The photographs show Scottish troops on the Somme and the colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today with” no gas no barbed wire no guns firing now”

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