Private Robert Johnston

Private Robert Stanley Johnston, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action in France on 15th September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, aged 19. He was the son of Peter and the late Margaret Johnston of Tweed Road, Horncliffe and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme, France. He fell in an attack on German positions at High Wood which cost the Battalion dearly. 3 Officers and 40 Other Ranks were killed and 6 Officers and 219 Other Ranks were wounded. In addition 74 Other Ranks were posted missing presumed killed. Before the war he had been a salmon fisherman on the River Tweed and had enlisted in September 1915 after attending a recruiting meeting. His brother, John William Johnston, had already been killed at the Battle of Loos in September 1915 and this may have been his incentive to join the colours. The artist’s impression shows the type of grim fighting that took place in and around the Somme Woods.

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