Service Number: 629
Enlisted: 24 September 1914, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 6th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Cumnock, New South Wales, June 1889
Home Town: Baldry, Cabonne, New South Wales
Schooling: Baldry Public School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, Cairo, Egypt, 18 August 1916
Cemetery: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery
Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Cairo, Egypt
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Baldry & Dilga District WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

24 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 629, Sydney, New South Wales
21 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 629, 6th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Suevic embarkation_ship_number: A29 public_note: ''
21 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 629, 6th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Suevic, Sydney
15 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, 629, 6th Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC / Gallipoli
3 Aug 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 6th Light Horse Regiment
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 629, 6th Light Horse Regiment, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli
15 Oct 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 6th Light Horse Regiment
5 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Sergeant, 629, 6th Light Horse Regiment, Battle of Romani, GSW (abdomen)

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Biography contributed by John Edwards


Very genuine grief was expressed on all sides when it became known that Sergeant Major Johnston had succumbed to gun shot wounds received in Egypt about a week previously. Sergt. Johnston was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Johnston, of "Silverdene," Baldry, and was 27 years of age. He was born at Cumnock, and had resided in this district up to the time of enlistment, on the 21st September, 1914, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities. He formed part of the first A.L.H. Brigade, who sailed from Sydney on the 21st of December of the same year. He was not present at the memorable landing of the celebrated Anzacs on the 25th April, but was one of the A.L.H. who volunteered to go into the trenches at Gallipoli as Infantry at the end of May. He fought through the fiercely contested engagements which made the heart of the Nation thrill with pride. Here he gained his stripes, and evacuated with the troops on that memorable moonlight night in December. His next sphere of action was in the dessert, where the troops spent a most strenuous time. Looking at a recent photograph, the change in the frank, laughing fearless face is most noticeable; the face of the photo is that of a stern, resolute man, determination being stamped on every feature. Prior to his decease at Abassia, Major, with four other Sergeants, was singled out for promotion, and with this end in view he spent a month in an instruction school. The cold hand of death, however, cut short his brilliant career. He has left behind a name which, with thousands of others, will be handed down in history as that of a hero. The sympathy of the whole district goes out to the heart-broken parents in their irreparable loss.

Sgt. M. Johnston's younger brother, Pte. Arthur Eggleston Johnston, who has been wounded, enlisted in the Infantry on the 7th July, 1915, sailed on 8th September, and served six weeks at Gallipoli till the evacuation. He also served six weeks in the Arabian Desert, and went from there to France, where he was wounded. He is now in hospital in London." - from the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser 02 Sep 1916 (