John Harvey JOHNSTON

JOHNSTON, John Harvey

Service Number: SX12747
Enlisted: 6 November 1940
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Sydney, NSW, 7 October 1909
Home Town: Henley Beach , City of Charles Sturt / Henley and Grange, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College and University of Adelaide
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: Toorak Gardens South Australia, 17 March 1949, aged 39 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

6 Nov 1940: Involvement Major, SX12747
6 Nov 1940: Enlisted Wayville, SA
6 Nov 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, SX12747
2 Jul 1946: Discharged
2 Jul 1946: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Major, SX12747

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Biography contributed by Annette Summers

JOHNSTON John Harvey 1909-1949


John Harvey Johnston was born in Sydney, New South Wales, on 17th October 1909. He was the only son of Professor T Harvey Johnston and his wife Alice Maude, nee Pearce. His father was awarded the Verco Medal, of the Royal Society of South Australia, for his scientific work associated with the prickly pear; in addition, he was selected to accompany Mawson to Antarctica.  Johnston’s sister, Essie Ida Maude, married Dr Wallace Jolly. Johnston was educated at St Peter’s College and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide, graduating MB BS in 1933. While at school he was a keen rower representing the school at local and interstate events. After graduation, Johnston worked at a number of hospitals in South Australia, Western Australia and London, England. He married Dr Violet Myrtle Plummer, in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 29th July 1936; she was a graduate of the University of Adelaide, and the daughter of Philip James Arthur Plummer of Toorak Gardens and his first wife Myrtle Symon Bosomworth, of Port Pirie, SA. Johnston’s wife Violet, was named after her aunt, Violet May Plummer who was the first female doctor to practice medicine in Adelaide. Just before the outbreak of WW2 Johnston and his wife returned to Australia.

Johnston enlisted at Wayville, SA, on 25th January 1942, and was posted 2/2 AGH serving as an anaesthetist. He went to the Middle East with the unit when it was located at Gaza Ridge.  The unit was part of the “Stepsister” movement of the 1st Australian Corps returning to Australia. He was with the unit in Colombo and promoted to major. He later served in the Northern Territory and northern Queensland.

After the war, he was attached to the Department of Veteran's Affairs and spent some time at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne. John Harvey Johnston, died on 17th March 1949, in Toorak Gardens South Australia. Survived by his wife Violet and his daughter, Pamela, who currently lives in the USA.


Blood, Sweat and Fears III: Medical Practitioners South Australia, who Served in World War 2. 

Swain, Jelly, Verco, Summers. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2019. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD