Aloysius Ignatius (Lou) JOHNSON

Badge Number: S5592, Sub Branch: UNLEY

JOHNSON, Aloysius Ignatius

Service Numbers: 155, S2591
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Mintaro, South Australia, 17 June 1894
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Colt breaker (later Policeman)
Died: Natural causes, Adelaide, South Australia, 4 August 1971, aged 77 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 155, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Morphettville, South Australia
22 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 155, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 155, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
14 May 1915: Wounded ANZAC Gallipoli, GSW
14 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 155, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, ANZAC Gallipoli
9 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 155, 3rd Light Horse Regiment
11 Feb 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 155, Discharged 1916

World War 2 Service

8 Jul 1941: Enlisted Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Private, SN S2591, Wayville, South Australia
9 Jul 1941: Involvement Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, SN S2591, Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces
7 Oct 1946: Discharged Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2, Sergeant, SN S2591

Sinking the "Emden"

During the Voyage to Gallipoli "Lou" observed a naval engagement that is now in the history books.
Following is a paragraph from his memoirs describing what he witnessed on this particular day.

Everything was going on well until rumours got about that the "Emden" was getting rather close to us and not even as much as a empty matchbox was allowed to be thrown overboard as anything like that would give the enemy valuable information as to our whereabouts. We were steaming along doing about 8 to 9 knots on Nov 9 when all of a sudden the "Sydney" which was on our left on patrol left the main body and steamed off and everybody was all excited as to what was going on.

Soon after the Japanese Cruise "Ibuki" made a bolt also but she did not take part in the action as the "Sydney" proved herself quite capable of defeating the enemy warboat which turned out to be the notorious raider the "Emden"
It was a grand site to see the "Sydney" getting underway with her bow awash with spray & her engines doing 25 knots.

She soon disappeared from site and we knew no more until just after dinner when the news came through that the "Sydney" had disabled the "Emden" and she was ashore on Cocos Island.There was much rejoicing when we received the news as travelling would be much safer.


Wounded in "Shrapnel Gully"

The following are two excerpts from a detailed letter my Grandfather wrote after his return from Gallipoli. He titled the letter.....

"Detailing the experience of a Trooper in the 3rd Light Horse Brigade,Australian Imperial Force,1st convoy HMAT 17 Port Lincoln"

We were all carrying a very heavy pack as the pack the Light Horse carry is by no means a small one, so after going over the first hill and getting to the gully below we all rested for a while to get our second wind. The rifle fire by this time was something awful, it was just one continuous roar but it did not affect some of the Lads much. As soon as they got the chance they were fast asleep!

It was in this gully that we first realised the awful carnage that was being carried out. What affected myself the most was when the dead & wounded were being carried away it was hard to realise that some of the boys that one knew so well & had been your pals for so many months, were going away from you perhaps forever.

We got back to our dugouts at 3pm and having a rest for a while we then started to improve our position and making saps that one could get about without the snipers seeing you. All that night the Turks kept up the attack, as they kept charging up to the trenches our lads were always able to keep them at bay. The next morning I was again sent down to the beach with a supply party and after a few narrow escapes we started our way back to the trenches. While walking up "Shrapnel Gully" I was spotted by a sniper and then it was a case of exit Johnny.

I was coming around the corner that the Lads called "Suicide Corner" and taking things very quietly when I got cracked. It was not a very pleasant sensation to get wounded, but now that a man has had the luck more than some of our pals, to come home to Australia again, well he ought not growl!

Submitted by Tony Johnson - Grandson of Aloysius Johnson.

Showing 2 of 2 stories

Biography contributed by Liam Keeble

Aloysius Ignatius Johnson was born in 1894 and was raised in the Catholic faith. He had always liked horses and his occupation prior to enlisting in WW1 was a colt breaker (horse trainer).

Johnson enlisted at the age of 21 years and was assigned to the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. 

For his service in WWI, Johnson was awarded the 1914/15-star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Aloysius Ignatius Johnson is buried at Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide.



Aloysius (Lou) first enlisted for WW1 on the 19th of August 1914 at the Morphetville race course in S.A. He was part of the 3rd Light Horse regiment and was sent to Galipolli where he was wounded (shot by a Turkish sniper), and was lucky enough to survive. Lou returned to Australia on the hospital ship "Thermistocles". On his return home he obtained the rank of Corporal and spent time at the military camp set up at the Gawler oval in S.A.

After being discharged in 1916 Lou joined the Mounted Police and was posted at many different country towns around South Australia. He loved horses and spent most of his life in uniform whether that be military or police.

When duty called once more, Lou again enlisted in July 1941, where he obtained the rank of Sergeant. He did not leave Australian shores however, he did his part once again, to protect our country and its freedom. Lou was then discharged on the 30th of July 1946.

Lou died in Adelaide of natural causes on the 4th of August 1971. - Tony Johnson (grandson)