Francis Earl AWMM
Also known as
WWI 10/512A AWMM
1 October 1871 Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
WW1 Unknown AWMM Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
WW1 Messrs Cox and Company, London, England AWMM
Medals and Awards
- Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) AWMM
Companion of the Order of the Bath - London Gazette, 8 November 1915, p11025: For distinguished service in the field during the operations at the Dardanelles. AWMM
- 1914-1915 Star AWMM
- Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) Four Times AWMM
Mentioned in Despatches - London Gazette, 15 June 1916
Mentioned in Despatches - London Gazette, 4 January 1917, p197, Rec No 2052: Has commanded his Brigade since the New Zealand Division landed in France, with ability. During operations on the Somme he handled his Command with great coolness and judgement.
Mentioned in Field Marshall D Haig's Despatch of 7 November 1917 for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period February 26th to midnight September 20-21st, 1917. AWMM
- Cross of Karageorge, 3rd Class with Swords (Serbia) AWMM
Serbian Cross of Karageorge with swords (3rd Class) - London Gazette, 15 February 1917, p1608: For distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign. AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Francis Johnston was the son of the Hon. Charles and Mrs Johnston, of Karori, Wellington, and husband of Gwen Johnston.
Was the Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Brigade at Gallipoli
Also served in North Staffordshire Regiment.
Rank last held was listed as Temporary Brigadier General
He was the Commanding Officer for the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade when he was killed.
Appointed Temporary Brigadier General while commanding 1st NZ Infantry Brigade, 9 July 1915.
Relinquished command of 1st NZ Infantry Brigade on account of ill-health, and took command of NZ Infantry Reserve Group, England, 27 July 1917.
Proceeded overseas to France, 27 July 1917, to command 2nd NZ Rifle Brigade.
Killed in action by sniper bulet while visiting his front line trenches, 7 August 1917.
Medals: Cross of the Karageorge, 3rd Class (with swords), Serbia, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Wife: Gwen Johnston, 29 Bullingham Mansions, Campden Hill, London W8, England AWMM
7 August 1917 AWMM
Age 45 AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France AWMM III. C. 260. AWMM
The news of the death of Colonel (temp. Brigadier) Francis Earl Johnston was received with great regret by all ranks of the N.Z.E.F. The General had only taken over the command of the 3rd N.Z. (R.) Brigade a few days prior to his death, which occurred while inspecting the Brigade area on August 8th. In the spring of this year he relinquished the command of the 1st N.Z. Infantry Brigade, and assumed the direction of the N.Z. Reserve Group at Sling Camp, England, returning to France as stated above. General Johnston was the eldest son of the Hon. Charles and Mrs. Johnston, of Karori, Wellington, N.Z. He entered the Imperial Army, receiving his commission in 1891, and served in the Dongola Expedition and in South Africa. On the formation of the N.Z. Division in Egypt, early in 1915, he was given command of the N.Z. Infantry Brigade, which he directed at the landing at Gallipoli, at Cape Helles, and during the August operations. For his services he was awarded the C.B. in November, 1915. On the formation of the N.Z. Division he retained command of the 1st Infantry Brigade and served at Armentières, the Somme, and in the trench warfare through the worst of last winter. The General was no seeker after popularity. He had the confidence of his men, and his rubicund countenance was often to be seen in the front lines. His cheery ‘Good morning!’ did much to dispel the recollection of the horrors of a bad night. General Johnston married Miss Fell, of Wellington, who died while the Force was in Egypt. A few months ago he married Miss Seaton, to whom we offer our sincere sympathy. (Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F., 5 September 1917, p. 27) AWMM
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Francis Earl Johnston
- New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
Vol1: 372 AWMM
- Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F. AWMM
Obituary: Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F., 5 September 1917, p. 27. AWMM
- NZEF Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra AWMM
- Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2015). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-3). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
Vol. 3: Includes portrait AWMM
- Stowers, R. (2009). Rough riders at war : history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 and information on all members of the 10 New Zealand contingents. Hamilton, N.Z.: R. Stowers. AWMM
|28 October 2017||Jenifer||Wairarapa||Researcher||
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