No. 192792, HMS Monmouth, Royal Navy
Killed in action on Sunday 1 November 1914 (aged 35)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 1)
In naval records it is recorded that Able Seaman Samuel Johnston (No. 192792) was born on 14 June 1880 in Newtownards and, after he was killed, it was reported in the Press that his wife Maria was living at 4 Victoria Terrace, Donaghadee.
Samuel Johnston was born on 25 August 1879 in William Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Samuel and Mary Ellen Johnston (nee Cleland, sometimes Clelland) who were married on 23 November 1869 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. Samuel Johnston (aged 22), a stonemason from Cottown, Bangor, was a son of John Johnston, a stonemason. Mary Ellen Cleland (aged 20) from Herdstown, Donaghadee was a daughter of James Cleland, a farmer.
Samuel and Mary Ellen Johnston (nee Cleland) had at least two children:
Samuel (born 25 August 1879 in William Street, Newtownards)
James (born 25 March 1884 in Ballymagee Street, Bangor)
Samuel Johnston and Maria Davidson were married on 3 January 1913 in Donaghadee Methodist Church. Samuel Johnston, a sailor from Primrose Street, Bangor was a son of Samuel Johnston, a bricklayer. Maria Brown Davidson from Edward Street, Donaghadee was a daughter of James Davidson, a fisherman.
It was also reported in the Press that Samuel Johnston had 17 years of naval experience when he was killed in action on 1 November 1914 at the Battle of Coronel in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Chile.
In this battle HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope both sank with a combined loss of some 1,570 lives. There were no survivors from either ship.
When Samuel Johnston died, his wife Maria was living at 4 Victoria Terrace, Donaghadee.
Samuel Johnston’s nephew, Able Seaman John Johnston (No. D/JX 619483) died of disease on 26 June 1947 and is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.