Johnston, Douglas Holden
Warrant Officer Class II (Company Sergeant Major)
No. 6458965, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Died as a result of an accident on Friday 22 December 1939 (aged 24)
Croix Communal Cemetery, Nord, France (Row 16. Grave 5)
Campbell College Belfast
Douglas Holden Johnston was born on 22 May 1915 in Kensington Gardens, Belfast and he was a son of Henry Steer (sometimes Steer) Johnston and Elizabeth Adelaide Johnston (nee Douglas) who later lived at 1 Moira Drive, Bangor. Before that the Johnston family lived in Belfast at Sharrow, Kensington Gardens, Knock and Holmwood, Eastleigh Drive, Ballyhackamore. Henry Steer Johnston was a chartered accountant and he and Elizabeth Douglas were married on 16 July 1912 in St. Mark’s Church of Ireland Church, Dundela.
Henry Steer Johnston drowned in the River Lagan on 8 September 1937; Elizabeth Adelaide Johnston died on 19 May 1957 (aged 85) and she was buried in Grave Z. 97 in the City Cemetery (Glenalina Extension) alongside Commander Montague Gillot Douglas RD, RNR, HMS Conway who died on 30 April 1946 (aged 68).
Douglas Holden Johnston attended Campbell College, Belfast from 1929 until 1932 and after leaving school he joined the Army. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and he died in France on 22 December 1939. He was buried in Croix Communal Cemetery, Nord, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
A HOPE – A CERTAINTY – PERVADES THE AIR,
THE GRAVE IS CONQUERED FOR THE TRUSTING SOUL
His effects amounted to some £175, his shore address was 7 Wellington Terrace, Folkestone in Kent and probate was granted to his mother. A short tribute was published in the March 1940 edition of The Campbellian:
‘It is with feelings of deep regret that we announce the death of Douglas Holden Johnston (late 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers), Warrant Officer (CSM), Field Security Police, which took place as a result of an accident somewhere in France on Thursday 22 December. After leaving Campbell, he followed for some years the course of training for a Chartered Accountant. Early in 1936 he joined the Regular Army where, from all accounts, his cheerful disposition coupled with a determination to succeed won him a wide circle of friends. Having attained the rank of Corporal he was transferred from the Royal Fusiliers to the Field Security Police with the status of CSM which, for a soldier of only 3½ years’ experience was a remarkable achievement, all the more so when one considers the responsibilities attached to this branch of the Service. To his mother and uncle, William Alfred Bathurst Douglas, we offer sincerest sympathy’.
Warrant Officer Class II (CSM) Douglas Holden Johnston (No. 6458965) was 24 when he died, and he is commemorated in Campbell College Belfast.