Captain Robert Johnston

Imperial Light Horse

21st October 1899, Elandslaagte.
Robert Johnston VC
    Robert Johnston, Capt., and Charles Herbert Mullins, Capt., Imperial Light Horse. On the 21st Oct. 1899, at Elandslaagte, at a most critical moment, the advance being momentarily checked by a very severe fire at point-blank range, these two officers very gallantly rushed forward under this heavy fire and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement which decided the day to be carried out. On this occasion Capt. Mullins was wounded.

    London Gazette, 8 March, 1901." War Office, 8 March, 1901. The King has been graciously pleased to signify His intention to confer the Decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officer, whose claim has been submitted for His Majesty's approval, for his conspicuous bravery at Korn Spruit, as stated against his name."

    Robert Johnston was born 13 Aug. 1872, son of Robert Johnston, Q.C., of Lapina, County Donegal. He was educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and joined the 5th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 1890-94. He served in S. Africa 1899-1901, and was dangerously wounded in the Siege of Ladysmith. He won the Victoria Cross at Elandslaagte, and also received the Queen's Medal and bars and King's Medal for his services in this campaign. The Imperial Light Horse vas recruited mostly from men from the gold mines of the Rand, and was commanded by Colonel Chisholm and Majors Karri Davis and Sampson, the last two being well known in connection with the Jameson Raid. His Victoria Cross was gazetted 12 Feb. 1901. In 1902 he was Commandant at a concentration camp at Middelburg. In 1903 he was District Commissioner on the Eastern Transvaal. In 1911 he joined the Irish Prison Service. He was Commandant of the Prisoners of war at Oldcastle 1914-15, and was appointed Governor of His Majesty's Convict Prison at Maryborough in 1915, but again seconded for prison service in 1916 to resume duty at Oldcastle. Appointed a Resident Magistrate, Ireland, 1918. Major Johnston vas in the Irish Rugby XV. in 1893, and in the English Rugby XV. in South Africa in 1897. He is very fond of fishing and golf.


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