Lieutenant William Jeffray Johnstone

Biography of Lieutenant William Jeffray Johnstone

William Jeffray Johnstone was born on 19th June 1897 at 9 Winton Drive, Kelvinside, Glasgow. He was the son of William Johnstone, Justice of the Peace (JP), a corn factor and Mary Lockhart Johnstone, maiden name Jeffray, who were married on 30th June 1890 in Shettleston. The 1901 census details the family establishment at 9 Winton Drive:

  • William Johnstone, Head, 43, Corn Factor
  • Mary Johnstone, Wife, 35
  • William Johnstone, Son, 3
  • Mary McMurtrie, Nurse Domestic
  • Maggie Gilles, Cook
  • Jessie Paton, Table Maid
  • Catherine Munro, House Laundry Maid

William and his brother James attended Kelvinside Academy, Glasgow. He went on to Fettes College, Edinburgh. In both schools he was a member of the OTC and in 1915, when he began his studies at Glasgow University, he joined the University Corps. He was eighteen that autumn and enrolled in classes in Latin and French in the Arts Faculty. A few months later, however, he volunteered for overseas service. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry on 4th December 1915 and served abroad.

He was a Lieutenant when he saw active service in Egypt. He died of his wounds in Israel on 28th December 1917, aged twenty. His heroism was recognised by the posthumous award of the Military Cross (MC) on 4th February 1918. At that time his younger brother was a cadet in the Edinburgh University OTC Artillery Unit and his father was living at Cardowan House, Stepps, a mansion house to the south east of the village, now demolished. His mother died in 1918.



Lieutenant William Jeffray Johnstone
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Fife And Forfar Yeomanry
Degree: Student
Awards: Military Cross (posthumous)
Comments: Killed in action 28 December 1917
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/1072
Photo ID: N/A


Biography: Biographical information contributed by Sheila Stuart and Campbell Provan

University of Glasgow Registry Records

University of Glasgow Roll of Honour Records (GUAS Ref: Ch 4/4/2/3/1072)

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register

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