2nd Lieutenant John Ritchie Johnstone

Biography of 2nd Lieutenant John Ritchie Johnstone

John Ritchie Johnstone was born on the 22nd of September 1898, and was the fourth child of James Johnstone - an iron merchant - and Mary Ritchie. His parents were married in Glasgow on the 11th of July 1890, and had lived at the family home of 33 Kelvingrove Street since 1891.

John was educated at the High School of Glasgow, before becoming a law student with Finlayson Auld and MacKenzie, at 144 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. During this time he was also a member of the University of Glasgow Officer Training Corps.

On the 14th April 1917, John became a cadet in the Royal Flying Corps at Farnborough, gaining his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant on 25th October 1917, and qualifying as a Flying Officer on 27th February 1918. The Royal Air Force was formed on 1st April 1918 from the RFC and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and John became a founder member. The minimum rank for pilots and observers in the RAF was Lieutenant, and John was quickly promoted in order to qualify. He was initially attached to 31 Training Squadron, Farnborough and on 16th July 1918, by then a qualified pilot, was assigned to 255 Squadron, Pembroke.

John was killed on 14th August 1918, having been lost at sea on an air patrol which took place while the 244 Squadron were involved in anti-U-boat operations. His name is on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, which commemorates almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces whose graves are not known.

John is also included on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, the High School of Glasgow Memorial, and the Ranfurly United Free Church war memorial tablet - his parents having moved to Bridge of Weir shortly before his death.

Summary

2nd Lieutenant John Ritchie Johnstone
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Flying Corps
Degree: N/A
Awards: N/A
Comments: Member of University of Glasgow OTC
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

With thanks to Gordon Masterton for providing us with information for John Ritchie Johnstone's biography. More information is available on the Bridge of Weir Memorial here.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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