John Johnston

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: April 1913
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: K/18697
  • Rank: Stoker 1st Class
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: H.M. Submarine E-30
  • Unit/Ship: Royal Navy
  • Place of Death: Lost at Sea, off Orfordness, Suffolk
  • Age at Death: 28
  • Date of Death: 22.11.1916
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 18

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 1 Melrose Terrace, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Jane Johnston, 1 Melrose Tce, Dundee

  • Father:

    James Johnston, 1 Melrose Tce, Dundee

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Mrs Margaret Johnston of 1 Melrose Terrace, Dundee.

  • Children:

More about John Johnston

John has no known grave but is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was serving aboard H.M. Submarine E-30 which left Harwich on 15th November 1916. She sunk in the North Sea possibly due to a mine off Orford Ness. The minefield was not located until 25th November 1916.

John Johnston   Royal Navy


Information has been received that First Class Stoker John Johnston, second son of Mr and Mrs James Johnston, 1 Melrose Terrace, Dundee, has lost his life while on active service.

Stoker Johnston was 28.  On leaving school he became a telegraph messenger at the General Post Office, Dundee, and while in the postal service he won the cup and three medals for swimming and gymnastics. Emigrating to America, he remained there for five years, and evinced a desire for a naval life.  American friends advised him to join the U.S. navy, but Stoker Johnston replied, “If I sail I sail under my own flag—the Union Jack.”  Returning home, he joined the British Navy, in which he had served for about four years.

Dundee Courier 19th January 1917

John Johnson was the husband of Mrs Margaret Johnston of 1 Melrose Terrace, Dundee. He was a Labourer when he volunteered to join the Royal Navy as a Stoker Second Class in April 1913. After initial Naval training at Portsmouth Naval Base he was drafted to the cruiser HMS Sappho and served in this ship until May 1915. After the outbreak of war in August 1914 the Sappho was initially deployed on patrol purposes, operating north-east of the Shetlands. In October the Sappho took part in Grand Fleet patrols to prevent German interference with a convoy carrying troops from Canada to England. Sappho continued on patrol duties and was placed in charge of four Armed Boarding Steamers, which were tasked with patrolling to the north-west of the Hebrides, stopping merchant ships suspected of carrying contraband bound for Germany. John Johnson volunteered for service in submarines and trained at HMS Dolphin in Gosport. He joined HM Submarine E30 which was lost with all hands in the North Sea and is thought to have been mined off Orfordness, Suffolk on 22 November 1916, in a German minefield which was not discovered until three days later. John Johnson is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie



Information supplied by Gary Thomson, additional information courtesy of Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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