JOHNSTONE William Alfred


Date of Enlistment 15/05/1915
Occupation Printer
Age on Enlistment 29
Unit 28th Battalion, C Company
Fate DEB
Date of Fate Event 14/10/1917
Returned to Broome post WWI Yes
Other Information Journalist with the Nor West Echo
Private W.A. Johnstone writes us from Gallipoli, under date of Nov. 6 last:… I have now been here eight weeks, and have had some peculiar experiences. Some of the Broome boys have been transferred to various sections since I last wrote. Donald McDonald is in the artillery, and Harvey and I are with the machine guns. Bill Barnsley had his head blown off by shrapnel and Harold Caporn was shot dead while on patrol duty. Bob Paton, Ted. Norman, and Andy Ferguson are well…The weather is bitterly cold for a few days, and then changes, but we are told the real winter is a corker. Talk about cold feet, we all have them now — not the sort that some of the boys have who stayed behind ; they are all wanted here, and the sooner they come and do their bit the sooner it will be over, and they will not regret it afterwards, either. Reading matter of any kind would be greatly appreciated by the Broome boys, it is very scarce, Thanks for the Echo, I pass it round. Paddy Bell has received another rise to R.Q.M. in the 28th. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Institute to send a bundle of papers occasionally. Please remember me to all my friends. Billy Hill, reported missing, has turned in hospital at Egypt.North West Echo, 22nd Januray 1916


Sergt. Will A, Johnstone (erstwhile of this office) writes from “the field” in France to the editor of the Echo – I am keeping in the best of health. There is a great scarcity of Broome boys here at present – they seem to have disappeared, killed or wounded. We have been having a very rough time lately, and are starting to feel the cold weather. I am machine gun sergt. in the 2nd pioneer battalion, and am getting along Al. Remember me to all my friends in Broome. Indications at present here seem to indicate that the war will be finished by Xmas. I hope this is true, as things are very hot in the firing line at present; in fact, it is marvellous how one can go through it alive with shells of all descriptions falling around us, and two or three kinds of gas. My only misfortune up to date is that I was slightly gassed on one occasion, and, take it from me, 1 don’t want another dose. Kindly send a few papers to No. 1092, Sergt. W. A. Johnstone, machine gun section, 2nd pioneer battalion, Australian headquarters, France, Sept. 2, 1916.North West Echo, 4th November 1916