Lieutenant-Colonel T. Pelham Johnson D.S.O., A.S.C.

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    East Suffolk Gazette 25 June 1918

    Lieutenant-Colonel T. Pelham Johnson, who died on active service in France on June 12th, was the youngest son of the late Rev. F. A Johnson, Rector of Stratford St. Andrew, Suffolk, and of Mrs. Johnson, Stratford Cottage, Beccles, and was born at the Rectory, Stratford St. Andrew, on June 16, 1871. His home from his fourth year, the time of the death of his father, was at Beccles. He was educated at Woodbridge Grammar School, Queen’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He passed out of Sandhurst with honours in 1891, and after a few months in Dresden acquiring a practical knowledge of German, he was gazetted to the Bedfordshire Regiment (XVIth), with which he went to India in 1892. He served with Sir Robert Low’s Force in the relief of Chitral, being awarded the Indian Frontier medal with clasp, after the storming of the Malakand Pass and the action near Khar at the descent into the Swat Valley.

    In 1895 he transferred to the Army Service Corps and was stationed at Aldershot. From 1898 to 1903 he was on Staff Service in the Uganda Protectorate, being employed in the opening up of the country consequent upon the construction of the railway from Mombasa. For his services in connection with the Uganda Rising he received the medal with clasp. Later he was Acting Director of Road Transport during the Nandi Punitive Expedition, being twice mentioned in despatches and receiving the British Central Africa medal with clasp. During his stay in Africa, Captain Johnson, as he became in 1900, had many opportunities of big game hunting, and a large elephants tusk, several lion’s skins, and the heads of hartebeestes and other tropical animals were among the trophies he brought back to England.
    In 1901 he married Lilian Dora, elder daughter of the bite Colonel H. Vero Hunt, Indian Staff Corps, by whom he has one daughter, born in 1903. After a period of home service, he was stationed in South Africa at Wynberg and Potchefstroom from 1904 to 1909, obtaining his Majority at the end of this term of service.

    At the outbreak of the Great War, he had been serving for some time in Newcastle and Woolwich. He went to France with the first Expeditionary Force in August, 1914, was in the Retreat from Mona, and took part in the miraculous turn of the tide on the Marne. He was mentioned in Viscount French’s first despatch in October. 1914, and was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in April, 1915. With the exception of a few months spent on Salisbury Plain training the new troops , and short absences on leave, he was at the Front during the whole of the present war, being again mentioned in despatches on January 1, 1916, January 4, 1917, and December 24, 1917. In February of last year he was invested by His Majesty with the D.S.O. About the same time he received from the French Government an award of the Order “Pour le Merite Agricole,” in recognition of his services in safeguarding the interests of French proprietors near the fighting line. At the time of his sudden death he had recently been recommended for promotion as Brigadier-General.

    His General writes: “To me it came as a very great shock. Only the other day I saw him apparently in perfect health. He was laid to rest among many of his comrades who had gone before him as a result of the fighting which has taken place since April in this area. I shall miss him very much. As a soldier he will be most difficult to replace, and as Officer Commanding Train he was beloved by all under him, with the result that the work of the A.S.C. in this division has always been perfection. I
    believe it has never broken down in the greatest strain. Colonel Johnson came out to France with the division, and was one of the few officers left still who had done so. I have seldom met any man so conscientious about the discharge of his duties. He never rested while there was anything to be done by him or that he should see done by others. Only the other day I had a long talk with him about his future, and although he never expressed a wish that I should do so, I wrote a letter to the authorities asking that he might be early considered for a higher appointment, much as I should have regretted losing him. I little dreamt he would be taken so suddenly by the will of Providence.”
  2. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    It sounds as though he died of natural causes, presumably a heart attack. He would have been 47 (younger than I am now).
    It happened, even in war.
  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Wonder if it was the flu ??

    In Memory of
    Lieutenant Colonel THOMAS PELHAM JOHNSON

    D S O

    15th Div. Train, Army Service Corps
    who died age 46
    on 12 June 1918
    Son of the Rev. F. A. Johnson (Rector of Stratford St. Andrew, Suffolk) and Ellen Johnson; husband of Lilian Dora Johnson, of Pavillon Iberia, Menton (A.M.), France.

    Remembered with honour
  4. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    Possibly, but he would have been one of the earliest victims.
  5. Maurits van Eijck

    Maurits van Eijck New Member

    does anyone know if living relatives. I'm attempting at the moment to purchase an old piece of postal history from 1904 that was sent by this officer, Just the envelope
  6. Maurits van Eijck

    Maurits van Eijck New Member

    found the postal piece of Johnson

    Attached Files:

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