1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Edward Johnson

Contributed by: Michael Martin, on 2008-11-07

Edward (Ted) Thomas Johnson
Rank
First Name Edward
Surname Johnson
Year of Birth 1896
Year of Death 1962
Regiment Royal Fusiliers
Place of Wartime Residence Kilburn N.W. London

Edward's Story

Edward (or Ted as he was known to his family) was born in 1896 in Paddington London. In 1912, when Ted was just 16, his father died prematurely at the age of 47. Two years later came the Great War, and Ted's elder brother Harry, who was older than him by just one year and a Territorial Soldier, was mobilised immediately. Shortly after, Ted decided to join him. The next part of Ted's story is taken from The National Roll of the Great War (P.99):

I am not sorry to leave this rotten muddy hole

'Johnson, E.T., Private,3rd Royal Fusiliers. He volunteered in June 1915, and after a short training was drafted to the Eastern Front where he saw much service in the Egyptian Campaign'

In January of 1916 he sent his mother a postcard. It reads:

Mon 17 / 1 / 16

Dear Mother,

A few lines to let you know we are going at 6 oc Tuesday morning, don't worry. Give my love to all at home. I am not sorry to leave this rotten muddy hole, still I should like to have seen Pat and all the kiddies before I went, well Ta Ta now. I'll write again soon.

My best love and kisses to all from Ted.

With best love to all.

xxx

xxx

'Pat' was his brother Harry's nickname. He was on convalescent leave at this time having caught malaria while fighting in the Dardanells, and arrived home in early January, It seems likely that by his own posting Ted was deprived of his last chance of seeing Harry alive, for Harry was recalled in August and was killed by a shell at Givenchy on 30th November 1916.

The National Roll continues:

Later he (Ted) was sent to France, and took part in numerous engagements. Owing to severe illness he was afterwards transferred to the Labour Corps as medically unfit for further active service:

On February 3rd 1917, Ted was among over 100 'wounded heroes' who were “entertained by the Women Munitions Workers of Messrs. C. A. Vandervell's, Acton, at the Central Hall From the group photograph taken at the time it appears that there was more than one young woman for every hero, so I imagine he had a nice time.

The National Roll concludes:

He was demobilised in August 1919, and holds the General Service and Victory Medals.

My mother told me that she remembered how her brother Ted fainted on Mum's kitchen floor the day that he came home from the War, because he was so ill and so weak.

With both his father and elder brother dead, Ted now became the head of the family, and should have returned to a Land Fit for Heroes but I do not think he found it to be so. My mother recalled Ted couldn't seem to get a decent job. I don't know why. He got a job working at Scott's in the Haymarket. Ted worked in the kitchens. He didn't get any proper wages, and neither did the waiters. The waiters depended on tips and paid Ted out of that. It was all wrong. Ted later worked as a Commissionaire.

In about 1922 Ted married Mabel Elizabeth Stanton. They settled in Euston, close by the Station, and had four children. Ted died on 11th October 1962 aged 66 years, and is buried at East Finchley with his wife and their eldest son, Teddy.

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