Gilbert John Johnston, late 2688 Trooper 5th Contingent NZMR and 13/821 Trooper, Auckland Mounted Rifles NZEF
NZMR QSA / NZEF BWM/VM to Gallipoli Casualty
The Queen's South Africa Medal w/four clasps, British War Medal and Victory Medal group to Gilbert John Johnston who served a tour in South Africa with the 5th NZMR Contingent and served on Gallipoli with the Auckland Mounted Rifles, dying of dysentery in August 1915.
Gilbert John Thomas Johnston was born 9th March 1875 at Wellington, New Zealand. Son of John and Fanny Johnston (née Kingsbury). He was selected for service with the 5th NZMR Contingent to South Africa in March 1900. At that time he was working as a bushman at Waitara, and had no prior service in the Volunteers. He embarked on 31 March 1900 and served a full tour. In February and April 1901 he was hospitalised with dysentery. For his service in South Africa he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal w/clasps 'Cape Colony', 'Transvaal', 'Rhodesia', 'South Africa 1901'.
Gilbert enlisted for service during the First World War in December 1914. At that time he was working as a farmer at Pirongia, and he was posted to Auckland Mounted Rifles embarking with the Third Reinforcements. He was posted to his unit on Gallipoli on 30th June 1915, serving until being evacuated off the peninsula on 17th August 1915 suffering from dysentery. It is possible his previous service in South Africa had weakened his resistance to dysentery. Gilbert died whilst on board H.S Andania en route to the UK, and was buried at sea. He is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.
The QSA is correctly impressed 2688 TPR. G.J. JOHNSTON, NEW ZEALAND M.R. and the BWM/VM pair are correctly impressed 13/821 TPR. G.J. JOHNSTON. N.Z.E.F. The star with the group is a genuine but unnamed example. The whereabouts of the original is unknown.