Author Topic: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson  (Read 692 times)

Offline ValRG

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The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« on: Wednesday 17 April 13 18:07 BST (UK) »
We have been trying to trace more WW1 info re this member of the family for some time. He was born Dec 1890 in Nottingham to William and Mary Ann Johnson. In the 1911 census I think he is at Pembroke Dock as a soldier with the 2nd battalion Welch Regiment. We know he was then involved in WW1 - a picture is attached - the only one we have. Family lore goes that he signed up under a false name, that he survived, returned to Nottingham badly injured with woman and daughter who may go under the name of Agnes Roberts.
My question is - if he was in the 2nd battalion Welch Regiment in 1911 would he have been likely to have stayed with them and gone to war with the same company (he is listed as Walter Johnson in 1911 so no false name there), and is there any way of tracing him from 1911 onwards? 2 of his other brothers were killed and they have been easy to find! - this one is a real brick wall.

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Offline mmm45

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Re: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 17 April 13 20:19 BST (UK) »
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/iexec?htx=View&r=5538&dbid=1262&iid=30850_A000206-00808&fn=Augustus+A&ln=Bridge&st=r&ssrc=&pid=1043556

I know he is West Riding Regiment but this guy was a pre war regular who was also known as W Johnson and was discharged in 1917 ....its just an avenue to explore.
2nd West Ridings were in Dublin on outbreak of war.
He is given as enlisting in 1904 and discharged wounds in 1917 but age is 31 so maybe not your man?

Has he any numbers on the 11 census

Ady
Lowe(Lower Gornall-Castleford)
Blackburn (Castleford)
Sidwell(Ledsham)
Fairburn(Hartshead)
Wood(Liversedge)
Tallon (Whittington Lancs/Hartshead West Yorkshire)

Researching all Great War soldiers from the Spen Valley of West Yorkshire Especially lads from the Cleckheaton Company of 1/4th West Riding Regiment.

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Offline ValRG

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Re: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 17 April 13 20:39 BST (UK) »
Nothing on the census regarding any numbers. Will look into Augustus Bridge but I think pseudonym more likely to be Roberts.
Another snippet is that he was alive in Dec 1915 an in Rouen as he sent a Christmas card from there.

Offline mmm45

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Re: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 17 April 13 21:24 BST (UK) »
Could it be 2270 W Johnson LCpl Welsh Regiment died 21/11/18?
Its a 15 star card

Cant see another card for his British war and victory medals and cant see him on commonwealth war graves either.......mystery?
There is a w johnson who fits this death on BMDs died in Cheltenham Dec quarter of 1918 born 1890
Ady
Lowe(Lower Gornall-Castleford)
Blackburn (Castleford)
Sidwell(Ledsham)
Fairburn(Hartshead)
Wood(Liversedge)
Tallon (Whittington Lancs/Hartshead West Yorkshire)

Researching all Great War soldiers from the Spen Valley of West Yorkshire Especially lads from the Cleckheaton Company of 1/4th West Riding Regiment.

Offline Genie24

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Re: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 20 March 19 18:29 GMT (UK) »
Hi ValRG
This is the very man I am trying to trace. I am helping my 3rd cousin once removed to find her grandfather. She has searched for over 20 years. We are connected through her grandmother and we share great x 3 grandparents but it is her grandfather  Edward Roberts that was the brick wall.
She found a handwritten note by her mother who was the child Agnes (Ann)  Roberts referred to in the post. In is she gives much detail about the family she grew up with. She said their were 7 children 4 boys and 3 girls but there were in fact 9. The 1911 census states that 2 have died.
The siblings I found were:
William 1887-1917 died near Poperinge, Belgium
Elizabeth Kathleen 1888-1940 Nottingham
Harry John 1890-1907 Nottingham
Walter Joseph 1890 - 1918? France
Agnes Mary 1893-1974 Kitchener, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada married Thomas Howard Jarrett
Dorothy Gertrude 1892
Bernard George 1895-1916 France
Mary Winifred 1897-1898 Nottingham
Margaret A 1899

She talks about the aunt who married a Canadian soldier and lived in Trenton, Ontario and another aunt who was in the lace industry. Her details were enough to piece this family together.

My contact always thought this family were named Roberts because her mother and grandfather were Roberts but the note said the parents were Mary Ann ? and ? Johnson which turned out to be Mary Ann Smith and William Johnson. this didn't make sense and we started to think that Edward had been adopted, fostered or just brought up by the family.

Her grandfather 'Edward Roberts' married Annie Burke on 20th June 1914 at Basford Registry Office. His occupation is recorded as Coal Miner but on Agnes's birth certificate, he was a soldier in the 5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment -Coal Miner Hewer. His father(on the marriage certificate)  is recorded as Walter Roberts Commercial Traveller deceased. This is his first name and the occupation is of his natural father.

He enlisted into the Royal Engineers in Barnsley on 19th March 1915 and was formerley 905 York and Lancaster Regiment. 184th Tunneling Coy., Sapper 86672. He was killed in action in Arras on 16th May 1917and is commemorated at Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 8A and 8D

I would like to know more about your connection with this family and how you have this evidence about the name change which explains the difficulty we have had tracing this man. Also about the family lore surrounding this story.

Anderson/Andersson, Imison, Lang, Humble, Mallinder, Brett, Ridley, Ferries, Hall

Offline ValRG

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Re: The Mystery of Walter Joseph Johnson
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 20 March 19 21:29 GMT (UK) »
This is very exciting news. This is not actually MY family, but that of my son-in-law. His great grandfather was  William Johnson who died in 1917 near Poperinge. Several years ago I was contacted by Gord Jarrett in Canada whose grandmother was Agnes Mary Johnson. He had been trying to trace the men in the family who had all tragically died in the war. He had had success with Bernard and William but not with Walter. Between us we have scoured websites looking for more information. It was he who provided the family story of a wife and daughter named Agnes Roberts. But we had never got any further. I shall be sending him your reply and am happy to correspond further with you if you would like to send me a personal message via my username