Photographed at the Dease Studio, 117 Barrack Street Perth WA
Image courtesy of the State Library of Western Australia: 108040PD

Rank: Driver

Regimental Number: 31671

Place of Birth: Cue, Western Australia

Address: George Street, Queens Park, Perth, Western Australia

Next of Kin: Father, Mr W A Johnstone,
George Street, Queens Park, Perth,
Western Australia, Mother, Laura

Enlistment Date: 27 June 1916

Unit Name: 10th Field Artillery Brigade

Date of Death: 31 July 1977

Cause of Death: Not Known. He was 77 years old

Place of Death: Coolbellup, Perth,
Western Australia

Year of Photo: 1919

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Archibald Johnstone, pictured back left, lived with his parents in George Street, Queens Park, Perth. He was a bugler and at just 16 is one of the youngest lads featured here enlisting with his parents’ permission in June 1916. Assigned to the 38th Battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade as a driver, he went to Melbourne for further training and from there to England in February 1917. He reached the front in June, still aged only 17. He served throughout the rest of the war with the Field Artillery - safely but not unscathed. In February 1919, three months after the war ended he was admitted to hospital with debility, often a euphemism for shell shock and returned to Western Australia on 3 May aged 19. In 1938 Archibald (then 38) married Edna Tanner (26). They lived in Fremantle and Archibald worked variously as a general labourer and furnace man. He died in 1977 aged 77. Edna having predeceased him in 1960. Archibald’s mother, Laura, is seated in front of Archibald. She is dressed in the unrelieved black of widowhood for Archibald’s father William had died in April 1918. Laura was a well known comic actress and dancer under her maiden name Laura South and was the daughter of another famous Australian stage actress. Fanny Wiseman. Seated front right is Laura’s oldest daughter, Archibald’s older sister, Esther (21) known as Essie. Behind her is the first of her three husbands, Bill O’Reilly (38). Bill had enlisted in WWI in March 1915 and served as a driver in the 5th Divisional Train. He returned to Australia in February 1919. Despite Essie having promised herself to her sweetheart, John Flowers who was still away at war. Bill and Essie were quietly married at Mundijong on 22 May 1919. This is their wedding photo. However, with Bill’s divorce from his first wife Maud not yet final Bill and Essie were charged with bigamy. Essie pleaded ignorance and though the judge doubted that was the case. She escaped formal punishment. After three months of indifferent treatment from Bill, she divorced him in September 1919 with Maud testifying on her behalf. Bill was then arrested in Yarloop on the bigamy charge in November and pleading guilty was sentenced to three months which he served in Fremantle prison. In 1922 Essie’s wartime sweetheart, John Flowers, forgave her her fickle heart and they finally married. But in 1926, according to the headlines in Truth 24 April 1926, “Then She Ran Off with Jimmy Hale, the Vaudeville Man (She Did Not Love Flowers)