Difference between revisions of "Nowell Campbell Johnstone"

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==Life & Career==
 
==Life & Career==
Born in Windsor Cottage, Bodmin, Johnstone was the son of a Royal Navy CaptainHe was to become a Physical Training instructor during his time in the Navy.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
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Born in Plymouth, Johnstone was the son of Captain [[Pearson Campbell Johnstone|Pearson C. Johnstone]], Royal Navy of Windsor Cottage, BodminThe younger Johnstone was to become a Physical Training instructor during his time in the Navy.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
He was appointed first to {{UK-Sutlej}} and then to {{UK-Crescent}}, where he assisted the navigator.  Johnstone started his naval career off with a bang in ''Crescent'' when the Admiralty recognized his services in helping to rescue the crew of S.S. ''Clan Monroe'' when she wrecked on 2 July, 1905 off South Africa.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
He was appointed first to {{UK-Sutlej}} and then to {{UK-1Crescent}}, where he assisted the navigator.  Johnstone started his naval career off with a bang in ''Crescent'' when the Admiralty recognized his services in helping to rescue the crew of S.S. ''Clan Monroe'' when she wrecked on 2 July, 1905 off South Africa.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
He was next appointed to the {{UK-Kale|f=t}} on 9 October, 1907 and was there only briefly before being appointed to {{UK-Arun}}.  However, {{CommRN}} [[Alan Cameron Bruce|Alan C. Bruce]], his commanding officer in ''Kale'', reported that the young Sub-Lieutenant was "unsuitable for a destroyer."  This caused the appointment to ''Arun'' to be cancelled in preference to on in the {{UK-Ocean|f=t}} commencing on 14 November, 1907.  In January, 1908, Captain [[Charles Hope Dundas of Dundas|Dundas]] reported that Johnstone's conduct was "satisf<sup><u>t</u></sup> since joining {{UK-Ocean}}.  Not brilliant, but tried to do his duty well.  Ability rather below average."  Dundas was superseded by Captain [[Francis William Kennedy|Francis William Kennedy]] who opined in January, 1909 that Johnstone had improved and was good enough to be made his Lieutenant.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
He was next appointed to the {{UK-Kale|f=t}} on 9 October, 1907 and was there only briefly before being appointed to {{UK-Arun}}.  However, {{CommRN}} [[Alan Cameron Bruce|Alan C. Bruce]], his commanding officer in ''Kale'', reported that the young Sub-Lieutenant was "unsuitable for a destroyer."  This caused the appointment to ''Arun'' to be cancelled in preference to one in the {{UK-Ocean|f=t}} commencing on 14 November, 1907.  In January, 1908, Captain [[Charles Hope Dundas of Dundas|Dundas]] reported that Johnstone's conduct was "satisf<sup><u>t</u></sup> since joining {{UK-Ocean}}.  Not brilliant, but tried to do his duty well.  Ability rather below average."  Dundas was superseded by Captain [[Francis William Kennedy|Francis William Kennedy]] who opined in January, 1909 that Johnstone had improved and was good enough to be made his Lieutenant.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
Johnstone was promoted to the rank of {{LieutRN}} on 30 June, 1911.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
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Johnstone was promoted to the rank of {{LieutRN}} on 30 June, 1911.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
 
On 6 October, 1913, he was admitted to Haslar Hospital and diagnosed with gonorrhea and discharged on the 18th.  However, on 18 July, 1914 he was readmitted for up to three months observation, suffering from neurasthenia.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
 
On 6 October, 1913, he was admitted to Haslar Hospital and diagnosed with gonorrhea and discharged on the 18th.  However, on 18 July, 1914 he was readmitted for up to three months observation, suffering from neurasthenia.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
 
==Great War==
 
==Great War==
The war seemed to prompt his doctors to think him instantly better, as the three months allowed at Haslar were cut right off on 31 July when he was found fit.  He was appointed Lieutenant in Command of the {{UK-Vulture|f=t}} on 16 August, 1914 and would fight in her until January, 1916.  On 30 March, 1915 he was in Chatham Hospital with conjunctivitis, remaining there until April 7th.  A dismal report on him in May from Captain [[Alfred A. Ellison|Ellison]] indicated that Johnstone "appeared to be suffering from effects of constant drinking & quite unfit for command."  He was to be subjected to quarterly reports on his sobriety as a check.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
The war seemed to prompt his doctors to think him instantly better, as the three months allowed at Haslar were cut right off on 31 July when he was found fit.  He was appointed Lieutenant in Command of the {{UK-Vulture|f=t}} on 16 August, 1914 and would fight in her until January, 1916.  On 30 March, 1915 he was in Chatham Hospital with conjunctivitis, remaining there until April 7th.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
 
On 30 June, 1915 he earned the appreciation of the Admiralty for his conduct in handling the mining of the {{UK-Lightning|f=t}}.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
 
On 30 June, 1915 he earned the appreciation of the Admiralty for his conduct in handling the mining of the {{UK-Lightning|f=t}}.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
On 28 April, 1916, he was discharged from his two months in command of {{UK-P25}} and went to the Admiralty. On 3 May, he was appointed to join {{UK-Canterbury}}He received a favourable report on his sobriety in August 1916 from {{UK-Canterbury}}'s captain, [[Percy Molyneux Rawson Royds|Royds]], but this would not prove to be the final word on his drinking.
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He married a woman named Jean Henderson at the Register Office in Sheerness on 13 January, 1916 upon the conclusion of his appointment in ''Vulture''.  WIthin weeks, he was appointed in command of the {{UK-P25|f=t}}, which had just been launched and presumably required a little more time working up.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
On 12 November, 1916 it was recorded that Johnstone had had to be cautioned about his wine bill at the end of August and that it had been reduced to 2/- a day, which improved his performance.  But on 2 December, he was Court Martialed for "willful disobedience" and "ordering a wine steward to enter a glass of port for himself on the account of another officer."  He was sentenced to lose a year of seniority, receive a severe reprimand, and to be dismissed the ship, which occurred on 10 December, 1916 when Johnstone was superseded in ''Canterbury''.  On 12 December, Captain [[Percy Molyneux Rawson Royds|Royds]] summed up Johnstone's limitations: "Promising career has been spoiled by his becoming unable to keep away from drink.  Will drink as much as he is allowed or can get hold of."  On the December 23rd, the wayward Lieutenant was appointed to {{UK-Inflexible}}.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
On 28 April, 1916, he was discharged from his two months in command of {{UK-P25}} and went to the Admiralty.  To this point, his habits had appeared temperate and responsible, with one evaluator spelling it out, "teetotaler."  However, in May, a dismal report from Captain [[Alfred Astley Ellison|Ellison]] indicated that Johnstone "appeared to be suffering from effects of constant drinking & quite unfit for command."  He was to be subjected to quarterly reports on his sobriety as a check.  On 3 May, Johnstone was appointed to join {{UK-Canterbury}}.  He received a favourable report on his sobriety in August 1916 from {{UK-Canterbury}}'s captain, [[Percy Molyneux Rawson Royds|Royds]], but his issues with drink were not over.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
 +
 
 +
On 12 November, 1916 it was recorded that Johnstone had had to be cautioned about his wine bill at the end of August and that it had been reduced to 2/- a day, which improved his performance.  But on 2 December, he was Court Martialed for "willful disobedience" and "ordering a wine steward to enter a glass of port for himself on the account of another officer."  He was sentenced to lose a year of seniority, receive a severe reprimand, and to be dismissed the ship, which occurred on 10 December, 1916 when Johnstone was superseded in ''Canterbury''.  On 12 December, Captain [[Percy Molyneux Rawson Royds|Royds]] summed up Johnstone's limitations: "Promising career has been spoiled by his becoming unable to keep away from drink.  Will drink as much as he is allowed or can get hold of."  On December 23rd, the wayward Lieutenant was appointed to {{UK-Inflexible}}.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
 
Johnstone was superseded in ''Inflexible'' on 13 October, 1917 and went to the {{UK-SirJohnMoore}} where he obtained an evaluation evidently so impassioned that its tiny print cannot be fully read except for "when he gets a chance to take more alcohol than is good for him".  He finally ended up as Physical Training instructor (paid) for the {{UK-CS|9}}, in {{UK-Africa}} and remained in her until she was paid off on 7 November, 1918.  His final evaluation on that day from Captain [[Judge D'Arcy|D'Arcy]] mentions, "is not of temperate habits... wine bill has to be limited."<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
 
Johnstone was superseded in ''Inflexible'' on 13 October, 1917 and went to the {{UK-SirJohnMoore}} where he obtained an evaluation evidently so impassioned that its tiny print cannot be fully read except for "when he gets a chance to take more alcohol than is good for him".  He finally ended up as Physical Training instructor (paid) for the {{UK-CS|9}}, in {{UK-Africa}} and remained in her until she was paid off on 7 November, 1918.  His final evaluation on that day from Captain [[Judge D'Arcy|D'Arcy]] mentions, "is not of temperate habits... wine bill has to be limited."<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
 
==Post-War==
 
==Post-War==
Johnstone was placed on the Retired List on 17 December, 1918 under the [[Order in Council of 13 May, 1901]], with retired pay of 5/- a day.  He  was promoted to the rank of {{LCommRN}} on 30 June, 1919.  In 1927, allegations of fraud he committed against the Boy Scouts' Association and similar allegations were found, semi-officially, to be well founded.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
Johnstone was placed on the Retired List on 17 December, 1918 under the [[Order in Council of 13 May, 1901]], with retired pay of 5/- a day.  He  was promoted to the rank of {{LCommRN}} on 30 June, 1919.  In 1927, allegations of fraud he committed against the Boy Scouts' Association and similar allegations were thought, semi-officially, to be well founded.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
  
Johnstone apparently drowned.  His body was found floating in Falmouth Harbour on 30 June, 1937.  No date of death was stated on his death certificate.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>
+
Johnstone apparently drowned, just as his father had twenty years previously.  Nowell went missing on 20 May, 1937 after taking his sailing boat ''Bessie'' out.  His body was discovered floating in Falmouth Harbour on 30 June.  No date of death was stated on his death certificate.<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref><ref>Additional details courtesy of Richard Taylor of the Orders & Medals Research Society.</ref>
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==
 
{{refbegin}}
 
{{refbegin}}
 
* [http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_rv=simple&_q=ADM+Nowell+Campbell+Johnstone Service Records]
 
* [http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_rv=simple&_q=ADM+Nowell+Campbell+Johnstone Service Records]
{{WP|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowell_Campbell_Johnstone}}
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{{WP|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nowell_Campbell_Johnstone}}
 
{{refend}}
 
{{refend}}
  
 
<div name=fredbot:appts>{{TabApptsBegin}}
 
<div name=fredbot:appts>{{TabApptsBegin}}
 
{{TabNaval}}
 
{{TabNaval}}
{{TabApptsRow|Preceded by<br>'''[[Richard Stirring Robinson|Richard S. Robinson]]'''|'''[[H.M.S. Vulture (1898)|Captain of H.M.S. ''Vulture'']]'''<br>16 Aug, 1914{{NLOct15|p. 399''g''}}|Succeeded by<br>'''[[Roy Gill|Roy Gill]]'''}}
+
{{TabApptsRow|Preceded by<br>'''[[Richard Stirling Robinson|Richard S. Robinson]]'''|'''[[H.M.S. Vulture (1898)|Captain of H.M.S. ''Vulture'']]'''<br>16 Aug, 1914{{NLOct15|p. 399''g''}}<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref> &ndash; 20 Jan, 1916<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>|Succeeded by<br>'''[[John Palmer Landon|John P. Landon]]'''}}
 +
{{TabApptsRow|Preceded by<br>'''New Command'''|'''[[H.M.S. P25 (1916)|Captain of H.M.S. ''P25'']]'''<br>12 Feb, 1916<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref> &ndash; 28 Apr, 1916<ref>Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace.  {{TNA|ADM 196/51.|}} f. 62.</ref>|Succeeded by<br>'''[[Frederick Arthur Pearce Foster|Frederick A. P. Foster]]'''}}
 
{{TabEnd}}
 
{{TabEnd}}
 
</div name=fredbot:appts>
 
</div name=fredbot:appts>
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{{CatPerson|UK|1886|1937}}
 
{{CatPerson|UK|1886|1937}}
{{CatLieutenantCommander|UK}}
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{{CatLComm|UK}}
{{CatBritannia|September, 1903}}
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{{CatBritannia|May, 1902}}

Latest revision as of 20:04, 22 October 2019

Lieutenant-Commander Nowell Campbell Johnstone Royal Navy, Retired (3 December, 1886 – 30 June, 1937) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

His career would be marred by drink and unmet potential.

Life & Career

Born in Plymouth, Johnstone was the son of Captain Pearson C. Johnstone, Royal Navy of Windsor Cottage, Bodmin. The younger Johnstone was to become a Physical Training instructor during his time in the Navy.[1]

He was appointed first to Sutlej and then to Crescent, where he assisted the navigator. Johnstone started his naval career off with a bang in Crescent when the Admiralty recognized his services in helping to rescue the crew of S.S. Clan Monroe when she wrecked on 2 July, 1905 off South Africa.[2]

He was next appointed to the destroyer Kale on 9 October, 1907 and was there only briefly before being appointed to Arun. However, Commander Alan C. Bruce, his commanding officer in Kale, reported that the young Sub-Lieutenant was "unsuitable for a destroyer." This caused the appointment to Arun to be cancelled in preference to one in the battleship Ocean commencing on 14 November, 1907. In January, 1908, Captain Dundas reported that Johnstone's conduct was "satisft since joining Ocean. Not brilliant, but tried to do his duty well. Ability rather below average." Dundas was superseded by Captain Francis William Kennedy who opined in January, 1909 that Johnstone had improved and was good enough to be made his Lieutenant.[3]

Johnstone was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1911.[4]

On 6 October, 1913, he was admitted to Haslar Hospital and diagnosed with gonorrhea and discharged on the 18th. However, on 18 July, 1914 he was readmitted for up to three months observation, suffering from neurasthenia.[5]

Great War

The war seemed to prompt his doctors to think him instantly better, as the three months allowed at Haslar were cut right off on 31 July when he was found fit. He was appointed Lieutenant in Command of the destroyer Vulture on 16 August, 1914 and would fight in her until January, 1916. On 30 March, 1915 he was in Chatham Hospital with conjunctivitis, remaining there until April 7th.[6]

On 30 June, 1915 he earned the appreciation of the Admiralty for his conduct in handling the mining of the destroyer Lightning.[7]

He married a woman named Jean Henderson at the Register Office in Sheerness on 13 January, 1916 upon the conclusion of his appointment in Vulture. WIthin weeks, he was appointed in command of the patrol boat P25, which had just been launched and presumably required a little more time working up.[8]

On 28 April, 1916, he was discharged from his two months in command of P25 and went to the Admiralty. To this point, his habits had appeared temperate and responsible, with one evaluator spelling it out, "teetotaler." However, in May, a dismal report from Captain Ellison indicated that Johnstone "appeared to be suffering from effects of constant drinking & quite unfit for command." He was to be subjected to quarterly reports on his sobriety as a check. On 3 May, Johnstone was appointed to join Canterbury. He received a favourable report on his sobriety in August 1916 from Canterbury's captain, Royds, but his issues with drink were not over.[9]

On 12 November, 1916 it was recorded that Johnstone had had to be cautioned about his wine bill at the end of August and that it had been reduced to 2/- a day, which improved his performance. But on 2 December, he was Court Martialed for "willful disobedience" and "ordering a wine steward to enter a glass of port for himself on the account of another officer." He was sentenced to lose a year of seniority, receive a severe reprimand, and to be dismissed the ship, which occurred on 10 December, 1916 when Johnstone was superseded in Canterbury. On 12 December, Captain Royds summed up Johnstone's limitations: "Promising career has been spoiled by his becoming unable to keep away from drink. Will drink as much as he is allowed or can get hold of." On December 23rd, the wayward Lieutenant was appointed to Inflexible.[10]

Johnstone was superseded in Inflexible on 13 October, 1917 and went to the Sir John Moore where he obtained an evaluation evidently so impassioned that its tiny print cannot be fully read except for "when he gets a chance to take more alcohol than is good for him". He finally ended up as Physical Training instructor (paid) for the Ninth Cruiser Squadron, in Africa and remained in her until she was paid off on 7 November, 1918. His final evaluation on that day from Captain D'Arcy mentions, "is not of temperate habits... wine bill has to be limited."[11]

Post-War

Johnstone was placed on the Retired List on 17 December, 1918 under the Order in Council of 13 May, 1901, with retired pay of 5/- a day. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 June, 1919. In 1927, allegations of fraud he committed against the Boy Scouts' Association and similar allegations were thought, semi-officially, to be well founded.[12]

Johnstone apparently drowned, just as his father had twenty years previously. Nowell went missing on 20 May, 1937 after taking his sailing boat Bessie out. His body was discovered floating in Falmouth Harbour on 30 June. No date of death was stated on his death certificate.[13][14]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Richard S. Robinson
Captain of H.M.S. Vulture
16 Aug, 1914[15][16] – 20 Jan, 1916[17]
Succeeded by
John P. Landon
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. P25
12 Feb, 1916[18] – 28 Apr, 1916[19]
Succeeded by
Frederick A. P. Foster

Footnotes

  1. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  2. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  3. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  4. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  5. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  6. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  7. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  8. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  9. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  10. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  11. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  12. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  13. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  14. Additional details courtesy of Richard Taylor of the Orders & Medals Research Society.
  15. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 399g.
  16. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  17. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  18. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.
  19. Johnstone Service Record, in our PDF for John Gregory Crace. The National Archives. ADM 196/51. f. 62.