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Lewis Audley Marsh JOHNSTON, who was from Ballykilbeg, Co. Down, served in a number of positions in the Straits Settlements and in Hong Kong. I have also posted his family tree.
Sharon Oddie Brown, October 6, 2012


1908 October 2. The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advisor.



See also Who’s Who in the Far East 1906-7.


There many friends of the late Mr. Lewis Audley Marsh Johnston[1] who will hear with surprise and regret of his unexpected death at Hong Kong, on September 30, blood poisoning. The cause mentioned, blood poisoning, is somewhat mysterious and we are left in doubt as to whether that was septicemia, tetanus or even possibly plague. When Mr.  Johnston passed through Singapore last outward bound for Hong Kong he looked in the best of health, and it is melancholy to think that he should have died in the prime of life at the age of forty-three with the promise of a successful career in the Colonial service before him.


Mr. L.A.M.  Johnston was appointed by the Secretary of State to the Straits Civil Service as a Cadet on November 1, 1888, the other members of the batch being Messrs. C.O. Blagden (Since retired), A.H. Lemon, L.M. Woodward, W.D. Barnes, and G.A. Hall.


All of these took high places in the examination, Mr.  Johnston and, who was the sixth of the Straits cadets, being eighth in the list. The bulk of Mr.  Johnston service in this Colony was in connection with the General Post Office in Singapore and Penang, although he carried out departmental work in the Resident Counselors Office, Penang, as collector of Land Revenue at Sungei Ujong, as district officer at Alor Gajah, and as land officer at Malacca. During his service in Singapore Mr.  Johnston was a key member of the Singapore Volunteer Artillery, becoming Sergeant of A Subdivision, and subsequently being appointed as Lieutenant in the S. V. A.. Early in 1897 Mr.  Johnston proceeded to Hong Kong on a special mission concerning postal matters, and no doubt it was as a result of that visit that in 1902 he was appointed Postmaster General of Hong Kong, and for a time entered the Legislative Council as Acting Colonial Treasurer.


He was the eldest son of the late William Johnston[2], of Ballykillbeg, M.P. for South Belfast, and Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was B.A.


Mr. L.A.M. Johnston was the last of three Straits Cadets who left this Colony’s service for China. The first was G. J. L. Litton who joined the Consular service, and died in Yunnan a few years ago, Mr. H. H. J. Gompertz who has joined the judicial bench of Hong Kong, and Mr.  Johnston, who has just died as Postmaster General of Hong Kong.


His pleasant Irish temperament made the late Mr.  Johnston one of the most lovable of men. To his intimate friends here, and they were many, he was always “John”, and the news of his premature death comes to all who had the privilege of his friendship with a deep sense a bereavement.


Mr. L.A.M. Johnston married about five years ago when on a visit home to settle his deceased father's affairs, and he brought Mrs. Johnston[3] out with him to Hong Kong. Mrs. Johnston had again just joined her husband after a visit to England, only to lose him immediately after her arrival in Hong Kong. Both in Hong Kong and in the Straits the greatest sympathy will be felt for Mrs. Johnston in her sad loss.


[1] Lewis Audley Marsh JOHNSTON. (1865-1908). Born at Ballykilbeg, near Downpatrick in Co. Down, Ireland. I notice that he married 6 months after the death of his father. Given that his father was such a domineering character, this may be pertinent. . For more family background, see: History of the Johnstones 1192-1909, with descriptions of border life. C.L. Johnstone. WL & A.K. Johnston Limited. 1909. Some pertinent details can be seen on a genforum post.

[2]  William JOHNSTON (1829-1902). His 3rd wife was Georgina Barbara HAY (Younger daughter of Sir John HAY, 7th Baronet.). He was an opinionated and colourful figure.  He was an ultra-Protestant Loyalist who so fervently opposed the legislation which banned Orange Order marches, that he was sentenced to a short jail term as a consequence. He was a lawyer who was subsequently elected as MP for Belfast in 1868, and held the seat for a decade.

[3] Emily Sophia JONES aka JOHNSTON, daughter of Rev. Thomas Jones. Lewis Audley Marsh Johnston, J.P., Postmaster -General, Hong Kong, b. 12 Sept. 1865; m. 26 Jan. 1903, Emily, da. of the Rev. Thomas Jones. SOURCE: The Plantagenet roll of the blood royal; being a complete table of all the descendants now living of Edward III, King of England



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