Henry Cecil Johnson, aged 31, died at home in Knowle on 22nd February 1919. He is buried in Knowle churchyard and his gravestone notes that he “died from injuries received in the Great War.” He served as a Private with the 1st/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment T.F. from September 1914 until transfer to the Labour Corps in December 1917 and then to the Railway Transportation Service, Royal Engineers in June 1918.
Henry Cecil Johnson was born in Derby in 1887 and was the only child of parents, William Kirk Johnson (a railway agent) and Sarah (née Whitney) who had married in 1884. William and Sarah were both from Leicestershire but by 1891 were living in Yorkshire, moving to Oxford by 1901 and to Knowle by 1911.
The 1911 census shows the family living at Westbourne, Station Road, Knowle with William and Henry both working for the Midland Railway Company – William as a Railway Mineral Agent and Henry as a Railway Clerk. The family remained in Knowle until William’s death, aged 82, in 1935.
Having volunteered for the Army soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, Henry served in France from March 1915 until he became ill in July 1918. After being admitted to hospital he was evacuated to England in August 1918, suffering from weakness and general debility, shortness of breath on exertion and occasional oedema of the leg. He was discharged from the Army on 18th October 1918 as no longer physically fit for service and was awarded a war pension.
Having been discharged from the Army, his death does not appear in official records as a war casualty, although he is listed on the memorial in the Soldiers’ Chapel, Knowle, as well as on the Roll of Honour of the Avenue Bowling Club.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977
Leave a Reply