The AIF Project


Regimental number4446
Place of birthFinland, Russia
ReligionChristian Science
Address288 Spencer Street, West Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation43
Height5' 7.5"
Weight155 lbs
Next of kinBrother, Emil Heinoman Johnson, 36 Kensington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 January 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Orontes on 29 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll21st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Western Front

Found guilty, England, 24 July 1916, of being absent without leave from 2400 hours, 24 July 1916, until apprehended at 2000 hours, 25 July 1916: award, deprived of 3 days' pay, and forfeits 1 days' pay by Royal Warrant.

Proceeded overseas to France from 6th Training Bn, 5 September 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 6 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 19 September 1916; taken on strength of 21st Bn, Belgium, 19 September 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 March 1917; admitted to No 6 Field Ambulance, 22 March 1917 (gunshot wound, buttock); transferred to No 1/1 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station, 23 March 1917; to No 29 Ambulance Train, no date stated; to No 6 General Hospital, Rouen, 23 March 1917; to England, 29 March 1917; to No 1 London General Hospital, 30 March 1917; discharged to furlough, 15 May 1917, and to report to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 30 May 1917.

Classified 'B1A2', 31 May 1917.

Classified 'A3', 7 June 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France from Overseas Training Depot, 5 July 1917; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 6 July 1917.

Rejoined unit, 31 July 1917.

On leave to England, 21 March 1918; rejoined unit, 18 April 1918.

Found guilty, 24 April 1918, of being absent without leave from 0730 hours, 4 April 1918, until 0730 hours, 5 April 1918: award, forfeits 2 days' pay by Royal Warrant.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Statement, Red Cross File No 1440411, 6397 Pte A.W. WALL, 21st Bn, 5 September 1919: 'Early in the morning during the battle of Morlancourt he and his Mate [sic], Jack Arthur[,] were Battalion Snipers, and were attacking the men in the enemy trench, when Johanson was sniped through the head, and was killed instantly, on July the 4th. 1918. I have been with the Battalion three years and knew Johanson very well, and we were great pals. I was present at his burial at a Gully in front of Morlancourt. A cross was erected. He was a Norwegian and known as "Gus", and was with the Battalion in Egypt ... He was a great fellow and the best of mates.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA B2455 7362906: Red Cross File No 1440411

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