Serial No. 2961
4th Battalion & 56th Battalion
Adolf Johnston - Information
Adolf Johnston was born and raised in Leumeah by his mother Elizabeth. In 1911, Elizabeth remarried Richard Thorne in Hay, making a new life at The Rocks on Guernsey Ave. Adolf was still living in Leumeah and working as a labourer when he enlisted in the AIF. He joined up on the 2nd of August 1915 in Liverpool aged 22.
Adolf was then shipped overseas, sailing from Sydney on the 30th of September 1915 upon the HMAT Argyllshire. In mid February, Adolf was transferred from the 4th to the 56th Battalion and sent to France to meet them. Adolf was proving to be an excellent soldier, as a result, he was promoted to Lance Corporal in March, and Corporal and Temporary Sergeant in April. The 56th Battalion was prepared for the Western Front in a quiet section of the line, known as The Nursery. On the 19th of July, they would be involved in their first major assault. Designed to straighten out a salient, and occupy German forces from the Somme, the 56th rushed the Germans at Fromelles. The attack was not successful, resulting in many casualties. In 1917, after the Battalion recuperated and replenished the ranks, they were ordered to chase the Germans as they were withdrawing to the Hindenburg Line. During these attacks on the 16th of May, Adolf was wounded in action hit in his back and neck. He recovered in Havre, and returned to his unit by the end of June. However, his back wound continued to cause him pain and he was readmitted to hospital in Rouen and later invalided to England. Adolf was feeling better in the new year and by February 1918, he departed Southampton to return to the frontlines, reuniting with his brother, Charles, whom had been posted to his unit. Shortly after he returned, Adolf was wounded a second time on the 24th of April protecting Villers-Bretonneux. He received a severe gun shot wound to his right thigh which fractured the femur. He was rushed to hospital, and then evacuated back to England in August. Adolf’s leg was badly damaged and he was consequently invalided home on the 20th of November 1918. When he returned to Australia, his leg was still requiring treatment.