Samuel Johnson


Rank Lieutenant
Service No. 9509
Date of Death 24/09/1918
Age 37
Regiment Royal Field Artillery. Attached 303rd Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Award Military Cross
Cemetery Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, France. It is located on the road from Arras to Cambrai, and contains 2,369 burials and commemorations of the First World War.


Samuel was born at 4 Free School Lane, Cambridge on 22nd December 1880. His parents were Frederick George Fitzjohn (b.1841) and Mary Ann Johnson (b.1844), nee Chapman. His father was a banker manager and insurance agent. He was educated at King’s Grammar School, Ely (yet his name is not listed on the school’s war memorial). He had one sister, Kate (b. 1876).

At the time of the 1901 Census, Samuel was living with his parents and sister, a school governess, at 81 High Street, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He was employed as a bank clerk. On 30th August 1906, he married Mary Elizabeth Johnson (b.1881), nee Fife, at Stevenage Parish Church. They had two children, Thomas Jeffrey (b. 1st June 1907 in Hitchin) and George Philip (b. 18th February 1914 in Finchley and baptised in St Luke’s by the Vicar on 23rd March 1914).

At the time of the 1911 Census, Samuel was living with his wife, first son and a domestic servant at 59 Ickleford Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. He was employed as a bank clerk with Barclays Bank. Before the war he served for 3 years with the 1st Cambridge Volunteer Reserve and 3 years with the 1st Herts Volunteer Reserve (a Battalion of the Bedford Regiment) and was then a member of the National Reserve.

Samuel enlisted into the London Regiment on 12th October 1914 and transferred to the Hon Artillery Company on 12th March 1915. He was discharged on appointment to a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force) on 25th July 1915. His application for a commission was supported by the Vicar of St Luke’s Finchley who said he had known him for 2 years. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 11th July 1916.

Samuel was killed in action.  He was awarded his Military Cross posthumously on 13th January 1919 for his consistent display of courage, energy and determination whilst serving as liaison officer between his battery and the infantry. He was often under heavy fire and often visited the front lines in search of information that frequently proved valuable.

At the time of his death, Samuel’s address was "Cremond," Windermere Avenue, Finchley. He left his estate of £1,486 6s 2d, to his widow.