Tag Archives: James Johnson

James Johnson of Devoran WW1 casualty update



James Johnson, Maala Cemetery, Yemen;  Photograph courtesy of the War Graves Photographic Project.


Received today in time for our Names on The Roll talk Friday 1st July at the Devoran Village Hall are these photographs from the wonderful volunteers at The War Graves Photographic Project,  showing interesting details of James Johnson’s grave in Maala Cemetery in Aden  / Yemen.

Aden  is  where James died in April 1915 during the fight against the Ottoman Turks, hundreds of miles away from home and family in Devoran.

Not the usual white CWGC gravestone, it looks as if his original headstone “erected by his comrades as a token of esteem” has been incorporated into his grave block of “concrete and marble” so not needing the contract for the standard headstone. (The Imperial / Commonwealth War Grave Commision documents notes for Johnson that “The headstone for this grave is not included in the contract.”)

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CWGC source


Next of kin is here listed as Mr. A Johnson – maybe a typing error for his wife Alice Johnson, Belmont Terrace, Devoran?

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CWGC source


Maala Cemetery lies in Yemen, a country that the Foreign Office currently (2016) advise caution against  visiting due to regional unrest since 2011, so it is excellent that the volunteers of the TWGPP have provided such images.

CWGC notes that “The war graves, which are scattered in the different denominational plots among those of civilians, are marked by headstones or private memorials and surrounded by kerbs filled with coral chippings. Many of the graves of the 1914-1918 War have also been kerbed in conformity with the general design of the cemetery.”

It gives further interesting information such as his Company,  A Company 1st / 4th Battalion DCLI (the ‘4th battalion’ whom he volunteered for alongside several other Devoran men and served with in India, then Aden / Yemen). Even more interesting is the inscription “Who Died of Dysentery at Aden 12th April 1916 Aged 38 years”.

So we have a cause of death from disease in active service  rather than wounds or combat. 


Jmaes Johnson’s garve, image source: The War Graves Photographic Project

Maala Cemetery,  CWGC Register showing several other deaths of highest to lowest ranks dying from dysentery and sickness. Several other Cornish names or DCLI soldiers (Sergeant J Bath and Private P. Common) are buried in this cemetery and included on this range of documents.

cwgc register


General scene shot from TWGPP website at Maala Cemetery showing the usual CWGC headstones for some graves.

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Maala Cemetery,  The War Graves Photographic Project

Interesting information on James Johnson from previous blogposts:


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Devoran war memorial, names A to J , First World War

Posted on the date of the centenary of his death 12 April 1916 / 2016:


James Johnson mentioned as an early 1914 volunteer:



The final words we would all share for James Johnson  lying  so far from his home village of Devoran and his family, lying as he does in a far off and a war-torn region still, “Peace Perfect Peace”

James Johnson, Rememberd


Remembering James Johnson DCLI of Devoran died 12 April 1916

Private James Johnson of Devoran died in Yemen on 12 April 1916, serving with the 1/4 Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

Private James Johnson, 2753, 1/4 Battalion, DCLI (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) died on 12 April 1916. He is buried at D76, Maala Cemetery, Yemen, suggesting he died defending Aden against the Turks.

His battalion served in India 1914–1916, in Aden from 1916–1917 before serving a(fter Johnson’s death) in Egypt 1917–1918.

Maala Cemetery, Yemen

James Johnson of Devoran and Falmouth lies buried in Maala Cemetery, Yemen (Image cwgc.org website)

Johnson was posthumously awarded the standard Victory and British War Medal.

Born in Falmouth around 1879, he was listed on Soldiers Who Died in the Great War as resident in Devoran. The CWGC website lists him as the husband of Alice Johnson, Belmont Terrace, (Trevoran – CWGC spelling mistake) Devoran, Truro.

James Johnson, like others in his Falmouth extended family, was a House Painter.

In 1901 the couple were living in 55a Killigrew Street, Falmouth.

In the 1911 census, James and Alice (b. 1879, Perranwell /Perranarworthal) had been married 11 years and were living at Carnon Gate with their two children Charly / Charles Johnson b. 1901, Perranwell / Perranarworthal and Cathleen Johnson, b.1909, Falmouth. 2 others of their children died young.

The ‘hidden’ or first draft 1914-1916 panel  of the Devoran Parish Roll of Honour lists him amongst the 1914 enlistments or volunteers.

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Devoran war memorial, names A to J , First World War

https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/devoran-first-world-war-casualties-d-to-j/ or James Johnson on Devoran War Memorial WW1 section

James Johnson and family, remembered in his home village of Devoran.