Information by 90th.
Johnson was born 25th April 1850 at Woodlands near Cork , educated at Cheltenham College . Leaving C'ham in Aug 1868 he proceeded to Northgrove House , Southsea , to read for the army examination , and subsequently taking a high place in the list of successful competitors , was appointed , in Feb 1872 to the 97th Regt . Preceeding at once to Sandhurst , he applied himself zealously to the prosecution
of his studies , and , passing out from college at the end of the year , obtained a first class certificate . Joining the 99th Regt - into which he had been exchanged while at Sandhurst - at shorncliffe , he served with it at that station at Ft. George . at the Curragh , at Templestowe and at Chatham , passing most creditably , in the interval , through a course of Garrison instruction , and coming out from the School of Musketry at Hythe with a first class certificate . In Feb 1874 he succeeded to his Lieutenancy,
his commission being antedated in consequence of his success at Sandhurst . While at Chatham he was appointed Instructor of Musketry to his regt - an appointment he held till the time of his death . Dec 1878 Johnson embarked with the regt for Natal , arriving at Durban , immediately proceeded with it to the Lower Tugela Drift , to join the force then being concentrated there with a view to the impending breaking out of hostilities with the zulu's . He was present at Inyezane on the 22nd Jan ( His Clr - Sgt was shot by his side ) and at the subsequent occupation of Eshowe . He returned to the Lower Tugela on the 29th and being soon afterwards the Senior Officer present at Ft. Pearson , commanded at that station for a period of 6 weeks , the Garrison consisting of his own company of the 99th , a party of engineers , a detachment of artillery with two guns and some native troops
His appearance was so extremely youthful as to attract the attention of Lord Chelmesford at this time , and to elicit an inquiry as to what service he might have seen .
On the formation of the Eshowe relief column , Johnson was attached with 5 co's of his regt , to the 1st Bgde , and took part in the last days of march , in the advance of the column to the Gingindlhovu stream . His Capt having been promoted , he was in command of his Co , which , on the night of 1 april , formed one of the outlying picquets , and which , being fired on by the enemy at earliest dawn on the 2nd April , carried into the column the intelligence that the zulus were advancing to attack . No sooner had the scouts and picquets entered the laager than the enemy commenced their desperate onslaught . Johnson , being a skilful marksman , had taken a rifle from the hand of one of the men for the purpose of firing at a concealed zulu who was doing much mischief . An officer of the 99th , who was lying at his side reports that '' He was fighting manfully , as if he were at R.Drift fighting for his life '' . He had fired the rifle several times , when , suddenly placing his hand to his breast , he exclaimesd , '' I'm shot ! '',
and sinking to the ground instantly became insensible . He was at once removed to the hospital tent , and there , after the lapse of some ten minutes , during which he remained apparantly still unconscious , his young life passed away . Lt. Johnson was the life and soul of his regt , which as one of his superior officers declared , could have better spared an older man . The 99th are proud of him , wrote one of his comrades , interpreting the sentiment of all . In addition to his being a thorough soldier , he was an accomplished gentleman , a keen sportsman , and a very straight rider to the hounds . The family to which he belonged is one of the oldest in Cork , having been located in the county for very many generations . One of his ancestors was Governor of Cork in the troubled period of the last century ; and another , Lt - Col Noble Johnson of the 87th Royal Irish Fusiliers , was killed in action at Monte Video in 1805 . It is intended to bring home Lt. Johnson's remains for interment in the old family vault in Cork Cathederal , where a tablet will be erected to his memory . The officers of the 99th have already erected one in Chatham Church ,
and also a monument of grey granite over the grave at Gingindlhovu .