Driver Lawrence Samuel Johnson

  • Oxford Times, 6 October 1916

T2/016739 Driver Lawrence Samuel Johnson, Army Service Corps (prefixed Royal in late 1918) enlisted with Kitchener's New Army, 9 August 1914 (Oxford Times, 26 September).

He was the first Wheatley man to die on active service, serving with a Labour Company, Army Service Corps. Most of the food, equipment and ammunition for a vast army on widely distant fronts was supplied from Britain. Using horse-drawn and increasingly motorised vehicles, railways and waterways, the ASC managed the logistics of supply and organisation. (Today they form part of the Royal Logistical Corps). In 1914 westerly French ports were safer landing points for supplies and personnel than the Channel ports which faced immediate German threat. Samuel died aged 21 of enteric - typhoid - fever on 21 October 1914 at 9 General Hospital RAMC, Nantes, and was buried in La Bouteillerie Cemetery, Nantes (ref. H. 4. 1).

Born in 1893 in Horspath, he was the youngest of three sons of Thomas Johnson, packer on line and later plate-layer with the Great Western Railway, born in Cowley, Oxford in 1864 and Harriet nee Munt, born in Littleworth the same year. In 1901 the family were living on High Street, in 1911 on Farm Close Lane. He was a brother of Thomas Johnson junior and of Walter Johnson, both of whom also served, and returned. Samuel was a farm carter before enlisting. See also reference to him in the Wheatley in a World at War chapter.

He had lived at 5 Crown Square.

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