S H Fergus Johnston Miscellanea

Scope and Content

The archive contains various items relating to military history collected by Fergus Johnston, including transcriptions from the diary of Brigadier General R B Fell from the period 1878-79; correspondence relating to, and an obituary of the Waterloo veteran Lieutenant Colonel William Tomkinson; a newspaper cutting relating to the 16th Queen's Lancers, and other miscellaneous letters and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Samuel Henry Fergus Johnston was born in 1909 at Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, the son of a congregational minister. He was educated at King George V School, Southport, and went on to receive a first class degree in modern history from Exeter College, Oxford. In 1931 he was elected to the Preston Read University Scholarship, and also to a senior scholarship at Christ Church. He began research into medi-eval history, which led to him acheiving a BLitt in 1933.

In 1934, Johnston joined the history department at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, taking a one year post as a temporary assistant lecturer. He remained in the department until his retirement in 1976, having progressed through every grade of membership, and eventually taking the chair of history in 1967.

Johnston was an excellent lecturer and teacher. He specialised in military history, an interest kindled by his former tutor at Oxford, C T Atkinson. He wrote many articles for Britsih, Irish and Spanish military history journals, concentrating espacially on the campaigns of Marlborough and the Peninsular War. During the Second World War he wrote regularly for The Spectator on military affairs, and he published widely, with his History of the Cameronians, 1689-1910 considered his finest work. He died at Aberystwyth on 16 February 1991, aged 82.

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application by e-mail to: archives@aber.ac.uk or by post to: Aberystwyth University, Archives, Information Services, Llandinam Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB. Tel: 01970 628593.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to Obituaries, 1982-1997, (Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales).

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available on request from Archives staff.

Related Material

The diaries of Lieutenant Colonel William Tomkinson can be found at Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Service.