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Papers belonging to the wider Johnston family and were retained by James Johnston., 19th century, 1920, 1942-1945, 1955-1986.

Identifier: Acc.13818/570-624

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

Major-General James Johnston was born in Edinburgh in August 1939. He was educated at George’s Watson’s College, Welbeck College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, from which he was commissioned in July 1959 into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He underwent postgraduate training at the Royal Military Academy of science and REME Officers School. His training was completed by 1965 and he served several appointments as commanding officer within Germany and the United Kingdom before undertaking further staff level training at Staff College, Camberley from 1970-1972. He then commanded a workshop division in Germany before returning to Staff College as part of the Directing Staff. In 1979 he became a division commander within the British Army of the Rhine. He was based at BAOR for 10 years before leaving his last appointment, Chief Administrative Officer, in 1989. There was a brief interlude in 1985 when he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies to complete senior strategic level training. His final appointment was as Director of Manning was responsible for reducing the overall size of the army during the early 1990s. Upon retiring from active service, Johnston became involved in the Crown Housing Trust as Chairman Designate, a venture set up to run the MOD estates as a private company, the papers from this period are retained within his archive. He was the trustee of several charities. His personal papers reflect his interests in photography, travel and writing. There is also a vast amount of personal correspondence from his many friends and acquaintances.


  • Creation: Majority of material found in 19th century, 1920, 1942-1945, 1955-1986.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


25 Folders

30 Items

Language of Materials


Custodial History

The papers of the Johnston family mainly belonged to Margaret Ritchie and were then in the possesion of James Johnston after the death of his parents.


The papers have been appraised and sifted and those of research value have been retained.

Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700