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85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) CEF


Photos and Photo Postcards - WW1 - Canada - 1915 to 1916


Panoramic Photo 

This section contains one large panoramic photo of "B" Company, of the 85th Battalion, taken in Halifax, NS, during the winter of 1915-1916, before the unit went overseas. 

Click or tap on the image below for a high resolution, expandable image. Use your back button to return to this page.


"B" Company

85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders)

Halifax, NS

Winter, 1915-1916

In the front row, 25th from the left, is the commanding officer of "B" Company, Major John George Johnstone. In the centre of the photo, in the background, is Citadel Hill.

John George Johnstone was born in Halifax, NS, and was an accountant in civilian life. He spent 25 years in several different Nova Scotia pre-war militia units including the 94th Victoria Regiment "Argyll Highlanders" in Cape Breton. In October, 1915, at the age of 51, he enlisted in the 85th Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) with the commissioned rank of major. In January, 1916, he transferred to the newly formed 185th Battalion (Cape Breton Highlanders) to become their second in command. John went overseas with the 185th Battalion but was transferred to the 193rd Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) shortly after their arrival in England. Upon the disbandment of the 193rd Battalion, John served in the 17th Canadian Reserve Battalion (part of the time as its commanding officer), the Nova Scotia Regimental Depot and was attached to the office of the High Commissioner for Canada in England. He was also seconded for four months to the Headquarters of 4th Army in France. He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis while overseas and spent time in the hospital. He survived the war.

Photographer:  MacLaughlan, Halifax, NS
Ref. Number:  0-4 (11-4-1-1.2)
Image Information:  Scan of original photo
Source:  Robert MacLellan Collection

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