Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Clarence Woods Johnston (1888-1949)

Physician and surgeon.

Born at Newmarket, Ontario on 19 November 1888, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Johnston, the family came to Manitoba and farmed near Morden. He taught school in early life and graduated with a medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1914. He established a practice at Manitou and, soon after, joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CAMC) in January 1916, going overseas in February 1916, and arriving at the Ypres front in France in April 1916. He was drafted to the 10th Field Ambulance and served as Medical Officer with various battalions at Ypres, Somme, Vimy, Passchendaele and Last Hundred Days. He was awarded the Military Cross at Ypres in 1916. He returned to Canada and was attached to the Tuxedo Military Hospital at Winnipeg, and was discharged in July 1919. He moved to Elkhorn in November 1919 and took over the medical practice of the late Dr. Robert Goodwin. He served as a coroner for Manitoba, and was a member of the Canadian and Manitoba Medical Associations.

On 20 December 1920, he married Jean Campbell Gillespie (1893-?) of Daysland, Alberta. They had four children: Lorne Johnston (1922-1923), Inez Johnston (b 1923), Douglas Johnston (b 1925), and Margaret Johnston (b 1926). He served as Mayor of Elkhorn from 1938 to 1947 and was Chairman of the Elkhorn School Board for several years. He was a member of the AF & AM and the Elkhorn United Church.

He died at Elkhorn on 13 October 1949 and was buried in the Elkhorn Cemetery.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“Dr. C. W. Johnston,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 1949, page 19.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

Steel and Grass Roots, 1882-1982: History of Elkhorn by Elkhorn and District Historical Society, 1982.

We thank Darryl Toews for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 August 2016

Memorable Manitobans

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