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Johnston, Henry Halcro

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Johnston, Henry Halcro

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  • Henry Halcro Johnston

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1856-1939

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Born Orkney 1856; died Orkney 1939
Educated at Dollar Academy and the Edinburgh Collegiate School, Henry Halcro Johnston took a degree in medicine at Edinburgh University. While at university he played rugby for Scotland, gaining an international cap in 1877. He served in the Army Medical Department in Mauritius, Sudan, The North West Frontier and South Africa from 1881, rising to the rank of Colonel before retiring in 1913. He was re-employed during the First World War, working in hospitals in Gibraltar, Glasgow and York. With a wide range of scientific and botanical interests, he collected herbarium material and seeds throughout his military service around the world. On returning to Orkney in 1919 he was able to concentrate on the botany of the islands, meticulously collecting and documenting his collections, focusing particularly on the microspecies of Taraxacum and Hieracium. Some of his work was published in the Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. He was an active member of the Orkney Natural History Society and responsible for organising the herbarium at the Stromness Museum. Most of his botanical collections and notes were bequeathed to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists); obituary folder
D.W.

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