Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

In pictures: Johnston's war

Alexander Johnston

Letters and a telegram chart the life of young RAF flying officer Alexander Johnston from school to death over the Mediterranean.


Mr Johnston's uncle Alexander Legg died in hospital of wounds suffered during World War I.


A star pupil at New Deer School, Mr Johnston won a bursary allowing him to study at the University of Aberdeen.

School and university medals

Mr Johnston's medals from school and a gold medal for languages which he won at university.

Faculty of Arts guide

Scribbled notes on the top right of his Faculty of Arts guide for 1941-42.

Exam paper

One of Mr Johnston's exam papers in German.

RAF letter

The letter welcoming Mr Johnston to service in the RAF.

RAF line-up

The young flying officer pictured third row, far right, while training in South Africa.

Cover of a menu for a mess dinner

The cover of a menu for a mess dinner.

Messages inside menu

Messages scrawled inside the menu, including "Come on, show a leg", which pokes fun at Mr Johnston's middle name Legg.


The telegram breaking the news to his parents that he was missing.


A senior RAF officer later wrote to the Johnston family. In one line, he said it would be unfair to raise hopes of him being alive.

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