Peter Johnstone was born in Cowdenbeath on the 30th December 1887 to Parents Thomas and Elizabeth Johnstone. Around 1895 the family moved to nearby Glencraig where Thomas had found work at the new colliery. On leaving school Johnstone joined his father in the Mine whilst also playing for Glencraig Celtic.
Peter made his home with his wife Isa and their children Nelly and Peter at 20 Rose Street Kirkcaldy.
In January 1909 Peter signed for Glasgow Celtic, he made only one appearance in his first season at Parkhead making his debut in a 1-0 defeat to St. Mirren on April 3rd 1909. He soon became a regular in the side and a fans favourite who played 223 times and was one of the players who helped then manager Willie Maley win 6 titles in a row.
He won a Glasgow Cup and Scottish Cup Medal in his first season and he helped push the side to a Scottish Cup victory in the 1911/12 season with a 2-0 win against Clyde at Ibrox. He was converted from the front line to the centre half role in 1913/14.
In season 1913/14 the club won its 3rd league and cup double, Johnstone was in the defensive unit that only conceded 14 goals in the whole season. Peter was part of the team that played Burnley in the missing Ferencvaros Cup. The game ended In a draw with Celtic winning the return. The trophy never materialised.
With the outbreak of war Johnstone helped Celtic win the League title in 1915 and 1916.
On the 11th March 1916 Peter signed up to join the frontline and in the May joined the 14th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. With football still being played, he travelled overnight by train from the south of England to play in the Glasgow Cup against Rangers in September 1916. He would play his last game on October 7th 1916 defeating Clyde in the Glasgow cup final.
Private 285250 Peter Johnstone re-joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders after the final and never returned. He transferred to the 6th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders which moved him closer to the front line quicker.
Peter was involved in heavy fighting to capture a nearby chemical works at the Battle of Arras. The casualty list over the 2 day battle read 43 killed, 26 missing presumed dead and 51 wounded. Sadly, Peter’s body was never recovered and his name is inscribed on Bay 8 of the Arras Memorial to the missing in Fauborg d’Amiens Cemetery.
On 23 May 2015 a memorial to Peter Johnstone was unveiled in his home village of Glencraig, Fife by Lisbon Lion, John Clark, and Fife council Provost (Former Dunfermline player and Manager) Jim Leishman.The memorial was designed and funded by the Peter Johnston Memorial Fund.
John Conway (Celtic Poet) wrote on him in 1913
"A loyal servant you have been
Long may you wear the hoops of green
Your well-kent of old be seen
On our own Paradise. No warmer Celtic heart than thine
Long may your star ascendant shine
Full sure when Celtic made you sign
They booked a prize.”
Peter Johnstone Lodge Shettleston Saint John No.128, Initiated 3rd Sept 1913, Passed 1st Oct 1913, Raised 19th Nov 1913 & Mark 18th July 1914.