About Frank William Frederick Johnson
FreeBMD entry - SepQ 1866 Johnson Frank W F - Downham 4b 332
Born in 1866, son of a doctor in Norfolk.
In 1887 he went up with Maurice Heany, on behalf of a Cape company, to ask Lobengula for a gold concession, and made an exploratory visit to the Mazoe country.
Johnson was recruited by Rhodes in 1889 aged only 23 - and was contracted to build a wagon road from Palapye to Mount Hampden, about 12 miles from the present day Harare. The idea was that he would recruit a corps of settlers, enlisted temporarily under semi-military discipline, who after disbanding would colonise the country. The contact was signed on 1st January 1889 and recruitment started immediately.
The column left Tuli obn 11 July 1890 and travelled 400 miles of unexplored, trackless country. Johnson was accompanied by Frederick Courtney Selous as guide. The British flag was raised at Fort Salisbury on 12th Sept.
When the Pioneers disbanded in Salisbury, Johnson went into business there.
He was created a K.B.E. in 1941. He took a keen interest in Rhodesia all his life, but retired to the Channel Isles for health reasons. He died in England in 1943, having narrowly escaped the Germans when they occupied the islands in 1940.
There is a very good summary of his career at -
In June 1927, the Progressive Party in Southern Rhodisia was formed by Harry Bertin, Robert Alexander Fletcher, Robert Dunipace Gilchrist, George Edward Gilfillan, Francis Leslie Hadfield, Frank William Frederick Johnson, John Louis Martin, Frederic Philip Mennell and Sir Ernest William Sanders Montagu. This party campaigned for a pro-white immigration policy, the development of Matabeleland, and establishing African reserves. It was opposed to monopolies, and sought reform and depoliticisation of the Civil Service.