Son of Major Preston, Swainston, Dunsany, co. Meath. b. 1885.
Army IV—I. School Prefect. Head of House. XL Cricket and Football.
3rd Durham L.I. 1904; Royal Dublin Fusiliers 1907; Captain 1914. Despatches.
'As Head of his House he proved a real leader, and put the greatest enthusiasm into all which he undertook.
At the outbreak of war he was ordered to Naas and afterwards to the Curragh, to raise the 6th Service Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, with which he proceeded to the Gallipoli Peninsular on July 9th. He took part in all the heavy fighting at Suvla Bay until August 15th, when he fell in the moment of victory.
An officer of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers wrote: "When the word came that we were to clear the ridge we fixed bayonets; then we all started together, Dublins and Munsters, John (Captain Preston) shouting 'Come on, boys.' They (the Turks) threw bombs and opened fire upon us as we neared the top, but we went straight on and rushed the trench. The Turks put up their hands. I saw John stop his men who were just going to bayonet a Turkish officer. As you know, he was my best friend, and was loved by everyone in the regiment, officers, N.C.O.'s, and men."' (Malvernian, Dec 1915).