The son of Thomas Binnie and Mary Chalmers (Steel) Ralston, 2nd Lieutenant John Steele Ralston, of the Scottish Rifles, Territorial Force, was appointed Flying Officer and seconded to the Royal Flying Corps on 12 June 1917. With 84 Squadron in France, he scored twelve victories flying the S.E.5a.
Listed as John Steele Ralston in the London Gazette DFC citation.
Military Cross (MC)
"2nd Lt. John Steel Ralston, Sco. Rif.
For conspicuous gallantry in action. He carried a wounded man 100 yards across the open under heavy fire. He has displayed great courage and coolness throughout the operations."
Lieut. (T./Capt.) John Steele Ralston, M.C.
(Scottish Rifles, T.F.).
An intrepid patrol leader who in recent operations has accounted for three enemy machines and three kite balloons. Recently while on patrol he advanced to attack a kite balloon; on his approach the balloon party began to haul it down, but forcing home his attack, he shot the balloon down in flames. In the engagement this officer was seriously wounded. Suffering great pain, he flew back to our lines and tried to land, but fainted and crashed.