Hugh M. Luttman-Johnson (sometimes Johnson, Hugh M. Luttman) passed the examination for the Survey Certificate of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1893 and two years later qualified as a land surveyor. He continued his studies at the South African College, Cape Town, from 1895 to 1897 and in the latter year passed the first examination in Mining of the University of the Cape of Good Hope. While a student at the College in 1896 he undertook a survey of the Cango Cave, near Oudtshoorn, which had then been explored as far as the Banquetting Hall. The resulting "Sketch plan of the Cango Cave (in colour)" was published in the (first) Annual Report of the Geological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope for 1896. The same report contained "Notes on the Cango Cave", by G.S. Corstorphine*.
Luttman-Johnson continued his studies and passed the university's final examination for the Diploma in Mining Engineering in 1902. By 1903 he had moved to Johannesburg, where he became a member of the Geological Society of South Africa. The next year he contributed "Notes on the geology of the Fortuna Valley, Heidelberg, Transvaal" to the society's Transactions (1904, Vol. 7, pp. 136-139). This was followed by a second paper, "On sections of a borehole near Viljoens Drift" (Proceedings, 1905, Vol. 8, pp. 45-46). In 1908 he participated in the discussion of a paper by F.P. Mennell* on the Rhodesian diamond fields. He kept up his association with Corstorphine, for in 1907 they presented the South African Museum in Cape Town with an extensive collection of Transvaal rocks and minerals. The next year Luttman-Johnson followed this up with the donation of a glaciated pebble from Fortuna Station (between Heidelberg and Balfour).
From 1914 or earlier to at least 1919 he resided in Petworth, Sussex, England. During World War I (1914-1918) he served as a temporary lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. In May 1918 he relinquished his commission as temporary captain on account of ill-health caused by wounds and was granted the honorary rank of captain. He was still a member of the Geological Society of South Africa in 1919.