Austins of Oakengates

Three brothers Edwin, Harry and Frederick Austin all served in WW1. Sadly only one of them, Frederick, survived. The photographs above are of Harry and Fred.

Private Edwin Austin (6th Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry) sadly was killed in action at Ypres on 22 August 1917 aged 28yrs and is remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial near Passchendaele.

Private Harry Austin (17th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers) sadly was killed in action at Flanders on 31 July 1917 aged 24yrs and is remembered at Ypres on the Menin Gate Memorial.

Frederick Austin the youngest brother wrote the letter you can see here from Australia after escorting some German prisoners there. The letter written on 13 February 1916 was to his sister Annie (my grandmother) then living in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Frederick would have been aged 20yrs at the time.

Fred, thankfully, survived the war and my Dad often told me how on one occasion, after an attack on the Germans, Fred was left stranded in no-man’s land, in a shell hole, for a few days. How he survived and managed to re-join his regiment, I don’t know.