Lance Corporal Joseph Austin was killed in action on 19th August 1918 whilst serving with the 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), having previously been in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Born in Marston Green in 1898, Joseph was the eldest of the four children (three sons, one daughter) of parents William Henry (a railway platelayer) and Sarah (née Breakwell) who had married in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire in January 1898. The couple set up home in William’s birthplace of Marston Green and, in 1901, were living in Malthouse Row with William’s widowed mother, Ann. The family appears to have lived in the same street until at least 1939.
Joseph’s mother, Sarah, died in 1917, aged 48. His widowed father married widow Cicely Thompson (née Oakley) in 1919 and died in 1949.
We don’t have any information on Joseph’s military service although, presumably he was called up for service soon after his 18th birthday in autumn 1916. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and is commemorated locally at Marston Green and Bickenhill. His younger brother, Will (1900-1976) and John (born 1901) were too young to have seen active service in the war.
If you have any further information on the family, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977