AUSTIN, William John

NAME:  William John AUSTIN           

SERVICE NO:  1033

YEAR OF BIRTH:  1895

PLACE OF BIRTH:  Hamilton

DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 10 September 1914

PLACE OF ENLISTMENT:  Morphettville, South Australia

AGE AT ENLISTMENT:  20

UNIT: 4th Field Ambulance, Section B

EMBARKED:  22 December 1914

TROOP SHIP:  TRANSPORT A35 Berrima

FATE:  Died of Influenza – 11 October 1918 – England

William John Austin was the son of a carpenter, Jonathan William Austin and Jane McQueen.  He was born in Hamilton in 1895 and the family lived in Goldsmith Street.  William attended Hamilton State School then moved to Adelaide to take up work for Messrs. Stanley Mullen & Co. as a commercial traveller.  In 1914 William married Gertrude Kirby of Leongatha.

On 10 September 1914, William enlisted at Morphettville in Adelaide and left Australia with the South Australian contingent of the 4th Field Ambulance, arriving at Alexandria, Egypt in early 1915.  The 4th Field Ambulance were part of the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.  It was at Gallipoli, that William was shot in the shoulder, damaging his lung.  It was then persistent health problems began.

On 26 May 1916 while in France, William gained a promotion to Corporal.  Although he had issues with bronchitis and other illnesses, it was found William was still fit for active service and was moved to headquarters in Rouen, France.

Another of William’s family enlisted, his mother’s brother George McQueen, serving with the 14th Battalion.  Lieutenant McQueen of Hamilton was killed in France on 29 March 1917

As the war drew to a close, William was in England and set to return home.  However, he fell ill and was hospitalised with influenza, which claimed his life on 11 October 1918.  He was buried in the Harefield (St Mary) Churchyard in Middlesex England.

 

GRAVE (front left) OF WILLIAM JOHN AUSTIN AT HAREFIELD (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. J00521 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/J00521/

GRAVE (front left) OF WILLIAM JOHN AUSTIN AT HAREFIELD (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. J00521 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/J00521/

ONLINE RESOURCES

Australian War Memorial – Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files – William John Austin

Australian War Memorial – Roll of Honour – William John Austin

Australian War Memorial – WW1 Embarkation Roll – William John Austin

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Harefield Churchyard, England – William John Austin

Discovering Anzacs – WW1 Service Record – William John Austin

Five Months at Anzac: 4th Field Ambulance – Digger History

The AIF Project – William John Austin

The War Graves Photographic Project – Harefield Churchyard, England – William John Austin

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