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55837: Photograph of Thomas Richard Austin

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posted on 2024-02-23, 22:48 authored by Great War Archive Project Team

My grandfather Richard Austin, 2nd Battalion Welsh Regiment, who died on 18th March 1918 aged 28. It is thought he was killed by a shell at Wieltje near Ypres. He is buried at Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station cemetery north of Ypres. My father, Glyn Austin, was born on 18th January 1916 having been conceived while his father was recuperating from wounds in 1915, having been sent home to Neath Hospital near Swansea. He never met his father, and never knew what had happened to him, except that he had been "lost in France". My father's mother Caroline Austin was left with Glyn, aged 2, and Freddie, aged 5, who was later killed by the Mumbles Train on 3rd July 1919. She also lost a brother, Albert George Reed, who was awarded a Military Medal and died on 5th July 1917, and had another brother David William Reed who returned very badly wounded. She also lost a brother-in-law, Sidney George Austin, who was killed on 13th September 1916, remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. Unsurprisingly she would never talk to my father about any of this and never remarried. With the increased availability of information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission we were able to trace my grandfather to a cemetery near Ypres, and in October 1999 took my father, then 83, to visit his fathers' grave. It seemed doubly ironic that the grave had been there unknown to any of us for over 80 years and my father had served as an aircraftman in 1939-40 only a short distance away at Vitry-en Artois near Arras. In fact, we were able to find that little aerodrome the following day.

There are a number of photos of Albert Reed, David Reed, and Caroline with Glyn and Freddie, some of which have been to the Front, and have come back, I assume, showing the effects of this as they appear to be stained by blood, mud, rain or whatever.


Editor's Comment:
Pte. 48903 Thomas Richard Austin, 2nd Bn. Welsh Regiment, was killed in action 18th March 1918, aged 28. The son of Joseph Austin, of Swansea; husband of Caroline Austin, of 61, Rodney Street, Swansea, he is buried in Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery.

History

Identifier

6394.jpg| GWA_5441_TRA_addressed0014.jpg|

Subject

Austin, Thomas Richard

Date

1914 - 1918

Date Created

01/08/1914

Temporal Coverage

31/12/1918

Source

Multiple

Medium

Photographic paper

Type

Photograph

Contributor

Richard Marshall | Pat Lewis

Rights

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor

Publisher

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford

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