Private Joseph Austen


Joseph Austen was born (as Patrick Joseph) on 7 June 1894 at 27 Irishtown Road, Dublin South, the last of three children of clerk (later solicitor's cost drawer) George Austen and his wife Elizabeth (née Gilligan). Following the death of his mother just a year later, his father remarried, to Jane Dunwoody. At the time of the 1911 Census Joseph was living at Wilton Lodge, 24 Sydney Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, with his father, step-mother, and six half-siblings, and working as a solicitor's assistant.

Austen enlisted in the cavalry, probably in the first half of 1917. He was posted to the North Irish Horse between 27 June and 3 July 1917 (regimental number between 2558 and 2596 – later Corps of Hussars No.71895). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in late 1917 or 1918. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

On 14 February 1919 Austen was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was granted a pension due to 'disordered action of the heart', which was attributed to his military service, his level of disability assessed at 40 per cent.


At least one of Austen's brothers also served in the military. William John Austen enlisted in the Royal Navy on 16 October 1908, being discharged on completion of his term of service in 1920.