Captain Geoffrey Ruthven Austin


Geoffrey Ruthven Austin was born on 7 November 1887 at Farnsworth, Lancashire, a son of Thomas Austin, a clergyman, and Emily Janet Austin. He lived in Canada from 1907, returning to England in 1911.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment on 25 January 1911. However soon after he left for Canada without resigning and considerably in debt, “a position brought about by my not having sufficient funds to carry on & also having been left in a hole by certain of my relations.” The Army tracked him down and allowed him to resign on a promise that he repay the money owed. He then enlisted in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) on 1 April 1913 (No.2357). The regiment left for England soon after the war began and arrived in France on 4 May 1915.

On 17 April 1917, after attending cavalry cadet school, Austin was commissioned and posted to the North Irish Horse, joining the 1st Regiment in the field. On 17 October 1918 he was promoted to lieutenant.

Austin saw much action in the last months of the war, leading cyclist patrols ahead of the advancing battalions of V Corps (see regimental diary).

On 7 June 1919 he was made acting Captain and joined IV Corps Cyclist Battalion, part of the Army of Occupation at Rolsdorf. He was demobilised on 6 November 1919 and relinquished his commission the following year.

On 3 August 1920 he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary's Auxiliary Division (No.87), serving in Newry. (See the website The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary.)

He left the UK for Canada in 1926.