Austin William EDWARDS

EDWARDS, Austin William

Service Numbers: 3310, N27605
Enlisted: 4 April 1940
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Last Unit: Workshops Units and Elements
Born: Gloucester New South Wales, Australia , 10 October 1894
Home Town: Wyoming, Gosford Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Natural causes , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia , 21 June 1981, aged 86 years
Cemetery: Albion Park Cemetery, Shellharbour, NSW
Memorials: New South Wales Garden of Remembrance (Rookwood Necropolis)
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

5 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, 3310, 1st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Themistocles, Sydney
5 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, 3310, 1st Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '7' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Themistocles embarkation_ship_number: A32 public_note: ''

World War 2 Service

4 Apr 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (WW2) , Warrant Officer Class 2, N27605
7 Nov 1946: Discharged Australian Military Forces (WW2) , Warrant Officer Class 2, N27605, Workshops Units and Elements

Help us honour Austin William Edwards's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Merridee Wouters

Austin was the fifth son and of Henry Edwards and Mary Bridget Forster.  He was born at Fosterton in 1892. His parents were living at Copeland at the time. He enlisted at Liverpool in 1915, giving his mother as his next of kin at ‘Wyoming’ on the Manning River at Mt George. He listed his profession as carpenter. Austin served in the Australian Army (AIF) in WW1 in Egypt and France.

During the First World War, the 1st Battalion was raised for overseas service in 1914 as part of the First Australian Imperial Force. Attached to the 1st Brigade, the battalion served in Egypt initially before taking part in the fighting in Gallipoli against the Turks. Later the battalion was sent to the Western Front where it fought in the trenches in France and Belgium as part of the Australian Corps.

Austin joined the 1st battalion in Egypt, after they had withdrawn from Gallipoli and sailed with them to Marseille. The battalion's first major action in France was at Pozières in July 1916. Austin was wounded in action on 25 July 2016 (left hand), seriously enough to be evacuated to England. Later the battalion fought at Ypres, in Belgium, before returning to the Somme in winter. While recuperating Austin overstayed his leave by one day and was disciplined. He returned to the battalion the 2nd February. In April, he was again evacuated to England and missed the battle of. At Bullecourt in May 1917, George Howell became the third member of the battalion to receive the Victoria Cross.[1] It was also at this battle that Austin’s cousin Herbert Everett died. While on leave in England, Austin again overstayed, this time for two months, and was sentenced to 140 days detention (Court Martial 16494). He rejoined his battalion on the 20 Nov, 1917. In 1918, the 1st Battalion helped to stop the German spring offensive in March and April. On the 18th March, Austin was again wounded in action a second time round, this time being gassed. He was evacuated to England once more. For a third time he went AWL during the recuperation period and was disciplined. Meanwhile the 1st Batallion was taking part in the Hundred Days Offensive that was launched near Amiens on 8 August 1918 and ultimately brought an end to the war. The battalion remained in the line until late September 1918, when they were withdrawn from the front along with the rest of the Australian Corps for rest and retraining in anticipation of further operations. He returned to Australia on the Boorara, 6th July 2019.

Despite his chequered career off the battlefield, being disciplined several times for being AWOL, Austin served 1442 days in the Middle East and in trench warfare in France. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star (27102), the British War Medal (26865) and the Victory medal (26473).