Frederick Austin (MM)
Serial No. 2105
19th Battalion & 45th Battalion
Frederick Austin (MM) - Information
Frederick Austin was born in Minto c1891. When the war began, he was living at 120 Wellington St in Waterloo with his family. Here, Frederick worked as a driver. When he was 24, he joined the colours in Liverpool on the 5th of July 1915. During training, Frederick was posted as a Private to the 4th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion. He was shipped out from Sydney on the 30th of September 1915 upon the HMAT Argyllshire.
Landing in Egypt at the end of 1915, he was taken on strength to the 19th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir. While at Base, he was charged with being absent from a parade and being drunk in the lines. On the 8th of August 1916, he departed Alexandria for England, where he was stationed to a Training Battalion. In mid October, he proceeded to France. Two weeks later, he was transferred to the 45th Battalion, only to be transferred back to the 19th Battalion in late December. On the 8th of February, he was detached for duty with the 180th Tunnelling Company. This was dangerous work. Not only could the tunnels cave in, but also, the threat of running into German miners was ever present. However, after a few weeks, he was taken to hospital sick. He rejoined his unit in early March. On the 15th of April, Frederick and his unit participated in action in Noreuil, as part of the attack on the Hindenburg Line. Here, Frederick completed duty as a Company Runner. However, part of the line on the right flank was under heavy assault by enemy rifle and machine gun crossfire. He risked terrible danger in carrying messages pass that position to and from Company Headquarters twice. His bravery aided the success of the operation. As a result, he was recommended for a Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and coolness. He then fought alongside his mates during the Second Battle of Bullecourt on the 3rd of May. Here, he was wounded receiving gun shot wounds to his left knee and shoulder. He was treated at hospital in Rouen, before being evacuated to England to the 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth on the 15th of May. While at Wandsworth, he was awarded the Military Medal. Frederick's wounds were extensive and painful, and he was considered unfit for further active service. Consequently, he was given an early Christmas present, when he was invalided back to Australia on the 21st of December 1917. When he returned, Frederick resided at 122 Botany St in Waterloo. By 1936, he was living at 15 Parkes St in Camperdown and working as a labourer.