Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Austin Family were originally from Dorset where both of Edward's parents, Mark and Mary Austin, were born. Sometime around 1855 Mark and Mary moved to the Isle of Wight where their first child Mary was born. By 1881 the family which then included Emma and Edward had moved to Portsmouth and were living at 17 Stamshaw Lane.
Edward Austin left home to join the navy in 1890 and was aboard the Training Brig, HMS Martin in Portsmouth Harbour for the 1891 Census. Just two years later in 1893 Edward married Elizabeth and by 1911 they were living at 9 Mills Road, Landport with four sons, George (14), William (5), Arthur (3) and Reginald (1).
The National Roll states that Edward volunteered in 1914 which suggests that he had left the navy after 1911 and rejoined at the outbreak of war. He served for four years, mostly in the North Sea or in Scapa Flow, when he became seriously ill in June 1918. He was transferred to Haslar Hospital where he died on 7th July.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Leading Seaman, Austin E., Royal Navy (152254), died on 07/07/1918, aged 44 years, serving aboard HMS Emperor of India. Buried in Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth (Grave Ref: Billing's 10.13). Son of Mark and Mary Austin; husband of Elizabeth K. Austin, of 9, Mills Rd., Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth. Born at Portsmouth.
Edward Austin is remembered on the St. John the Baptist Church WW1 memorial on which his surname is spelled 'Austen'. The memorial was transferred to St. Agatha's Church, Market Way when St. John's* was declared redundant in 1980. Also remembered on the Cenotaph and in the National Roll, Vol. X, p6.
Tim Backhouse
January 2014

*St. John the Baptist's Church was on Simpson Road, just north of the junction between Twyford Avenue and the Rudmore roundabout. It was converted to private accommodation.