Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Samuel Austin

Samuel Austin :

Samuel Austin : British War Medal

British War Medal

Samuel was born in Wilmslow, Cheshire in 1884 or 1885. His father was called Joseph and his mother was Hannah. He had two older siblings; Emily and Jeremiah, and three younger; William, Joseph and Ethel. In 1891 the family lived on Chapel Lane in Wilmslow, and Joseph was a farmer and peat dealer. By 1901 they had moved to Lime Cottage on Moor Lane and Samuel had begun to work as a gardener.

Between July and September 1906 Samuel married Agnes Hampton in Congleton, Cheshire. In 1911 they were living on South Oak Lane in Wilmslow and had two children; Marjorie and Winifred. We don't know whether they had any more later. Samuel was working for an interior decorator as a painter and paper-hanger.

The First World War broke out in August 1914. Samuel enlisted on or shortly after the 18th October 1915 into the 5th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This was a unit of the Territorial Force based in Wigan. The Battalion was fighting in Gallipoli at the time so new recruits were being assigned to a second 5th Battalion (2/5th). Samuel received the service number 4223.

In March 1917 soldiers in Territorial Force units were given new service numbers. It is possible to tell which battalion a soldier was serving in at this time by his new number. Samuel was given the number 276521. This tells us he was serving with the 7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. We don't know when he was transferred, why, or whether he was serving with the 1/7th or 2/7th Battalion.

By March 1918 Samuel had returned to the 2/5th Battalion. Later that month the German Army launched a huge offensive against the British and French Armies. They hoped to win the war before too many American troops could arrive to fight them.

At first the attack was extremely successful. Many Allied units were cut off, and thousands of soldiers were killed or captured. Samuel was one of these soldiers. He was killed in action on the 21st March 1918, the first day of the German offensive.

After the war Samuel's grave could not be found so his name is one of the 14,656 listed on the Pozieres Memorial in France. Samuel is on Panel 64 to 67.

As well as his British War Medal Samuel was awarded the Allied Victory Medal for his service in the Army.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf

Telephone: 0161 342 5480
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Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council