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Josiah Edwin Austin

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Craig Report 26 Jun 2024 09:49

I am hoping someone can be of assistance, Josiah was born in 1869 and was a colour sergeant in the 2nd Hampshire Regiment and served in South Africa during the Boer War. He was a Lance Corporal in 1893 sometime around 1902 he was discharged for theft and served time in Portland Prison. Any assistance regarding his service in the 2nd Hampshire's and how he was discharged would be most appreciated. Regards Craig Morris


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2024 10:15

Welcome to the boards, Craig.

You don't say where Josiah was born.
I assume this is his birth:

Josiah Edwin Austin
in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
Name Josiah Edwin Austin
Registration Date 1869 [1869]
Quarter of the Year Oct-Nov-Dec
Registration Place Plymouth, Devon, England
Volume 5b
Page 295

Josiah Edwin Austin
in the UK, Calendar of Prisoners, 1868-1929
Name Josiah Edwin Austin
Trial Age 35
Birth Date abt 1869
Trial Date 2 Aug 1904
Trial Place Portsmouth
Occupation Clerk
Charge Stealing
Sentence 3 years

In 1902, he was tried at Winchester Quarter Sessions for stealing a letter and £21.
Sentenced to 2 months hard labour , as Josiah Charles Austin.

In 1904, he was tried at Portsmouth Sessions for stealing £28, the property of W T Avery Ltd, "his masters", on 17 March 1904. Sentenced to 3 years PS (which I assume means Prison Sentence)

Liberated 5/11/1906. Intended address: Church Army, Exeter. Intended ocupation:

He was 5ft 4.75 ins, dark complexion, dark brown hair, brown eyes.

Josiah Edwin Austin
in the UK, Registers of Habitual Criminals and Police Gazettes, 1834-1934
Name Josiah Edwin Austin [alias Josiah Charles Austin]
Event Type Conviction
Conviction Age 35
Birth Date 1869
Birth Place Plymouth
Conviction Date 2 Aug 1904
Charge Larceny
Sentence 3 years
Jail Portland

In those two records, there's no mention of his having been a soldier.


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2024 10:18

By 1911 he's a lighthouse keeper!

Josiah Edwin Austin
in the 1911 England Census
Name Josiah Edwin Austin
Age in 1911 41
Estimated Birth Year abt 1870
Relation to Head Head
Gender Male
Birth Place Plymouth, Devon
Civil parish Bristol
County/Island Gloucestershire
Country England
Street Address 12 Richmond Terrace, Avonmouth
Marital Status Married
Occupation Lighthouse Keeper
Registration District Number 319
Sub-registration district Westbury on Trym
ED, institution, or vessel 12
Piece 15104
Household Members (Name) Age Relationship
Josiah Edwin Austin 41 Head
Emily Austin 34 Wife
Eva Emily Austin 9 Daughter
Ernest Brian Austin 7 Son
Nora Kathleen Austin 2 Daughter
Arthur Raymond Austin 6/12 Son


greyghost Report 26 Jun 2024 10:21

From local papers, but maybe this is where you got the information about his Army

Not seeing any Service records for him

Hampshire Telegraph 6 August 1904 (same wording in the Evening News, 3 August (Portsmouth where they are reporting Portsmouth Quarter sessions)

A Heavy Sentence

Josiah Edwin Austin, 35, a clerk, pleaded guilty to feloniously stealing £28, the property of W.T. Avery Ltd, his employers at Portsmouth, on March 17th. - Mr S H Emmanuel for the prosecution, stated that the prisoner's crime was the more serious as he had abused a position of trust and had sought to throw blame on other persons. The police reported that the prisoner had been convicted of embezzlement while a colour sergeant in the Army, and Detective Inspector M|oore stated that after the theft the prisoner absconded from Portsmouth, and left his wife and children almost destitute. The prisoner subsequently gave himself up tp the police at Sheffield. The prisoner was sentenced to 3 years penal servitude.


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2024 10:21

I don't see any army info for him on Ancestry, apart from this possible WW1 record:

Josiah Edwin Austin
in the UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Name Josiah Edwin Austin
Military Year 1914-1920
Rank Sergeant
Company WO 329
Regiment or Corps Labour Corps
Regiment Number 335239
Medal Awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 11:21

The National Archives hold records of Courts Martial.
If you haven't already done so, may I suggest registration with TNA ( Free) and once signed in you can research

For example:

Reference: WO 90/6
Description: Judge Advocate General's Office: general courts martial registers, abroad
Date: 1900-1917
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

Not all the records on the TNA website are available to view online, some require a request submission to Kew.
Also consider contacting the Battalion museum. They have a research option


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 11:35

I appriciate this is not 2nd Hampshire's information, as requested, but I thought it may be of some use to you. If, of course, it's your Josiah Austin

Medal card of Austin, Josiah E. Corps: Gloucestershire Regiment. Regiment No: 2390. Rank: Corporal.

War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War. Alezu A - Barnes C E. Medal card of Austin, Josiah E. Corps Regiment No Rank Gloucestershire Regiment 2390 Corporal. Labour Corps 335239 Acting Serjeant.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
Date: 1914 - 1920
Reference: WO 372/1/155791
Subjects: Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Medals | Operations, battles and campaigns


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 11:38

First name(s) Josiah Edwin
Theatre of war 1
Last name Austin
Theatre of war description Western Europe
Disembarkation year 1915
Remarks Cl. Z. 15.2.19.
Disembarkation date 12 Oct 1915
Archive The National Archives
Rank -
Archive series WO 329
Rank as transcribed A/S.
Archive reference WO 329/2843
Service number 335239
Record set Britain, First World War Campaign Medals
Regiment Labour Corps
Category Military, armed forces & conflict
Previous unit 10. Bn. Glos. Rgt. Gloucester Rgt. 2390. Cpl.
Subcategory First World War
Medals awarded 1914-15 Star


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 11:58

AG- Just a thought, could the PS reference = Penal Servitude


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 12:24

And in case you didn't have them

1921 Census Of England & Wales
12, Richmond Terrace, Avonmouth, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England

Josiah Edwin Austin Head Male 1869 51 Plymouth, Devon, England Lighhouse Keeper Bristol Corporation, Bristol

Emily Austin Wife Female 1876 45 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England Home Duties -

Eva E Austin Daughter Female 1901 19 Aldershot, Hampshire, England Carboard Box Maker J S Fry & Sons Ltd

Nora K Austin Daughter Female 1909 12 Avonmouth, Gloucestershire, England

Arthur R Austin Son Male 1910 10 Avonmouth, Gloucestershire, England

1939 Register
30 Marshalls Way, Lea Valley, St Albans R.D., Hertfordshire, England

Charles P J Bloodworth 09 Nov 1913 Male Baker Foreman Married 66 1
Winifred M Bloodworth 04 Aug 1912 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 66 2
The record for this person is officially closed.

Josiah E Austin 28 Nov 1869 Male Lighthouse Keeper Retired Married 66 4
Emily Austin 08 May 1876 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 66 5


greyghost Report 26 Jun 2024 12:46

The newspaper report says that he was sentenced to 3 years penal servitude


ErikaH Report 26 Jun 2024 12:59

His marriage record on FMP shows that he said he was a L/Cpl in the 2nd Hampshire Regiment. This was 10 Sep 1893


ErikaH Report 26 Jun 2024 13:03

In 1901, Emily was in Winchester, at the Regimental Depot, described as ‘wife of Sgt Austin’

There are NO Military records for him other than Medal cards, which relate to WW!


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2024 13:09

yes, of course you're right re penal servitude.

I knew "prison sentence" didn't sound right, but couldn't think of an alternative!


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 20:08

UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949

Name J Austin
Service Date 1899-1902
Service Place South Africa
Campaign or Service South Africa-Second Boer War
Regiment or Unit Name 2nd Battalion Hampshire
Regimental Number 2771

image states rank as Sgt

Entitiled to Clasp- Paardeberg, Cape Colony

issued 1st April 1901


ErikaH Report 26 Jun 2024 20:37

Using that Soldier number, his attestation into Hampshire Regiment on 21 Mar 1889 is with the names JOSEPH CHARLES Austin, age 18yrs, 4months
Associated records are attached.
On FMP…………


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2024 21:42

That's very close to his alias of Josiah Charles Austin, as shown in the court records posted earlier.


greyghost Report 26 Jun 2024 22:03

Attested age 18y 3m born parish of St Andrews, Plymouth. He was a Clerk before joining. Attested at Winchester, currently with 3 Battalion (word edited) Hants Regiment.
5' 4 ¾ ", 129 Ibs, Chest 33", Complexion fresh, Eyes Hazel, Hair Dark Brown, CofE

Appointed Orderly Room Sergeant 1.1.1900, posted, Promoted to Colour Sergeant 1.4.1901
In custody with civil power 3.10.1902 Tried and convicted by civil powers of felony 15.10.02, sentenced to 2 months imprisonment and sent to prison that date.
Reduced to ranks on conviction by civil powers on 5.11.1902 under authority WO 105/37/10
Discharged under Para 1805 (6) K.R.


Even today, I expect, a member of the Armed fForces, convicted by a civil court is liable to "Consequential punishment" by his own Service. Was certainly the case in the 1970's !


greyghost Report 26 Jun 2024 22:28

Various newspaper articles under name Joseph Charles Austin

15 Oct 1902 Portsmouth Evening News
Colour Sergeant sent to Goal
The letter he stole + £21 belonged to the Commanding officer Colonel Cyril Godfrey at aldershot on Sept. 18th.
Prisoner said that by the verdict of the jury he was reduced to the ranks and discharged with disgrace and would lose £30 and asked the Chairman to take this into consideration. The chairman expressed powwow at seeing the prisoner in such a position on passing a sentence od 2 months hard labour.

25 oct 1902
....33, orderly room sergeant in a provisional battalion at Aldershot. .... Prisoners defence was that the money was lost through his neglect, but he had never used any of it himself, and he delayed to report the matter lest he should have been court martially for neglect. He had 10 years good character as a non-0commissioned officer. HE was found guilty and recommended to mercy. Sentence of 2 months hard labour was passed.


Jink20 Report 26 Jun 2024 22:39 minor correction to your post.
He joined the 3rd Battalion ((Batt'n) Hampshire Regiment. ie infantry
Battery is a term used within Artillery Regiments