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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

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Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby 348 White » August 13th, 2017, 1:25 pm

I have a copy of Old Stick Leg: Extracts of the Diaries of Major Thomas Austin that was edited by Brig. Gen H.H. Austin and I also have a postcard of a portrait believed to show Thomas a young Light Company Ensign during his Napoleonic service.

The editor referred to the existence of a collection of correspondence that Austin had from various army officers serving in the British Army 1814 and beyond to the 1815 campaign. Does anyone know if the collection survived, the book was published in the 1920's? Possibly Bristol Museum might have taken them, but I got no particular help when I tried to contact them some years ago.
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Lorraine Austin » December 27th, 2017, 7:21 am

I am a direct descendant of Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot. I would be very interested to know more about the collection of correspondence of Austin with various army officers also, and in particular the postcard portrait believed to show Thomas a young Light Company Ensign during his Napoleonic service.

Reply much appreciated.

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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby jf42 » December 27th, 2017, 1:38 pm

In case this is of interest, here is an online link to the text of the book- 'Old Stick Leg: Extracts of the Diaries of Major Thomas Austin.' It looks an enjoyable an illuminating read, particularly for those interested in the experiences of a young Light company officer at the end of the Napoleonic wars.

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006592070
Last edited by jf42 on January 15th, 2018, 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby OXFORDMON » December 27th, 2017, 1:52 pm

A warm welcome to the forum Lorraine, I’m sure you will find much of interest on here.

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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Lorraine Austin » December 27th, 2017, 9:12 pm

Thanks and thanks for Old Stick Leg online reference which is great - I have an original hard copy (1987 New Zealand).
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Lorraine Austin » January 15th, 2018, 8:02 am

Typo correction -edition of "Old Stick Leg" stamped 1927 (not 1987).
I have just come across a published collection of poems of Thomas Austin (1848) with battle notes.
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Owen » January 16th, 2018, 12:03 am

Perhaps the postcard came within one of the Lots 31 - 35 at this Auction of Thomas Austin family papers etc
http://www.lawrences.co.uk/Catalogues/FA161007/page2.htm

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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Lorraine Austin » January 16th, 2018, 4:01 am

Thanks Owen, this is a very interesting find. The photograph on cover of the album in the catalogue does not tally with the postcard image purported to be Thomas Austin as it appears to be an actual photograph and the handwriting underneath is not that of Thomas Austin and states "Owner of this book" suggesting someone else -perhaps the author of the book Old Stick Leg, Brig Gen HH Austin (great nephew) or his father (brother of Thomas Austin) to whom Thomas's journals and other effects passed according to the Stick Leg book.

I would be interested to know if anyone can identify the uniform of the young soldier in the photo at this web link to the catalogue.

With thanks Lorraine Austin
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby jf42 » January 16th, 2018, 8:19 pm

Lorraine, the photograph in question shows an officer of the 19th Regiment of Foot, in what was referred to as 'undress'. HIs forage cap with the regimental number '19' sits on the table and he wears what was known as a 'patrol jacket.' Officially introduced in 1867, this dark blue coat was worn off duty and for duties with the troops when Full Dress was not required.

He is also dressed for mounted duties, since he wears soft riding boots and spurs and wears has what is called a sabretache attached to his sword belt, an item most commonly see worn by cavalry officers. While its function had become primarily decorative by the mid-19th century it could serve as both a folder for papers and an impromptu writing platform. These details suggest that the subject was either the Adjutant of the Regiment- (usually a Captain, the adjutant was effectively the Commanding Officer's chief of staff) or detached as a staff officer or aide de camp on general service elsewhere.

The uniform details date the photograph to between 1867 and 1881 after which date regiments were no longer identified by their number. The heavy beard which came into fashion in the mid-1850s, was going out of fashion by the mid-1870s. Details of the regiment's service suggest this photograph was taken circa 1871-1877.

We are, of course, straying way out of the Napoleonic period!

I hope that helps
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Re: Thomas Austin 2/35 Foot

Postby Lorraine Austin » January 16th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Thank you very much, that is very helpful.
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