|Date of Birth||September 1, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Philip Austin, father, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Trade / Calling||Chemist|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Hamilton, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Nobel, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||May 11, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 29, 1969|
|Age at Death||71|
|Buried At||Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec|
Alfred Philip Austin was born on 1 September 1897 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His parents Philip Austin and Marie Cecelia Helena Rochon were both from Ontario, marrying in Fort William, Ontario on 7 November 1894. At the time of the marriage Philip was living in Rat Portage and Cecelia in Fort William. The couple made Rat Portage/Kenora their home where Alfred first worked as an accountant for the Hudson’s Bay Company and later as an insurance agent. Children born to the family were George Lyall (1895-1914), Alfred, a daughter that was stillborn or died shortly after birth (1900), Joseph Lewis (1905-1983), and Marie Cecelia Phyllis (1907-1982). By the time of son Lyall’s death in Toronto in 1914 the family had relocated to Port Arthur, Ontario and then on to Vancouver by the time of Alfred’s signing of his recruitment papers.
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Alfred had his medical examination in October of 1917 in Parry Sound, Ontario. He was working as a chemist in nearby Nobel and gave his father Philip of Canadian Explosives in Vancouver as next of kin. Called up in Hamilton in May of 1918, with the 44th draft of the 1st Depot Battalion 2nd Central Ontario Regiment Alfred arrived in England aboard the Cassandra on 21 June. Taken on strength with the 8th Reserve Battalion upon arrival, Alfred was transferred to the 54th (Kootenay) Battalion in October, arriving in France on the 28th. The 54th Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914, recruited in Southern British Columbia, and was mobilized at Nelson, British Columbia. The battalion embarked for Britain on 22 November 1915 and disembarked in France on 14 August 1916. It fought as part of the 11th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. Alfred returned to England in late April of 1919, embarking for Canada aboard the Maurentania on 31 May. Alfred was discharged from service in Hamilton on 8 June.
After the war Alfred was found living with his parents in Vancouver and attending university at the time of the 1921 census. He eventually married and settled in Montreal, Quebec with his wife Isabel, working as a chemical engineer. The couple had at least one child, son Robert. Alfred died on 29 March 1969 in the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. He was predeceased by his father Philip in 1944 and his mother Cecelia in 1949, both in Toronto. A last entry found for Alfred’s wife Isabel was in the 1976 Lovell’s directory for Montreal, her whereabouts after that unknown. Alfred is interred alone in an unmarked grave in the Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.
By Judy Stockham